THE THIRD, INDUSTRIAL-TECHNICAL REVOLUTION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SOCIETY’S PRODUCTIVE FORCES.
1. The origin of industrial-technical revolution.
The dominant position in the development of technical means since the completion of the agrarian-technical revolution was occupied by draught mechanisms, i.e. mechanical tools being driven by draught force of animals. However, at a certain stage of development of productive forces, the production of material values felt the need of another, more productive means and another, more powerful source of moving force than muscle power of animals. This was conditioned by the fact that the development of technics appears not only through its perfection: improvement of design, substitution of existing material for a better one, etc., but also, together with this and under the influence of this, along the line of increase of size of technical means and the number of their working tools. “The increase of the size of working machine and the number of simultaneously operating working tools demand larger motive mechanism, and this mechanism is in need of more powerful motive force” (Das Kapital, vol. 1, p. 382).
Indeed, in agriculture, long before the occurrence of tractors, there appeared, along with one-ploughshare ploughs, also multi-ploughshare one, but, to drive it, not one and not two but several animals were necessary, and this entails great difficulties in manipulation of them and multi-ploughshare plough. That is why, multi-ploughshare ploughs, though being by far more productive, hadn’t found wide application before the appearance of general purpose tractors. The same concerns transportation. One or even three horses are not enough to move a cargo weighing several tons. The same picture is in industry (and in construction).
The technical means having reached a certain level of development felt the need of new, more powerful, more perfect, more efficient source of motive force. The propulsion mechanisms (mechanical engines), first of all – engine using wind energy (sail, windmill) and engine using water energy (water-wheel: undershot, breast, overshot ones, and later – water turbine), became this new source of motion of mechanical tools. The steam engine became widespread in XVII-XVIII centuries; in XIX century it was the main engine, especially in industry and transport. In XIX and XX centuries, internal-combustion engines (carburettor and Diesel), steam and gas turbines became widespread; electric motor became extremely popular in XX century.
The draught technics and tillage agriculture took the dominant position in social production for a long period of time since the completion of agrarian-technical revolution. But however long the draught technics ruled among the technical means, it exhausted its ability in the end, while the needs of people and society as a whole continued to grow. And this very constant, ceaseless growth of human needs is the perpetual motion machine of technical and technological progress.
Perfection of old and invention of new technical means (and production technologies) are induced by human aspiration to improve their living conditions, to make their labour easier and more productive, and, consequently, to heighten their living standard. There is a contradiction between the growth of people’s needs and the level of their satisfaction that develops in such a way that the satisfaction of some needs inevitably generates other, new needs. And when this contradiction is strengthened owing to slowing down the tempo of satisfaction of needs that, to a great extent, depends upon the pace of technical progress, then, among other things, the need in new technics becomes apparent. The role of this new technics was played, in the period under consideration, by machine technics, the mass introduction of which into the social production signifies the beginning, origin of the third revolution in the development of productive forces of society – the industrial-technical revolution.
The wide application and distribution of machine technics in social production at the beginning of industrial-technical revolution marks the formation of new (fourth), higher mode of technics that replaced the old technical mode. The new mode of technics embraced four technical forms: machines, draught mechanisms, hand mechanisms, and simple technical means.
Generally speaking, some elements of the new mode of technics appeared long before the beginning of industrial-technical revolution. The sailing vessel, the simplest example of machine technics, became the very first machine in history. Machine is a mechanical means of labour in which the working mechanism (working machine) with one or more working instruments (tools) is driven not by muscular force of man, like in hand mechanisms, and not by muscular force of animals, like in draught mechanisms, but by motive mechanism using the power of abiocoen (inanimate nature): wind, water, steam, chemical fuel, electric energy, etc. As the sailing vessel is a technical (transportation) means driven by wind energy, we should refer it to machine technics. Another example of machine technics that was an element of new, fourth mode of technics is water flour mill that first appeared in I millennium BC and was spread to some extent in Roman Empire. In Ancient Rome, there were attempts to create wind motor and even steam turbine but they were unsuccessful. Water-mill (hydraulic engine) was also used nowhere but in flour mill. Machine technics in Ancient Rome did not develop further mainly owing to availability of super-cheap slave labour.
The flour mill with hydraulic engine was the main specimen of machine technics in the initial period of wide implementation of the latter not counting sailing vessels. “In the South of Trent and Severn (England), there were 5624 water-mills in 1086, i.e. approximately one mill per each 50 households. Undoubtedly, it was enough to change the living conditions of people radically. A new kind of mill driven by power of sea tide appeared at the Adriatic coast in 1044, and in Dover – between 1066 and 1086” (7-62).
In Middle Ages, the vertical water-wheel not the horizontal one, like in Ancient Rome, was used. First, undershot wheel was spread, then – breast wheel, and, finally, overshot one. The latter was the most efficient; it had bigger efficiency factor and, consequently, more power at the same water flow that was of special importance at small rivers where the energy of water is limited by size of the river. Depending on type and design, the water wheel had efficiency factor in the range from 0.3 to 0.75. The first water-wheels were made all-wood, then people began to make some parts, first of all – shaft, of metal, mainly of iron. The power of hydro-engine rose with the increase if its dimensions: diameter, width. Perfection of hydraulic engine enabled to improve its performance specifications: efficiency factor, power, service life, etc. considerably.
One should bear in mind that, in flour mills, not only water-wheel but also flour-milling mechanism was perfected. The history of its perfection was described by K.Marx: “In flour mill, the part of machine is also developed that previously, by means of the same motive force, performed an independent work – the part of work separated from flour milling itself, and, thus, the process of milling is combined mechanically.
At first, people didn’t think about separation of flour from husk and bran. After milling, ground grain was bolted through sieve. For a long time, ground grain being just out of millstones was collected into a special box later called flour-sieve. Afterwards, these boxes began to be equipped with bolters and a special device that set them in motion by means of crankshaft. People managed with such a mechanism up to beginning of XVI century when the mechanism in which the bolter in the form of grid is shaken by the mill itself was invented in Germany. The invention of this mechanism caused the need of production of a special fabric, so-called haircloth, that later was made by means of manufacturing” (K.Marx. “Machines, the use of forces of nature and science”. Questions on history of natural science and technics. M. 1968, number 25, p. 32).
