The second industrial revolution is the period between 1850-1870 and the beginning of the First World War in 1914. It was a period markedly marked by vertiginous social and economic changes since the industrial process accelerated and, therefore, the changes and rhythms of life of society also changed.
There is no break or break between the first and the second industrial revolution but it does happen that in the second the industrial revolution expands to other countries and the advances are technological but also scientific. From these advances emerged new world powers such as Germany and the United States.
Systematic or serial production is promoted, which accelerates personal times and production becomes more competitive. On the other hand there is an increase in industrial unemployment but great and important discoveries such as the invention of the telegraph, the gasoline car, the airplane, the electric light, among others, are being promoted.
Characteristics of the second industrial revolution
The New Industrial Organization
This system was organized taking into account Taylor’s model. That is serial production. This reduced production costs by increasing people’s productivity. Assembly line manufacturing began to be implemented by 1914 at the Ford factory. In addition companies gained competitiveness. Thus, the first multinationals are born.
After this model, modern financial capitalism was born.
The new energy sources of this period can be summarized in:
- The replacement of iron with steel.
- The use of electricity.
- The replacement of steam by petroleum products as energy sources. This gives rise to many inventions such as the explosion engine or diesel engine that replaced the steam engine. Also in 1885 Benz invented the first automobile with a gasoline engine.
New industries and machine automation
New industries are born as a result of the great inventions that took place during this period.
As a result, automatic machines arise. These were machines that manufactured parts for other machines. This process was called machine automation. This promotes better competitiveness in the market, accelerates production times and reduces costs since less labor was necessary.
The discovery of electricity
The discovery of electricity, which was being managed by several researchers with different contributions, helped Tomas Alva Edison who invented the incandescent lamp in 1879. This lamp was used for public lighting, improving conditions and quality of life throughout the world.
This invention was built by Samuel Morse in 1837. Then, that invention would be known as the morse code. This telegraph allowed instant communication through a language of points and lines. Soon it became massive among the main cities of the world and they began to lay cables. The first wiring was used for the use of railways.
The Lumiere brothers created the first cinematograph that transmitted without sound. Subsequently, the sound was incorporated into the cinema with a photoelectric cell.
This invention served as a means of expression and communication of information.
The invention of the airplane
The Wright brothers in 1903 made the first airplane flight. A new means of transport is born. Initially, this vehicle was used as a combat weapon during World War I in 1914. Only in 1919 was the first air crossing of the Atlantic Ocean carried out without warlike intentions.
Innovations in transport
The transport and communication systems increase. The electric railroad is born. Also the boat with boiler engine arises. These inventions promote trade.
Advances in the scientific field
The theory of the evolution of Darwin’s species collaborated as a leap at the level of scientific knowledge regarding the progress and evolution that the human being had. On the other hand, Lister promoted health and hygiene principles. This added to the invention of pasteurization in 1864, where Luis Pasteur created a food preservation process.
Finally Robert Cosme discovered the bacterium that produced tuberculosis and Bayer in 1897 invented aspirin. With these scientific and medical advances, the diseases that plagued the population of that time, manage to be controlled or reduced, raising the average life and reducing mortality.
Increase in research in the area of chemistry
The experiments that were carried out during this period were based on the development of fertilizers or explosives. Later this area will develop the nuclear weapons that characterized World War II.
Consequences for society
There is a process of acceleration of private life that must be adapted to the automation of industrial processes. Thus, the mechanics of work change and people become part of the Taylorist model. This modifies your routine, accelerating the times.
On the other hand, if the first industrial revolution had needed more labor, the second was characterized by an increase in unemployment as a result of the manufacture of machines for making other machines.