Chapter

The Great Inheritance

Vaclav Smil

in Creating the Twentieth Century

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195168747
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835522 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195168747.003.0001
The Great Inheritance

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No other period in history has brought so many fundamental technical advances in such a short period of time. This Age of Synergy (1867-1914) saw a rapid introduction of science-based innovations, their prompt commercialization and improvement and their interaction to create a new knowledge-based economy and a high-energy civilization. This unprecedented technical progress laid the lasting foundations for modern societies: it created not only the basic material, economic, consumption, and social patterns of the 20th century but it will determine our fortunes for generations to come.

Keywords: technical advances; Age of Synergy; science-based innovations; commercialization; knowledge-based economy; high-energy civilization; unprecedented technical progress

Chapter.  11814 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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