Wind flour mills appeared and became widespread in Europe later than water mills. In Islamic countries, water mills occurred earlier than in Europe, but they were of different design: blades were fixed to the rim of horizontal wheel with mill-stone rotating on vertical shaft. In European mill, wings depart from horizontal shaft that rotates a mill-stone by means of a pair of toothed gear wheels. The first windmills in Europe were of gantry design; they rotated together with housing on the trestle as wind changed its direction. Since it was difficult to rotate hard mill manually with the help of levers, its weight, size, power, and, consequently, productivity were to be limited. Besides, strong wind could overturn such a mill. So, wind flour mill was improved, transformed to hip-roof mill. “The mill on the trestle, so-called German mills, was the only kind to be known up to the middle of XVI century. Heavy storms could overturn such a mill together with its foundation. In the middle of XVI century, a certain Fleming invented a method that made such an overturn impossible. He made only roof of mill moving, and to turn vanes down-wind only roof was to be turned while the building of mill itself was fixed on the ground” (K.Marx. “Machines, …” p. 32).
The improvement of wind-mill allowed to increase its power several times. First, hip-roof mills were installed and fixed on the ground. Then they began to be placed on stone base (Holland). In general, wind-mills, like water-mills, were perfected constantly during their existence; K.Marx described the history of development of mills in his work “Machines, the use of forces of nature and science”.
Since XI century, machine technics was widely used not only in food industry but also in many other sectors of industrial production as well as in other branches. The spinning machine was invented in China at the end of XI century. In Europe, the process of spinning began to be mechanized in XIII century. The processes of twisting and rewinding the silk were mechanized in 1272 in Bologna. “In XIV century, such a machine with water-wheel as a drive became highly productive and, working under the supervision of two or three artisans, substituted the labour of several hundreds of workers” (7-72). The mechanization of spinning of linen, cotton and wool clothes took place much slower.
The first mechanical spinning loom consisted of two wheels: small, spinning one that was connected to spindle, and big one. The big wheel was rotated manually or by means of pedal mechanism, and this rotation, through the belt (rope) drive, was transmitted to small wheel with the spindle. At first, such a simple machine was used for spooling thread only, but already by the end of XIII century it began to be used directly for spinning and in XIV century it became widespread. Processes of spinning and spooling were carried out by turns. In 1480, the spinning-wheel was invented that represented an improved spinning loom that was supplemented by a fork rotating around spindle at another speed that allowed to combine operations of spinning and spooling the yarn. In XVI century, the spinning loom was supplemented with foot pedal drive that freed the hand of spinner by which he previously rotated the big wheel holding a handle. These inventions not only increased the productivity of labour of spinners but also improved the quality of yarn because the spinner began to perform the operations of twisting and spooling by both hands.
The weaver’s loom having “firm bed equipped with rollers that made weaving a continuous process, hanging reed that secured dense and regular perforation of weft by pedal harnesses, and many other devices” (7-71) appeared in Europe in XIII century. The band weaver’s loom able to weave several bands simultaneously occurred in Europe (Leiden) in 1621. By the end of XVII century, this loom was widespread in Holland, Germany, Switzerland, England, France. More than 3000 band looms were used in France at the end of XVIII century.
In 1589, William Lee invented the knitting machine that was one of the greatest inventions of that time. The machine had about one hundred knitting needles and was used for mechanical knitting of stockings.
Many textile machines (for knitting, spinning, carding and fulling) had hydraulic drive. In the latter, the water-wheel beat off cloth in the water making it thicker and stronger as a result of shrinkage.
Mechanical tools based on hydraulic engine were also widely applied in extractive (mining) industry as lifting, dewatering, ventilation facilities; crushing and transport mechanisms. The book “About mining and metallurgy” of German scholar G.Agricola, that was written in 1550, contains a lot of data about mining machinery. The book contains a figure of water-wheel two metres in diameter that was used for evacuation of water but, probably, such powerful hydraulic engines were also used for lifting ore at mines. At that, this wheel had not one but two rows of buckets that enabled to reverse the direction of wheel rotation by means of levers. The evacuation of water at mines was the most difficult work in mining, since water created the permanent threat of water-flooding of excavations; at that, the deeper the level was, the more was the danger. The most powerful hydraulic engines were used at that time for evacuation of water. Various technical means were invented thereto: cup and bucket elevators, norias, piston pumps, etc.
Since XVII century, blasting operations began to be used for disintegration of hard rocks. The powder was used for the first time for underground mining in 1627 at a mine in Slovakia. The use of explosion method allowed to free 40 to 50 miners that previously worked manually.
Hydraulic engine began to be used for crushing ore in stampers since XVI century. “In Germany, in the first years of XVI century, the true crushing machines … with pestles that pounded ore in crushing tub were invented. The pestle covered with iron was installed in front of the shaft of water-wheel, and the tyres of this shaft, during its rotation, lifted the pestle” (K.Marx. “Machines, … “ p. 38).
In 1783-1789, Russian inventor K.D.Frolov put into practice his grandiose hydro-technical project at Kolyvan-Voskresensk mines in Altai. Frolov had built a dam 17.5 m high and 128 m long; the water from storage reservoir, through the sough 443 m long and channel 96 m long, got to the first hydraulic engine 4.3 meters in diameter that drove a power-saw bench. Then the water was divided into two flows. One of them went to Preobrazhensky mine, and the other, along the underground channel 128 m long, got to the second hydraulic engine that drove an ore-lifting facility elevating the ore from the levels of 45 m, 77 m and 102 m. During one hour, the lifting machine served by 12 workers lifted 12 buckets weighing 30 poods (nearly 500 kg) each from the depth of 102 m. From the ore-lifting wheel, the water flow made its way, through an underground channel 64 m long, towards the third hydraulic engine 17 m in diameter that drove the pumps evacuating water from the depth of 213 m. Then the water flow, through an underground channel, was directed to the fourth hydraulic engine 15.6 m in diameter impelling the pumps and, at the same time, an ore lift that raised ore from the depth of 60 m. This hydro-technical facility, the largest one of that kind in XVIII century, was in operation for a long time even after Frolov’s death.
