2nd industrial revolution inventions characteristics causes

Second Industrial Revolution

Cycle of innovations in the goods industry started in Europe, starting in 1873. In this article we will provide you the 2nd industrial revolution inventions.

It is known as the Second Industrial Revolution to a cycle of innovations in the industry that involved both the production processes of goods, such as transportation and the development of new inventions. This began in Europe from 1873 and lasted until the beginning of the First World War , in 1914 .

During this second industrial wave, Great Britain, which had started the First Industrial Revolution , was relegated by the countries of continental Europe, the United States of America and Japan.

Enhance your reading: Battle of Austerlitz summary/causes/development/definition

Characteristics of the Second Industrial Revolution

The main characteristics of the Second Industrial Revolution were the following:

  • The industries that had the most important advances were the steel , chemical and machinery production industries .
  • The improvement in the production of steel favored the development of means of transport . The extension of the railroad, as well as the invention of ever larger and faster steamships, made it easier to transport more people and goods over long distances and in less time.
  • New sources of energy began to be used , especially oil and electricity . The development of the petrochemical industry allowed the invention of the internal combustion engine in 1870 and the automobile in 1885.
  • Research in applied science and technology was expanded . Thus, new inventions such as the telegraph and the telephone facilitated communications . Advances were also made in optics , chemistry applied to industry, and medicine .
  • The type of industries diversified. While during the First Industrial Revolution the greatest development occurred in the textile industry, in the Second industrialization ranged from mechanics to furniture, telecommunications, household products, etc.
  • Companies became more complex. The industries stopped belonging to individual owners to become corporations with enormous economic power. At the same time, the business management processes were analyzed and systematized.
  • Germany displaced Great Britain as a European industrial power. At the same time, the United States positioned itself at the forefront of industrialization in the world. In continental Europe, the expansion of industrialization also reached Belgium, France and Italy.
  • Financial capitalism began to gain more and more prominence . In other words, financial institutions dedicated to directing private savings to investment in industry were developed.

Causes and consequences of the Second Industrial Revolution


The causes that produced the Second Industrial Revolution are:

  • The machinery that began with the First Industrial Revolution, together with the interests of the capitalists, created an environment conducive to investment and the development of new industries.
  • In the European States of the Old Regime, the political substitution by more open and democratic systems created the conditions for the development of an industrial bourgeoisie .
  • After successive economic crises throughout the 19th century , European states decided to protect their economies and create their own markets. In this way, they began a policy of imperialist expansion . The territorial conquest of large regions of Asia and Africa allowed them to obtain raw materials for their industries and a huge buyer market for their industrialized products.
  • The professionalization of business management in industries.

Enhance your reading: What happened in the battle of Austerlitz/causes/background


The consequences of the Second Industrial Revolution were as follows:

  • Thanks to the improvement of means of transport, the market went global. Goods, both raw materials and manufactured products, traveled the world.
  • Capitalism was consolidated as a global economic system.
  • Large companies became agents of political pressure with influence even in governments.
  • The percentage of the population dedicated to industrial and service activities increased, while the population dedicated to agricultural activities decreased steadily.
  • There was a strong migration from the countryside to the cities, which gradually became large cities with high population density.
  • Cities grew and modernized. Society became more dynamic, a bourgeois middle class developed with consumption habits linked to free time such as vacations, weekend walks, consumption of books, magazines, catalogs, etc.
  • There was a change in the wage policy of industrial entrepreneurs. The quality of life of the workers began to be considered and some measures taken, such as the increase in salaries, in addition to favoring production, generated a consumer market for products and therefore expanded the demand for industrialized products.
  • There was a change in the mentality of people, which began to consume products that made life more comfortable, such as machines that performed household chores or made work easier. In addition, enrichment began to be valued and considered as a synonym for intelligence.
  • There was an improvement in production management,  based on the analysis of the factory processes . The creation of the “assembly line” system shortened production times and, as a consequence, favored the production of more products at lower prices.

Inventions of the Second Industrial Revolution

Some of the inventions that emerged from the Second Industrial Revolution are the following:

  • The application of electricity in everyday life (street lighting, communications, etc.).
  • The phone.
  • The wireless telegraph.
  • The sewing machine.
  • X-ray machines.
  • The cars.
  • The airplanes.
  • The electric locomotive.
  • Photographic machines.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker