Discuss the significance and impact of the third wave of industrial revolutions.
- Explain the post-industrial concept as outlined in Stearns chapter 11.
- Briefly describe the process of industrialization in one of the following countries or regions: the Pacific Rim, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, China, or India (see Stearns chapter 12).
From the Lecture
- Highlight some of the strengths and weaknesses of the Brazilian, Russian, Indian, and Chinese economies. pls note that each answer must be written under its question, also, this is not an essay, these discussion and quiz are not releated so don’t let them have some commen opinions
The advance of industrialization was not high on the world’s agenda after World War II compared to restoring war-torn economies and preventing another depression. Both Europe and Japan had suffered huge losses. The Soviet Union seized experts and material from its new satellites in Eastern Europe in its efforts to rebuild. U.S. aid assisted the recovery process in Western Europe, and U.S. occupation forces oversaw political and economic reforms in Japan. For a brief time, however, only the economy of the United States seemed poised for further industrial growth. Many expert judged that Western Europe would become permanently dependent on U.S. economic leadership. Simply rebuilding war-shattered economies seemed challenge enough. Outside the industrial world, political, not directly economic, issues predominated as a surge of independence movements led to rapid decolonization. Economic inequalities formed a backdrop to these struggles, and newly independent states quickly turned to hopes for economic development. But the initial priorities lay elsewhere.
Yet, in fairly short order, the postwar world ushered in a third phase of international history—a phase societies are still grappling with in the early twenty-first century. By this point, industrialization was directly involving far more peoples than ever before, with huge implications for world power balance, the environment, and the nature of daily life. Key political events helped trigger important new developments. Decolonization did not magically generate industrial revolutions in the new states, and vast economic inequalities persisted, even deepened, among various regions of the world. Several major new governments, however, free from direct colonial control, launched new economic programs that expanded their manufacturing sectors.
Both in Europe and in Japan, it turned out that societies that were already industrial could rebuild surprisingly quickly. Western Europe reacted to the shock of World War II and the ensuing Cold War by seeking to reduce economic and political nationalism and by committing its governments to industrial planning, creating a framework for the surprising economic resurgence of the region, which regained its position as one of the most advanced industrial areas of the world. Japan surged ahead even more rapidly.
The world’s third phase of the industrial revolution had several primary facets. First, there were a number of major new industrial revolutions. Expansion started slowly, with particular focus on the Pacific Rim. But by the 1990s a number of huge economies, including India and China, pulled into the process. The revolution that had begun two hundred years earlier in Britain had not played itself out yet. By the twenty-first century over half the world was effectively industrial for the first time. Regional inequality remained an agonizing problem, but its dimensions were redefined. Second, at the same time, established industrial societies moved toward a new set of technologies that had substantial social implications. Some observers talked of a third, or postindustrial, revolution in trying to convey the magnitude of these new developments. Continued change in advanced industrial societies, plus the surge of newcomers, raised vital questions about mutual relationships, such as, How could old and new industrial economies best interrelate? This facet was related strongly to the preceding categories of change—industrialization had a more decisive impact on the international framework than ever before. Communications accelerated, commercial contacts moved to new levels, and industrial units operated worldwide in a process that came to be called “globalization.” The industrial revolution, which had already changed the nature and extent of international contacts, now burst beyond the bounds of nations and even whole civilizations. Finally, global industrial growth helped to generate a new level of social and environmental change, altering many aspects of the human experience in most of the world’s regions.
New Members of the Industrial Club: The 1960s
The most dramatic new industrial revolutions took shape starting in the 1960s and occurred in medium-sized nations and city-states on the Pacific Rim. The industrialization of South Korea propelled this nation to unprecedented economic levels, making it a growing force in industrial exports of such goods as automobiles, electrical appliances, and ships; by 2006 the nation had the tenth largest economy in the world. Taiwan (the Republic of China after Nationalist forces established their government there in 1948, following their loss to communist forces on the mainland) was a second site of Pacific Rim industrialization. The city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore rounded out the membership of the Pacific Rim’s industrial club—along with Japan, of course, as senior member, which was now the world’s second largest economy. In another part of the world, the new state of Israel established an industrial economy, which included a strong commercial agricultural sector. And South Africa emerged further as the only substantially industrial economy on the vast African continent.
These centers of new industrialization were not large. They combined some distinctive features in their growing industrial success that were lacking in most other nonindustrial areas of the world. All the new industrial revolutions depended on careful government backing. The Pacific Rim states, most of them initially operating under authoritarian strongman governments, meticulously planned industrial development, implicitly imitating many of the policies that had developed previously in Japan. These governments also limited political dissent. None of the economies was state-run; these countries encouraged free enterprise, but the government’s planning role was crucial. All of the new industrial economies also benefited from strong contacts with the West. South Korea emerged from a war with communist North Korea early in the 1950s with massive U.S. support. American economic aid and military spending did not alone account for South Korea’s industrialization, but they provided an important initial spur. Taiwan was another Asian Cold War center, as the United States long opposed the new communist regime of the mainland. Again, substantial economic aid and military spending—a U.S. fleet operated from Taiwan—helped launch an industrialization process. By the time the United States recognized the mainland People’s Republic of China in the 1970s and reduced its commitment to Taiwan, the island’s industrial revolution was self-sustaining. Singapore and Hong Kong gained advantages into the 1960s from heavy British military and economic investment. Israel drew hundreds of thousands of European Jews, who brought with them
Although dramatic industrial revolutions occurred in several parts of the world, the expansion of industrial economies included other patterns as well. The integration of parts of southern Europe and Eastern Europe (for example, Romania) with the industrial economies of Western Europe and the Soviet Union, respectively, also multiplied the number of industrialized nations and regions. The process of fanning out showed clearly in Spain. Two Spanish centers—Catalonia in light industry and Bilbao in metallurgy—had industrialized earlier. After 1950 Spain received substantial investment from both the United States and Western Europe and ultimately became a Common Market member. This investment set the framework for industrialization from the 1970s onward, though Spanish industrial levels continued to lag somewhat. The same pattern emerged in parts of the American South. Before 1900 this region was largely a raw-materials supplier to Europe and the industrial northern United States. Then some light industry began to locate in mill towns, drawing on cheap labor. General U.S. industrial expansion during and after World War II created a genuine industrial boom in some southern states, which acquired a label connoting the strong economy: the “New South.” Developments of this sort were vitally important, but although they expanded the industrial geography, they created no major new themes. Rather, they extended the process of industrial integration of what had initially been fringe areas of existing industrial regions.
Far more novel and important was the surge of industrial development in new parts of Asia and Latin America, which was characterized by two major phases: important cases of full-scale industrial revolutions by the 1960s and the even more important surge of new industrializations by the century’s end.
Israel: Development in the Desert
The establishment in 1948 of the state of Israel involved significant industrialization. This development was important, but it was also highly unusual in terms of industrial history.
During the first half of the twentieth century, Jewish settlers in Palestine had brought with them assumptions about commerce and technology drawn from their European background. As Zionists they had a deep commitment to Israel and also to a wider range of economic activities than had been common among European Jews. In particular, they worked to extend commercial agriculture in an area where centuries of excessive farming had reduced the fertility of the soil. They drained swamps, established new irrigation systems, and sank new wells. In sum, a major transformation of agriculture had occurred before the formation of the Israeli state. Extensive commercial production, some of it destined for export sale, was based not only on hard work and cooperation among the settlers but also on advanced agricultural technology and construction. The state of Israel extended commercial agriculture, concentrating on products such as fruits, eggs, and cotton that could be sold abroad.
Commercial agriculture laid the groundwork for the development of new industry, which was also furthered by massive Jewish immigration, initially mainly from war-torn Europe, which doubled the Jewish population between 1948 and 1953. Many of the new settlers, though ravaged by the Holocaust, brought established craft and commercial skills and moved relatively easily into the task of establishing an industrial economy.
Israeli industrialization focused on the production of consumer goods that would both supply needs within Israel and be suitable for export. By the 1960s a quarter of the population worked in manufacturing, and although agriculture remained important, Israel by this point was an industrial leader in the Middle East. The nation depended heavily on imports, particularly of advanced machinery and raw materials for industry. Despite its export energy, it tended to suffer from an adverse balance of payments, which was offset by earnings from tourism and by continued foreign aid.
