From Old Regime to Industrial StateA History of German Industrialization from the Eighteenth Century to World War I

From Old Regime to Industrial StateA History of German Industrialization from the Eighteenth Century to World War I

Richard H. Tilly and Michael Kopsidis

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780226725437

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

The book offers a concise narrative account of Germany´s rise to one of the World´s leading industrial nations by the eve of World War One. Drawing on a large volume of recent research it traces the roots back to the eighteenth century, emphasizing the extent to which institutional change could gradually reshape the Old Regime, stimulating the beginnings of its agricultural revolution, the transformation of the guilds and thus, the growing importance of export-oriented rural industries, but also identifying the regional concentrations they reflected. The book´s discussion of nineteenth-century industrializations explains the state bureaucracy and the role of the Prussian liberal reforms (including the Zollverein) as forces shaping early industrialization. It shows how the building of the railroad system affected heavy industrial growth, discussing the extent to which the latter depended on the supply of labor and capital. It goes on to emphasize how investments in education and skills—human capital—promoted technological borrowing and innovation and facilitated the transition to Modern Economic Growth and the accompanying demographic transition in the last quarter of the century. The growing international impact of German industrial growth is reflected in description of the country´s foreign commercial and financial development. The book should appeal both to historians interested in the German experience, but also to economists interested in the determinants of economic development.