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Creating the Twentieth CenturyTechnical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact$
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Vaclav Smil

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168747

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195168747.001.0001

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A New Civilization

A New Civilization

Chapter:
(p.258) 6 A New Civilization
Source:
Creating the Twentieth Century
Author(s):

Vaclav Smil (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195168747.003.0006

Pre-WWI technical advances have created economies and societies whose abundance of material possessions, rates of energy consumption, and overall tempo of life were entirely unprecedented. Both the fundamental infrastructures of modern life and countless everyday actions rest on enduring artifacts and ubiquitous innovations of the Age of Synergy. Mechanization of virtually all productive tasks led to mass production and both were made possible by steadily rising combustion of fossil fuels and generation of electricity. They brought new economic arrangements (including powerful multinational companies) as well as new forms of leisure.

Keywords:   material possessions, energy consumption, tempo of life, mechanization, mass production, fossil fuels, electricity, companies, leisure

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