The Pacific Rim
Led by South Korea, the Pacific Rim began to industrialize rapidly during the 1960s. The achievement of these countries was in many ways unexpected. Many of the new centers, including South Korea and the island nation of Taiwan, had little apparent industrial background and few particular advantages in launching an industrial revolution. Many had been devastated by World War II and subsequent events. Japanese occupation had been brutal and costly. Taiwan had subsequently suffered from being taken over by communist China between 1945 and 1949; a new, Nationalist Chinese government, committed to continuing the struggle with its giant communist neighbor, took control of the island. Tensions and some outright hostilities peppered the 1950s. Korea, divided between communist- and Westerncontrolled zones after 1945, faced recovery not only from the long period of Japanese control but also from the costly war between North and South that broke out in 1949. Few observers in 1950 could have predicted South Korea and Taiwan as locations of the world’s next decisive set of industrial revolutions. Indeed, most assumed that industrialization would come next in one of the more stable newly independent nations, such as India.
South Korea, Taiwan, and other parts of the Pacific Rim certainly matched the classic latecomer industrial model, much as Japan had before them. They faced immense industrial competition from established areas, including a rapidly rebuilding Japan. They needed to develop special advantages to catapult them into the ranks of the industrializing powers. Again like Japan and Russia, the previous leaders in latecomer industrial revolutions, the Pacific Rim nations relied heavily on state planning and state guidance—in societies governed by authoritarian leaders who actively supported the process of economic transformation and who were eager to prevent political instability. Government direction was supplemented by low-wage labor, which provided opportunities for developing relatively inexpensive factory production in certain sectors despite an initial lack of technological leadership.
Some parts of the Pacific Rim were also able to build on previous if limited experiences with factory industry. Hong Kong, for example, was one of the centers in which British and Chinese business interests had developed extensive commercial institutions and some modern manufacturing from the late nineteenth century onward. Scholars have found the case of South Korea less clear. Japanese occupation after 1910 had been exploitative, and many observers have assumed that the results held down Korean economic development. However, some recent research has suggested that although Japan unquestionably used Korean resources and labor as supplements to its industrial economy, it also provided some significant industrial experience on the peninsula. The Japanese government built railroads and Japanese businesses invested in some Korean factories with an eye to sales back home.
Explicit government support and some prior factory development do not, however, account for the extraordinary surge of the Pacific Rim after 1960. Many other regions of the world had governments that backed industrialization, and many had gained at least as much experience in modern manufacturing during the 1880–1950 decades. Many, certainly, could and did offer low-wage labor. Two other factors seem to have prompted Pacific Rim industrialization, differentiating this region from the many other areas where the next industrial revolutions might instead have occurred.
First, most of the areas initially involved enjoyed some special contacts with the West after World War II. Singapore, for example, had been founded by Great Britain in the nineteenth century and had long served as a major military base in Southeast Asia; this encouraged business investments even after independence in 1959. Hong Kong was another British enclave from the imperialist period; even as it gained growing autonomy in the 1960s, it was able to use commercial and technical contacts with Britain and the United States as part of its economic development. Taiwan became a major Cold War partner of the United States, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s, when the United States refused to recognize the communist regime on the mainland. Partnership meant military support, but it also meant considerable economic aid until the late 1960s. By the time U.S. aid ended, Taiwan was developing rapidly on its own and indeed generating some manufacturing competition against the United States. The same pattern applied in South Korea. During and after the Korean War, the United States poured substantial economic aid into the nation, hoping to rebuild it as a staunch Cold War ally against the communist regime in North Korea. Again, not only investment but technological exchange was facilitated. Many Koreans, like many Taiwanese, studied in the United States, particularly engineering, management, and agriculture.
The second factor distinguishing Pacific Rim industrialization had to do with important features that these societies shared with Japan. The fact of Japanese industrial success, including the nation’s striking recovery after World War II, served as some inspiration in the Asian Pacific, even in the nations that had cordially detested Japanese occupation. Commitment to reform through the agency of strong government also revived a pattern from Japan’s early industrial decades. Most important, the initial Pacific Rim industrializers maintained a substantial Confucian cultural tradition. Like Japan, they had to modify Confucianism substantially in order to industrialize, providing more attention to scientific and technical training and more defiance of purely traditional learning than strict Confucianism entailed. But Confucianism also provided special habits of deference and cooperation conducive to forming industrial management strategies, building on group loyalty, and engaging in collective decision making. The same habits encouraged a bond between workers and managers, promoting a willingness to work hard and sacrifice for the good of the firm or the nation. Confucian culture provided a different context for the industrial revolution from that of Western or Russian culture, and it promoted different patterns of management and labor; but it was demonstrably successful. This cultural factor was critical to the region’s ability after 1960 to steal a march on the rest of the nonindustrial world and to gain on the established industrial giants themselves.