The application of hydraulic engine in metallurgy for driving air-blowing bellows not only enabled to rise the productivity of labour of metallurgists sharply but also led to the invention and mastering of cast iron. Cast iron first appeared in XIII century and became widespread in XV century. Since XIV century, blast furnaces occurred and became extended in Europe. In 1620, at the metallurgical works of Herz, more perfect, productive and durable wooden bellows began to be used, that began to displace leather air-blowing bellows. And since the middle of XVIII century, the cylindrical air-blowers that increased the productivity of blast furnaces sharply began to be applied. For example, in England, owing to the use of new air blowers, productivity of blast furnaces rose four times, from 10 to 40 tons per week.
All these and many other innovations enabled to increase the production of cast iron, demand for which constantly rose in the course of development of industrial-technical revolution. If, in 1500, the worldwide smelting of cast iron was 66 thousand tons, then, in 1700, it reached 104 thousand tons, and in 1790 – 278 thousand tons. (4-91) “…The volume of smelting of metal in Europe began to rise significantly since XV century that promoted the improvement of instruments and other labour tools in all the branches of production. The mechanical hammers for forging and swaging of metal driven by water-wheel began to be used” (21-194).
In Middle Ages, the foundry was perfected, the production of mouldings to split metal moulds (chill casting), as well as thin-walled and hollow-walled mouldings was mastered.
In X century, the draw-plate for dragging iron wire was invented, and since 1351 the dragging of wire was mechanized by means of hydraulic engine. “In XIII and XIV centuries, there began the construction of large forges for rolling metal, especially iron, copper, brass and lead to bars or sheets by means of heavy iron hammers driven by pins of water-wheel shaft” (K.Marx. “Machines, … “ p. 38).
Machine technics on the basis of hydraulic engine being the main motive mechanism at the initial phase of industrial-technical revolution, in the period of its origin, was widely used in manufacturing industry as well. In XIII century, the water-wheel began to be applied for sawing logs to boards. Mechanized saw-mills (power-saw benches) became widespread since they increased the labour productivity and efficiency of production. "The saw-mills driven by water appeared already in XIV century. There was a saw-mill in Augsburg in 1337. The first saw-mill in Norway named "New Art" was built in 1530.
In XVI century, there were mills with multiple moving saw blades that sawed one or several trees to boards" (K.Marx. “Machines, … “ p. 36-37).
In XIII century, hydraulic engine began to be used to rotate grinders by means of which knives, axes, plough-shares, spades and other cutting instruments were sharpened.
Large technical improvements in manufacturing industry took place. Drilling machines and lathes were perfected. The design of lathe changed in a radical way. The bed and head became hard. In XIII century, lathe was equipped with a foot pedal mechanism to rotate spindle with work-piece. In XIV century, lathe (spindle) began to be driven by hydraulic engine that caused far-reaching consequences. At the beginning of XV century, lathe was supplemented with belt drive, and, at the end of that century, the moving support began to be created. "Since the middle of XIV century, hydraulic engines began to be used to drive lathes. Drive belt via the wheel with crankshaft was applied, apparently, already since 1411, in any case, since that century. The first steps to create moving support were made approximately in 1480" (7-79).
At that very time, semi-automatic machine for cutting the teeth of files and polishing machine were invented. "The simple lathes, drilling and polishing machines began to be applied for cold machining of metals in XV century" (21-194).
Hydraulic engine was widely adopted in production of paper and plywood. In paper production, water-wheel was used for pounding and grinding rags, in plywood production – for fine sawing of sea wood and rear kinds of wood. (K.Marx. “Machines, … “ p. 37).
In the period of origin of industrial-technical revolution, machine technics not only penetrated all the sectors of industry. It was also widely used in another branches of social economy. In XV century, a new type of sea vehicles – caravel – appeared in Spain and Portugal. Its occurrence was one of the greatest achievements of medieval technical progress. Caravel quickly displaced another, less perfect and efficient sea vehicles: nave, galley, cogga. Caravel had three working masts and sails of rectangular shape. Instead of one big sail, as it was the case on old sea vehicles, caravel had several rectangular sails positioned by tiers. This not only reduced the danger when sailing in stormy weather but also enabled to reduce vessel crew, to increase its speed, and, the main point, to sail in necessary direction, regulating wind energy by means of sails, while old vessels were toys of wind being able to go only down wind.
Another important achievement in the field of sea transport was the invention of modern steering control that took place in Europe in VIII century. If, previously, ships were controlled by a primitive rudder scarcely differing from steering oar that didn't allow to steer ships effectively and thus was an obstacle for building large ocean ships, then now the rudder began to be fixed firmly on stern-post and placed below water-level to hide it from waves. Now people could make large rudders and, consequently, build large sea and ocean vessels.
Further large inventions necessary for sea transportation were compass (XII century), chronometer and telescope.
These inventions, especially the two first, had grandiose consequences: the great geographic discoveries, creation of colonial system, so-called trade revolution and "revolution of prices". It should be noted here that these events were the consequences of not only technical progress in sea transportation; they (like technical achievements themselves) were accelerated with the capture of Mediterranean – Black Sea trade way by Arabs and, later, by Turks that defeated Byzantine Empire.
In the course of development of inland shipping, there was an innovation as well, namely sluices with gates that appeared in XIV century in Netherlands and then began to be used also in other countries.
