New Industrial Nations
Railways opened the interior of colonies which, up to now, had mainly been exploited along the coast. Newly industrialized nations such as Germany and Japan tried to build their empires, competing with the old colonial powers for a place in the Sun, using technologies such as new warship designs.
It is difficult to convey the range of the discoveries which were made at this time. The internal combustion engine was invented, which used an explosive mixture of petrol and air for its power. These engines were far more efficient than steam, and soon motor cycles, cars, lorries, tractors, combine harvesters and even ships began to use them and the oil industry started to grow. Petrol engines made powered flight possible and airplanes were invented.
New chemicals and materials such as steel were made. Medicine improved. X-rays and radioactivity were discovered and began to be used for medical purposes. was discovered. People began to be wonder what it could be used for. Soon lights, trams, trolleys and underground railways were invented. Electricity was used for communications, and the telegraph, the telephone and radio were invented. These hugely increased the flow of information within nations and around the world.
Submarines, plastics, aluminum, man-made fibers, pesticides, fungicides, mass production on assembly lines, new inventions and discoveries grew at an ever faster rate. People learnt how to invent inventions.
At this time the little ice age ended. Perhaps this was caused by the greenhouse gases from the larger amounts of coal and oil being burnt by industry. Industrial towns were heavily polluted with smoke and other waste products of industry.
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