Industrial Growth in the Pacific Rim
South Korea, the most obvious exemplar of Pacific Rim industrial revolutions, emerged in the 1980s as the most important industrial economy in the region after that of Japan. Government support combined with active business entrepreneurship to create huge industrial firms from about 1960 onward. Exports were actively encouraged, for Korea needed to earn foreign exchange to buy the most modern equipment and some raw materials. By the 1970s, when Korean industrial growth rates began to match those of Japan, Korea was competing successfully in cheap consumer goods, such as plastics, and also in steel and automobiles, and was serving a variety of international markets. Korea based its surge in steel on the most up-to-date technology, a skilled engineering sector, and low wages, soon pushing past Japan. The same held true in textiles, where Korean growth (along with that of Taiwan) erased almost one-third of the jobs in the same industry in Japan.
Huge industrial groups like Daewoo and Hyundai resembled the great Japanese holding companies before and after World War II, wielding great political influence. Hyundai, created by Chung Ju Yung, had 135,000 employees by the 1980s and offices around the world. The company virtually governed Korea’s southeastern coast. It built ships and automobiles. It constructed thousands of housing units for its low-wage labor force, promoting worker stability at a relatively modest cost. Its sponsorship of technical schools provided a steady supply of skilled workers and technicians, for South Korea did not import labor from other areas. Hyundai, like other major Korean companies, also built a framework for workers’ social life and a series of rituals that helped tie workers to each other and to the company. The similarities to the kinds of labor policies installed in Japan, particularly after 1920, were striking. Company sports facilities included an arena for the practice of the traditional Korean martial art, tae kwon do. Workdays began with group exercises and other expressions of solidarity. With their lives carefully organized, Hyundai workers seemed to respond in kind, putting in six-day weeks with three vacation days per year and participating in reverential ceremonies when a fleet of cars was shipped abroad or a new tanker was launched.
Korea’s steady economic gains resulted in a per capita income that rose almost tenfold between 1950 and 1990 despite massive population growth, though Korean living standards still lagged well behind those of Japan. Leading Korean businessmen amassed considerable fortunes. Korean industry competed not only in Japan but also in the United States, where Korean cars made noticeable inroads alongside more massive imports from Japan. The nation was in the world’s top industrial ranks by the twenty-first century, at which point the nation had also become a political democracy.
Industrialization in Taiwan was slightly less impressive than that in Korea, but many basic trends were similar. An authoritarian government, led by Nationalist Chinese, generated some discontent but also provided considerable political stability; this pattern, too, paralleled that of Korea. Elaborate economic planning mechanisms were designed to make the most of limited capital and resources, though as in Korea government action was compatible with considerable latitude for private business. Increased government funding of education produced rising literacy rates and rapid improvement in levels of technical training.
Taiwanese manufactured products sold widely around the world. Inexpensive consumer items, including plastic products and textiles, became a Taiwanese hallmark. Japan served as the nation’s most important trading partner, purchasing foodstuffs, manufactured textiles, chemicals, and other industrial goods. Japan’s own explosive growth by the 1980s clearly facilitated the further development of Pacific Rim industrialization, as Japan concentrated increasingly on high-technology production, depending on other areas not only for raw materials but also for the less expensive categories of factory goods—some of which had once been Japanese staples when the nation launched its surge into world industrial markets.
The two other centers of Pacific Rim commerce and industry were the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore. Manufacturing and banking services came to surpass shipping as sources of revenue. Oil refineries and textile and electronics factories joined shipbuilding as major sectors. Hong Kong also built on its status as a major world port. Its banking sector expanded because the city served as a commercial bridge to communist China. Export production in industry, particularly in textiles, combined high-speed technology with low wages and long hours for the labor force, yielding highly competitive results.
Expanding the Rim?