Machine technics was widely adopted in water supply of cities, the problem of which occurred with the appearance of cities themselves. This problem was resolved by erection of large pumping plants that were put in action by water pump driven by hydraulic engine. Some cities in Germany had water-pumping plants already at the beginning of XVI century. A complicated system of water supply existed in 1550 in Augsburg. Water wheels set Archimedes's screws into motion, the latter lifted the water to water-tower wherefrom it was brought to consumers via water-pipe. Many cities of Europe began to build water-pumping plants and water-pipes using hydraulic and wind engines: in Toledo (1526), Gloucester (1542), London (1582), Paris (1608), etc.
Hydraulic engines were used for another purposes as well. In 1682, in France, R. Salesh and A. de Ville had built a water-power plant on the river Seine consisting of 13 hydraulic engines more than 8 m in diameter that drove 235 pumps lifting water to the height of 163 m for water-supply of fountains in royal parks.
In Netherlands, the application of great number of wind motors, that were used to pump over the water from the land plots separated from the sea by dams, enabled to win over vast territories from the sea that began to be used in agricultural production. In arid zones of Europe, water and wind engines were widely used for field irrigation that enabled to increase crops considerably.
In XIV century, gunpowder began to be used in Europe that caused an overturn in military and hunting technics. Application of powder led to complete displacement of traditional weapons of warriors and hunters: bow, spear, arbalest, etc. by more effective fire-arms. The powerful siege military technics: mangonels, catapults, battering-rams were substituted for artillery with the invention of gunpowder.
First, barrels of guns were made of iron bars fastened together by hoops, then – solid-forged. In XVI century, guns were supplemented with wheeled gun-carriages. With the development of metallurgy, gun barrels began to be cast from bronze, later – from cast iron. Guns were made smooth-bore and loaded from muzzle. In XV century, cast-iron cannon-balls, grape-shot, explosive shells (XVI century) began to be used. Fire-arms were improved even further being widely spread both in hunting and in soldiering, both overland and in the sea (military sailing vehicles began to be equipped with guns).
Thus, the forces of inanimate nature began to be used as the source of motive force not only for production of material values but also for their destruction, as well as for killing people. However, the explosive force of gunpowder was used not only as destructive force for waging war. As we have already said, fire-arms made an overturn in the technics of hunting business. Another application of powder was its use in mining for disintegration of hard stone rocks during the extraction of mineral products. In 1548-1572, gunpowder was used during performing blasting operations for clearing fairway of the Neman river. In 1680, the outstanding scientist Christian Huygens made attempt to create a piston mechanical engine driven by explosive force of powder. And though that attempt was unsuccessful, it put an idea of similar piston engine driven by steam into Denis Papin's mind.
A large part in the development of machine technics in the first period of industrial-technical revolution had been taken by mechanical clock being the most complicated mechanism of that time. “Water-mill and clock are the two inherited machines the development of which, already in the era of manufactory, paved the way for machine period” (K.Marx. “Machines, … “ p. 36). “Clock is based on the idea of automatic machine and automatic motion used in the process of production. History of the theory of uniform motion goes hand in hand with the history of clock” (ibidem).
The first clocks, the same being sun-dial and water-clock (clepsydra), that appeared already in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution, existed in Europe up to XIII-XIV century when they were displaced by mechanical clock. First, mechanical clock set in motion by suspended small weight was invented. In XV century, the spring watch driven by spring motive mechanism was invented and became extremely popular. “Perfection of cog-wheel and spring clockwork laid the ground for creation of various mechanisms that later were widely used in production (for example, speedometer, ratchet, toothing, etc.)” (6-35).
Many inventors, mechanicians, scholars took part in perfection of clock for the purpose of creation of more precise clockwork. In 1641, Galileo Galilei constructed the first pendulum clock intended for use in navigation. His son had partly built it in 1649. In 1657, Huygens created several clocks of higher accuracy in which pendulum, elastic spring and balance-wheel were applied. Many inventors were occupied by improvement of mechanical clock for a long time, among them: Hook having created the clock with hairspring and balance escapement in 1658; Clement having built the clock with anchor left-off in 1670; Graham, Le Roy, Bertuz and many others.
In XVIII century, Russian inventor M.P.Kulibin (1735-1818) was occupied by perfection of clock. He had built the clock that is kept now in St. Petersburg’s Hermitage; it is a bit more than duck’s egg in size and is decorated by golden case. This clock consisting of 427 parts played various melodies and, when the minute hand approached to “12”, the tiny golden gates were opened, small figures of people appeared and a miniature theatrical performance was played before spectators. Kulibin had also built the clock that, together with hours and minutes, displayed months and phases of Moon and Sun.
The significance of clock, along with accurate definition of time, lies in the fact that, with the origin of industrial production of clocks, there began the epoch of precision production without which the modern machine building would be impossible. If, in the course of agrarian-technical revolution, mass production appeared (pottery in craft industry, grain production in agriculture), then, in the course of industrial-technical revolution, social production was supplemented with precision production. “Production of clocks, even large and imperfect ones that the first specimens were like, demanded much more accuracy of manufacture than all previous machines did. They say, the modern machine building is a child of marriage between the fine skill of watchmaker and the technics of heavy engineering industry used by the builders of mills and other powerful engines” (7-74).
With the origin of book-printing in XV century, the fast development of papermaking began. A big number of small and large paper-mills (workshops, manufactories, factories) based on the use of hydraulic engine were built. Right after the mastering of paper production, the book-printing was mastered as well. The invention and wide spread occurrence of paper and book-printing played a tremendous role in propagation of scientific and technical, economic and political information, literature and culture. The book-printing had accelerated technical progress of future centuries.
Thus, we have considered in short the development of machine technics in the period of origin of industrial-technical revolution. We see that the period of approximately XI century should be regarded as the beginning of the third revolution in the development of productive forces, because, since that very time, there began systematic introduction into social production of new mechanical means – machines that, though relatively slowly but steadily, began to transform the world. S.Lilly writes the following about this period of development of productive forces: “… Middle Ages had changed the face of industry. The epoch of energetics began though its modern overall penetration was yet to come. Nevertheless, many kinds of work began to be done at the expense of power of water, wind and animals while previously all that were done by human muscles.
