What factors were important to the international spread of industrialization? Economic life of the West was transformed by the industrialization, which began in England in the eighteenth century. At the beginning of the eighteen hundreds it spread to Western Europe, and by the end of the nineteenth century it had touched most of Western civilization. This period was characterized by economic growth, the factory system of production, and the use of new, artificially powered machines for transportation and mechanical operations. There are important factors to the international spread of industrialization, which provided humans with potential and the ability to produce far more than was needed to sustain a large percentage of the population. Walt Rostow describes four stages of economic growth: traditional society; the preconditions for takeoff; the takeoff; the drive to maturity; and the age of high mass consumption. The preconditions required development of social overhead capital, notably in transportation and finance; technical advances in agriculture so that fewer labor resources were needed to feed members of society; and trade, which promoted specialization. These preconditions were present in varying degrees in traditional societies such as China and Turkey, and in colonies. The spread of industrialization from industrialized countries to traditional societies was created by what Rostow calls the "demonstration effect." There is a positive and a negative aspect of the demonstration effect. On the positive side, through contact with the industrial societies people in traditional societies learned to realize the possibilities open to them. On the negative side, people in traditional societies also came to realize their relative weakness, which they could only redress by also becoming industrialized. These forces encouraged those with national pride in traditional societies to develop the preconditions for takeoff. One of the important factors to the...
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