By the 1980s the steady industrial development of the Pacific Rim—led, of course, by Japan as the oldest and largest industrial power in the region—was beginning to draw in other parts of eastern and southeastern Asia plus Australia. An eastern Pacific economic zone was taking shape, the most advanced sectors stimulating factory development in outlying areas. During the early 1960s, for example, the Malaysian government began to fund expansion of the manufacturing sector (then responsible for only about 15 percent of total national income). No full industrial revolution occurred, but the range of manufactured products climbed, and standards of living improved as well. Thailand was another entrant into the region’s rapid-growth sectors. A significant stream of Thai workers labored in Japan (along with migrant workers from the Philippines and Korea, since Japan’s labor force no longer sufficed for all the nation’s needs, particularly in the less-skilled jobs). Exports from Thailand expanded, mainly in the category of foods and raw materials, but Japanese demand helped expand the manufacturing sector as well. The expansion of the Pacific Rim economy embraced Indonesia, where economic growth accelerated, though without as much manufacturing as in Thailand or Malaysia. Australia participated actively, expanding its industrial exports but, particularly, serving as Japan’s major supplier of foods and raw materials aside from petroleum.
The Pacific Rim encountered serious setbacks in the 1990s, and Japanese growth slowed decisively. By the early twenty-first century, however, growth in countries such as Korea had resumed vigorously and provided renewed evidence that a durable industrial revolution had occurred throughout the region.
Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey: The Next Wave
The emergence of growing industrial economies in Mexico, Turkey, and Brazil did not initially rival the industrialization of the Pacific Rim in importance or drama. All three countries—particularly Brazil—entered the ranks of significant industrial exporters by the 1980s. Factory textiles in Turkey, for example, became competitive in world trade, with significant exports to advanced industrial nations such as Germany. Brazil’s steel industry exported successfully to the United States, and Brazilian and Korean steel combined to dent American production by the late 1970s. Brazil also became the world’s fourth-largest exporter of computers, deliberately tapping markets below the level of the most sophisticated technology and developing a substantial manufacturing sector in the process.
Governments in Mexico, Turkey, and Brazil eagerly backed industrial development, beginning their support in the 1920s (Turkey) and the 1930s (Brazil and Mexico). Government sponsorship of industry included carefully negotiated trade arrangements with other regions, active solicitation of foreign aid and investment, and support for technical training and infrastructure. Finally, all three nations had developed sectors of factory industry in the previous period in world industrial history, and these served as the basis for subsequent industrial expansion. In short, none of the three was a newcomer to the industrial game.
At the same time, however, Mexico, Turkey, and Brazil continued to experience rapid population growth. A substantial proportion of the labor force remained rural, and the production of agricultural goods for export—including Brazil’s traditional cash crops such as coffee and Turkey’s newer success in growing fruits and nuts for sale in Europe—served as clear reminders that industrialization had not yet displaced earlier commercial patterns. All three countries contained large and expanding numbers of urban poor, as factory growth could not keep pace with the movement of impoverished people to the cities. Brazil and Mexico, in addition, had a substantial foreign debt, which hampered independent economic growth, and Turkey continued to depend on earnings from Turkish workers in Western Europe. All three countries thus showed various and important symptoms of incomplete industrialization, as older economic patterns and dependencies vied with genuine factory growth. Yet there was change; Mexico, Turkey, and Brazil deliberately expanded modern industry to meet internal needs and produce export earnings.
Brazil’s computer industry was a striking case in point. A nation well behind the world’s industrial leaders deliberately fostered an industry capable of serving the nation’s computer needs and so avoided yet another dependence on expensive imports. Governmental regulations protected this new Brazilian industry, and heavily subsidized computer engineers at the technical university in São Paulo constructed independent computer prototypes. Although the industry itself developed only in the 1970s, it clearly built on Brazil’s earlier commitment to industrial growth and technological progress. The engineering group at São Paulo thus stemmed from earlier advances in university science and technology, including nuclear physics; Brazil by the 1970s was producing 3 percent of the scientific articles in international physics journals. Beginning in 1959 the government had supported computer research directly, in connection with the Brazilian navy. Training in advanced electronics expanded steadily. Imports of advanced Western military equipment spurred a growing interest in computers, and collaborative programs were developed with U.S. universities. By 1971 Brazil was ready to develop its own computer model, in partial imitation of European prototypes. A variety of small companies linked to the university center in São Paulo then developed to produce computers. Brazilian computer production depended on imports of microchips from other areas, including Japan; hence, this was not an isolated national industry. But the Brazilian computer industry did demonstrate that prior technical progress, careful government sponsorship, and a growing awareness of production