Machines penetrated into many branches of life and became customary. Moreover, they had resolved many practical problems very successfully. The mankind began to acquire a new faith. Already in the middle of XIII century, the English monk and scholar Roger Bacon expressed the spirits of that time very clearly: “first of all, I will say about wonderful works of man and nature, to call then the reasons and ways of their creation that have nothing supernatural in them. From here, one can make sure that all the supernatural forces are beneath these achievements and are unworthy of them… After all, one can create large river and ocean vessels with engines controlled by only one helmsman and moving at higher speed than if being full of rovers. One can create a chariot moving at incomprehensible speed without harnessing animals to it… One can create a flying apparatus inside which a man could seat and, operating one or another device, make artificial wings strike like birds do… One can build a small machine lifting and lowering weights, very useful machine… Along with these, one can also create machines that could help people sink to the bottom of rivers and seas without detriment to their health… One can build many more things, for example, a bridge across the river without any piers…”
Opportunities, Bacon told about, … inspired people with a new faith that let them, during the last seven centuries, achieve more improvement of their lives than for all preceding history” (7-80).
S.Lilly calls this period of development of productive forces the beginning of the second “main technical revolution”, as we have already mentioned in the first chapter. Saying about it, he writes: "… And the second one (revolution) imperceptibly began in Middle Ages and, since then, is gaining more and more pace and getting more and more scope” (7-408).
The authors of “The Modern Scientific and Technological Revolution” also call this period, or, rather, part of this period (end of X – first half of XII century) of development of productive forces, a technical revolution: “Shop craft production was based on the use of mills – water-wheels driving not only flour-grinding millstones but also other mechanisms (saws, air-blowers, etc.). Along with water-mill, the great role in the establishment of shop craft production was played by clock. Perfection of cog-wheel and spring clockwork laid the ground for creation of various mechanisms that later were widely used in production (for example, speedometer, ratchet, toothing, etc.)
Although the water-mill, as we have said above, was already known in Ancient Rome, it began to be widely used in production only at the end of X – in the first half of XII century. As a result, there appeared a possibility to use new kinds of energy – power of water and wind – substituting energetic functions of man in many branches of production. It is in this period that the third technical revolution took place” (6-35).
However, there is a big difference between the second technical revolution of S.Lilly and the third technical revolution of the authors of “The Modern Scientific and Technical Revolution”: while S.Lilly includes both industrial-technical and modern sci-tech revolution in his second technical revolution, the authors of “The Modern Scientific and Technical Revolution”, on the contrary, divide the industrial-technical revolution into two independent technical revolutions – third and fourth ones. At that, the third technical revolution took place, as we have seen, at the end of X – at the beginning of XII century, and the fourth one – at the end of XVIII – in the first half of XIX century.
But both these theories of development of productive forces have something common unlike, say, Volkov’s theory, namely both of them recognize the availability of such radical changes in the development of medieval productive forces, in particular – technical means, that enable to call them a technical revolution.
The authors of “The History of Technics” don’t say about technical revolution in Middle Ages but they also write about radical changes in technics of that period: “A characteristic feature of development of technics in manufactory period was the wide spread of labour implements driven by natural forces. The water (hydraulic) wheel became the main engine; it was applied in all sectors of production. All the implements that were previously put in action manually or by power of animals, for example, hand mills, pumps, bellows, etc., in manufactory period, began to be driven by hydraulic wheel.
Hydraulic wheels were already used in the countries of Ancient East: in Egypt, China and India, water-mills were applied in Ancient Greece and Rome, but it’s only in manufactory period that water-wheel became the main engine in industry” (4-84).
Considering the first two revolutions in the development of productive forces, we have seen that, at the initial phase of these revolutions, the two interrelated processes took place. First, the mechanization (its first stage – the stage of partial mechanization) of one of the branches of production sphere was carried out. And, second, the origin, formation of new, higher mode of technics that substituted existent technical mode took place. Looking at the first phase of industrial-technical revolution, we see the same. On the one hand, the mechanization of industry on the basis of machine technics (complex mechanization), draught technics and hand mechanisms began, on the other hand, there appeared a new, higher mode of technics embracing simple technical means, hand mechanisms, draught mechanisms and machines, at that, at the first phase of industrial-technical revolution, the dominant position belonged to the draught mechanisms. And machines, in spite of their wide spread occurrence in all the sectors of industrial production and in some other branches of both production and non-production sphere, played a secondary role.
2. Uprise of industrial-technical revolution.
Speaking of new materials that began to be widely used in the era of industrial-technical revolution, one can say that this era is the era of alloys. Before the industrial-technical revolution, people knew and used only one alloy – bronze on a large scale. Now, there began the wide application of alloys on the basis of iron: cast iron and steel, and later – alloys on the basis of aluminium: aluminium-copper, aluminium-magnesium ones. Light alloys began to be used by the end of industrial-technical revolution. Together with above alloys, many other ones were used but their application was less frequent.
At the initial stage of industrial-technical revolution, machine technics were made mainly of wood, only parts that directly accepted mechanical load, as well as the parts that cannot be made of wood, were made of metal. Even the first steam boilers were made of wood, in the form of barrel with hoops. This can be explained by the fact that metal and alloys were expensive; besides, it was easier to make machine parts of wood. Cast iron, the smelting of which was mastered in XIII century, was being molten with the use of charcoal (like all other metals) that, in particular, conditioned their high value. However, methodical improvement of technology of ferrous metallurgy gradually led to significant decrease of value of cast iron and to the rise of its quality. Among these technological achievements there were: transition of ferrous metallurgy from charcoal to black coal, coal carbonization, improvement of blowing with the use of steam engine, increase of the height of blast-furnaces, improvement of methods of puddling of cast iron in reverberatory furnace, application of hot-blast, etc. As a result, the application of cast iron expanded quickly. The smelting of cast iron in England was: in 1768 – 62, in 1796 – 125, in 1806 – 250 thousand tons. In the middle of XIX century it rose to 3 million tons, and by the end of XIX century it was equal to 8 million tons.
