The Steam Locomotive and the Railways

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At the turn of the 20th century, most of Europe and the United States experienced unprecedented growth. Never before in the history of the world can one see progress moving full steam ahead. Looking back there can be many factors that could have contributed the runaway economic growth especially in the decades after World War II.


But in all these reasons there is one crucial aspect of progress that without it all of the above would have been rendered impossible to achieve. It is the development of steam locomotive and railways.
This paper will look into the current patterns of economic growth in some North Atlantic nations with a special focus on the United States and try to find out the connection with the development of steam locomotive and railways.
It all began in a period of Western history that is now popularly known as the Industrial Revolution. Just like the Renaissance that happened a hundred or so years before it, the Industrial Revolution paved the way for numerous changes in the way men see the world around them.
It is in this period of human history where one could see technology taking over the lives of people and its hold on them could be understood by the help of the following insights by Derry and Williams who wrote that, "Technology is largely concerned with the process of transformation - the transformation of raw materials into useful or aesthetically pleasing articles" (1993, 259).
When scientists and entrepreneurs in the 19th century Europe was able to get themselves familiarized with the tremendous potential of steam engines, they were now ready for another innovation that will change the course of history.
It was an Englishman, George Stephenson and his sons who dev ...
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