Many machines, such as internal-combustion engine, steam engine, steam turbine, electric motor, electric generator, motor-car, etc. needed more durable material than bronze, iron and cast iron. Steel became this new material that satisfied the needs of machine-building. Like cast iron, steel was mastered at the dawn of industrial-technical revolution but its extreme expensiveness hampered its wide application. The invention by Henry Bessemer of the method of repartition of cast iron into steel by means of burning-out of impurities using air blast in special furnace – converter, as well as invention by Siemens of Martin (open-hearth) method of steelification paved the way to the production of cheap steel and its universal use. Of all alloys and of all materials altogether, steel became the most used material for the production of technical means, especially in machine building. Various steel grades appeared and became widely used: alloyed, tool, stainless, heat-resistant, etc.
Light alloys became widespread after the invention (independently by an American Hall and a Frenchman Erus) of electroplating technique of production of aluminium. These alloys were most widely used in aviation industry.
Thus, if, before the industrial-technical revolution, the most used materials were wood, clay, copper, bronze and iron, then, in the course of the revolution, one can refer wood, clay, cast iron, steel, duraluminium, as well as concrete (reinforced concrete) and abrasives to the main materials.
In the course of industrial-technical revolution, there took place further improvement of methods (mechanical and physical) of the impact onto objects of labour that were previously used for the production of various products: cutting, sawing, drilling, grinding, casting, tempering, etc. Along with them, new mechanical and physical methods appeared that mainly used machine technics. Among them: milling, punching, drawing, abrasive machining, electric welding, flame cutoff, treatment of materials under pressure, high and low temperatures.
Together with the development of mechanical and physical methods, a principally new method of impact onto objects of labour was mastered and widely used in the course of industrial-technical revolution. It was the chemical method of impact. It has a difference from other methods: during its use, there appears a transformation of substances, necessary substances are obtained from the others by means of chemical reactions. Chemical methods of impact become widely used in various branches and sectors of social production. In agriculture, chemical fertilizers enabling to have big crops began to be applied. By means of cracking process, people began to obtain various combustible and lubricant materials from oil: benzine, kerosene, diesel oil, mazut, etc. In metallurgy and machine building, the methods of cyanidation, nitration, chemical protection of metals from corrosion, oxygen blasting were widely used. In extractive industry, acid treatment of oil and gas wells, underground distillation of slates and coal were applied. In manufacturing industry – chemical conversion of wood, gas, coal. Chemical methods are used at present in radio-electronics, nuclear energetics (5-44).
Thus, if, before the agrarian-technical revolution, mainly mechanical methods of processing of objects of labour were used, and if, in the course of agrarian-technical revolution, mechanical methods were supplemented with physical methods of impact, then, in the course of industrial-technical revolution, the three methods of processing began to be applied: mechanical, physical and chemical.
During the industrial-technical revolution, together with old main kinds of energy – muscular power of man, muscular power of animals, wind energy (sailing vessels) and energy of burning wood – new kinds of energy: energy of tamed stream of water and chemical energy of combustibles – coal, oil and oil products, natural gas began to be widely used. Along with these, primary kinds of energy, a secondary kind – steam energy was also applied.
Water energy began to be widely used for rotation of hydraulic engine (water-wheel) that was the main motive mechanism in industry in the period of origin of industrial-technical revolution and remained such up to XVIII century. Along with water-wheel, water energy (at the final stage of industrial-technical revolution) was also used to set water turbine in motion. But if in the former case water energy was used in production directly, then in the latter case it was used for generation of electric energy.
Chemical energy of combustibles was used in heat-engines, in metallurgy, for heating buildings (dwelling, production, official, etc.). Considerable part of combustibles was used as fuel for engines of various kinds: steam engine, internal combustion engine (carburetor and Diesel) that worked mainly on liquid as well as gas fuel. Chemical energy of combustibles is used for heating rooms and for cooking meals, in metallurgy and in foundry. Chemical energy is widely applied in motor-car, river, sea, railway transport, in agricultural and military technics. Chemical energy of mineral substances turned, in the course of industrial-technical revolution, to the main kind of energy used by man and remains such at present. In some cases, it is consumed directly, for example, in Diesel or gas turbine. In other cases it is used by way of secondary energy: steam energy, electrical energy. It should be noted that electrical energy was not widely used during industrial-technical revolution. It was applied mainly for lighting and as the means of communication (telegraph). The main kind of secondary energy used in the period of industrial-technical revolution was steam energy. And the electrical energy displaced steam energy and became the main kind of secondary energy only by the end of industrial-technical revolution or, rather, at the phase of origin of the next, scientific and technological revolution in the development of productive forces.
During the industrial-technical revolution, there appeared, like in the course of all the other revolutions, accelerated specialization of technical means, especially in industrial production, as well as expansion of operational (manufactory) division of labour.
If branch (social) division of labour is the division of labour between enterprises, so that some of them produce one kind of products and relate to one branch while other enterprises relate to another branch producing another kind of product, then operational division of labour is the division of labour inside enterprises, between single workers during the manufacture of some product. If previously, in the course of manufacture of some product, peasants or craftsmen performed all the operations by themselves in series from the first to the last one, from the beginning to complete manufacture of labour product, then now, inside industrial enterprise (workshop, manufactory, factory, plant), different workers perform single operations.
Manufactory division of labour, as well as the application of machine technics, leads to the increase of labour productivity. K.Marx writes about this in “Das Kapital” more than earnestly, so we will not dwell upon this question. Machine technics and manufactory division of labour sometimes develop separately, independently, especially during the origin of either. But mostly they (as well as specialization of labour tools) develop together, supplementing and conditioning each other, so that next step in the development of manufactory division of labour promotes further development of machine technics, and next step in the development of machine technics conditions further development of manufactory division of labour.
The progressive development of operational division of labour in the period of industrial-technical revolution was the same way natural as the wide spread of branch division of labour in the course of agrarian-technical revolution: separation of agriculture, cattle-breeding, hunting business, fishing, craft production, metallurgy, mining, commerce, etc. as independent branches or sections.
3. Maturity of industrial-technical revolution.
Technical overturn in industry.
As we have already seen, during the origin of industrial-technical revolution, the main motive mechanism was hydraulic engine (water-wheel). However, in the course of the development of industrial-technical revolution, the power of hydraulic engines and, even more so, windmills became less and less sufficient to cover the need for motive mechanisms in various branches of production. Besides, water-wheels and wind-mills had another disadvantages. Water-wheel could be used only at the river banks, so industrial enterprises had to be built, as a rule, far from sources of raw materials. Some enterprises, for example, in extractive industry, could not be supplied with water at all, because the river was too far. Moreover, season fluctuations of water level in rivers stipulated the necessity of reduction of production capacity. Wind-mills, in their turn, supplied enterprises with motive power irregularly, only in windy weather.
That is why, there appeared a need in engine that could be used anywhere, unlike hydraulic engine, at any time, unlike wind-mill, and of any power that could be needed in production. The steam engine became such in XVIII century.
The appearance and wide spread of improved highly productive machines in textile industry accelerated its invention, perfection, application to production and overall spread. The use of steam power in production began with creation of steam pump of Severy at the end of XVII century, but this pump was not very widespread owing to its imperfection. In particular, it did not contain one of the main elements of future steam engine – cylinder with piston, though it had another main element – steam boiler. The first steam engine, created by Papin in 1690, that was equipped with cylinder and piston but didn’t have steam boiler, was not practically applied as well.
Thomas Newcommen was the one to join both these elements in one machine at the beginning of XVIII century. Although his engine was imperfect, had low efficiency factor, small output power and big weight, and hadn’t got rotating shaft that limited the field of its application, nevertheless it was widespread in many countries of Europe in the course of XVIII century.
The steam engine of Newcommen was improved in the second half of XVIII century by an ingenious English mechanician James Watt. By the end of XVIII century, he turned it to a universal engine that, all the XIX century long, was the main motive mechanism in many branches of production and, first of all, in industry.
“Steam engine was the first international invention. First, engines for driving working machines used in specific conditions were developed, then the combination of these “partial” engines led to the creation of universal steam engine.
Indeed, the water-wheel “gave” steam engine the main principle of motion that provided the functioning of working machines – comparatively continuous rotational movement of output shaft…
The use of water steam as actuating medium was transferred to steam engine from the steam pumping facility of Severy. This guaranteed the steam engine its relative ubiquity; it was weakly dependent on local conditions at the place of its location. The powder machine of Huygens gave steam engine the main principle of its constructive form – a cylinder with a piston moving inside it…
The steam engine could not perform its function of universal and ubiquitous engine (relatively in both respects, of course) if it were not for appropriate transfer mechanism to transmit motion from engine to machine tools.
Functional diagrams of transfer mechanisms used up to present time were developed on the basis of experience of production of clockworks. K.Marx regarded clock as the material basis, on which, together with mill, the preparatory work for machine industry was carried out.
Thus, all the main technical achievements gained in the course of development of partial engines were embodied in the steam engine” (1-55).
As we mentioned above, the wide spread occurrence of Watt’s steam engine was greatly promoted by highly productive mechanical textile machines, the wide application of which was conditioned by invention of mechanical (airplane) shuttle by John Key in England in 1733. Labour productivity of weavers increased sharply, as a result of which spinning began to fall behind of weaving being not able to provide the latter with yarn.
Then, a lot of inventions and improvements were introduced in spinning production: spinning by means of rollers of Lewis, Paul and White who constructed such an installation in 1741; spinning machine “Jenny” of Hargreaves invented in 1764 and improved in 1768 that operated with the help of sliding member; water-machine of Arcright invented in 1769 that enabled to produce purely cotton fabrics; mule-machine of Crompton invented in 1779 and operating by means of rollers, slide and spindle without fork; ring spinning machine of an American John Thorn constructed by him in 1828 and perfected by his compatriot Mason in 1831; automatic mule-machine (mule spinner) of Richard Roberts (1825 to 1830) equipped with a self-operating device – quadrant that automatically controlled the speed of spindle rotation during the reeling of spinning thread. Roberts’ mule spinner was later improved by James Smith, who automated almost all its operations except for some auxiliary ones.
As a result of introduction of the very first inventions, the spinning production not only caught up with weaving production but left it far behind. In response to this, a surge of inventions and perfections took place in weaving production concerned with the names of Barber (1774), Cartwright (1787), Redcliff (1802), Johnson (1803 to 1805), Austin (1789) and Horrocks (since 1810). As a result, weaving loom turned to a universal machine, productivity of weavers’ labour increased sharply, and the lag was eliminated.
Since the 80-ies of XVIII century, weaving looms were spread at up-tempo. In 1787, Cartwright established the first mechanical weaving factory with twenty looms. By the 20-ies of XIX century, there were 14150 steam looms in England and Scotland, by 1829 – 55 thousand, in 1834 – already 100 thousand mechanical looms (4-131).
Many other mechanical machines were invented in textile industry: Gaccard’s machine for production of shaped fabrics with intricate patterns (1804); carding machines of Paul, Born and Arcright (1784); combing-machine of Cartwright (1792); Bell’s machine for printing calico and others.
“From the middle of XVIII up to the end of XIX century, productive capacity of textile industry of England increased several times owing to the use of above machines. It worked up the world markets…” (7-124).
The first steam engine in textile production was installed in 1785; in fifteen years, already 84 steam engines were applied at cotton factories. By 1850, steam engines with overall capacity of 71000 hp were used in cotton industry” (7-131).
“The development of trade was a powerful stimulus for improvement and spread of machines. So, the number of mechanical spindles in English cotton industry increased from 1951 thousand in 1787 to 6645 thousand – in 1815. Since the time of invention of steam engine in 1784, their number reached 15 thousand by 1825. Introduction of machines caused the reduction of prices of English commodities; their low prices were a powerful weapon in the struggle for markets. English commodities strongly competed with products of other countries. Even in France, second world leader by the level of industrial development, English woolen cloth and cotton fabrics were 2 to 3 times cheaper comparing with French products.
Competition with England forced businessmen of France, Germany, USA, and other countries to introduce machine technics rapidly” (1-67).
Widespread introduction of mechanical machines took place not only in spinning and weaving production but also in bleaching, dyeing and other sectors of light industry. “Overturn in the method of production that took place in one sphere of industry conditioned similar overturns in other spheres … machine spinning caused the need of machine weaving, and both of them stipulated the necessity of mechanical-chemical revolution in bleaching, calico printing and dyeing branches of production” (Marx, Engels. vol. 24, p. 395).
Rapid development and production of textile machines and steam engines conditioned the need of great number of various large and small metal parts to be made with high precision. Being made manually, mechanical tools were produced slowly, in small quantities, and costs of their production were high. Production of more and more complex technical means caused the need of more productive and more skilful labour of machine-builders. This led to radical transformations in machine-building industry. A landmark here was the creation of turning lathe of modern design that was built by Henry Modsley in 1797 and improved by him in 1800. This machine was characterized by tool support, all-metal structure, planarity of slide surfaces, precise lead screw for travel of support with cutting tool along the workpiece, and gear-box. After the appearance of turning lathe of Modsley, its further improvement (for example, by Joseph Witworth in 1833) and wide expansion, many other machines began to be invented and widely applied in machine-building: planing machine created by English workers by 1840, milling machine, machine with turret head, profiling machine invented by Blanchard in 1818, circular grinding machine (1864), semi-automatic machine, multi-spindle machine, gear-cutting machine (1870-ies), worm-milling machine (1880-ies), and others.
By the end of XIX century, there was a section of precision serial production in machine-building that was in need of a great amount of various metals (alloys), first of all – steel and cast iron. A number of inventions and innovations in metallurgy enabled to increase the production of ferrous metals sharply and satisfy the need of machine-building. Among them were: transition of metallurgical works from charcoal to black coal, coal carbonization, application of steam engine for blowing, use of hot-blast, improvement of methods of puddling in reverberatory furnace, invention of steam drop hammer (John Wilkinson in 1783), hydraulic press (Bramm in 1796), rolling mill (Cort in 1783) and steam drive to it (Wilkinson in 1796), Bessemer’s converter, open-hearth method of steelification, etc.
Smelting ferrous metals was speeded up according to the growth of machine-building.
The increase of fleet of steam engines and the development of metallurgical production demanded more and more coal that was the main kind of fuel in the period of technical overturn in industry (industrial overturn). In view of the growth of coal production, the mechanization of the latter began.
The coal cutter with a swinging pick was invented by Michael Menzis already in 1761. In 1843, the coal cutter with round saw was invented. In 1863, disk coal cutter appeared. Since the middle of XIX century, machines in coal face were driven by compressed air, and since the beginning of XX century – by electric motors. Mechanization of other mining operations was carried out, though slowly: coal face conveyer (1902 to 1913), coal loader (1903), etc.
Machine technics found also its application in construction where steam, and then – Diesel and electrical lifting cranes, conveyers, bulldozers, excavators, ditching machines, pipe-laying machines, road-building machines, and other machines were widely applied.
With the increase of extraction of iron ore and coal, industrial production, expansion of trade and city construction, the need for transportation of goods and people grew as well. The creation of steam locomotive and steamship, as well as their wide application enabled to satisfy these needs.
The first locomotives were built in England. In 1814, George Stephenson constructed his first locomotive for coal mines that transported 30 tons of weight at the speed of 6.5 kmph. In 1829, Stephenson’s “Rocket” was No. 1 at the competition for the best locomotive. His machine with 30 passengers on board achieved an enormous speed for those times – 48 kmph. After that, in England, and then in other countries, rapid construction of railways and trains with Stephenson’s locomotives began. If, by 1838, only about 800 km of railways were built in England, then, five years later, their overall length was 3 thousand km, and in another five years – 8 thousand km. Since 1840 to 1870, overall length of railways in the whole world increased 14 times. Locomotives were getting more and more perfect, their power and speed of trains rose.
The first steamship was built by Robert Fulton in France in 1803. Steamship “Clermount”, built by him in America in 1807, made 8 kmph. Steamship “Elizaveta”, built in Russia in 1815, made 9 kmph. In 1839, a Swedish engineer Ericson built in America a screw steamer “Prinston” that beat the best paddle-boats in the contest for speed. In 1818 (according to other sources – in 1819) people managed to cross the Atlantic by steamer for the first time. At the end of XIX century, P.D.Kuzminsky constructed and, for the first time, installed a steam turbine rotating at the speed of 8000 rpm at a ship. S.O.Makarov designed and built “Yermak”- the first steam ice-breaker in the world.
Since the end of XIX century, steamships, size, carrying capacity, power, speed and reliability oh which increased more and more, displaced sailing fleet. Perfection of ships continued. If, at first, they had wooden structure, used Watt’s steam machine as an engine and paddle-wheel – as a propulsion device, then, later, wooden structure was substituted for steel one, paddle-wheel – for screw propeller, and steam engine of Watt – for steam turbine and Diesel engine.
Thus, machine technics, in the period of industrial overturn (technical overturn in industry, including construction), found the wide application not only in industrial production but also in transport: both land (railway) and river and sea transport. If, during the hunting-technical revolution, mechanical means of labour (hand mechanisms) took the dominant position in hunting and fishing (as well as in military sphere), and if, in the period of agrarian-technical revolution, mechanical means (hand and draught mechanisms) took the main position in agriculture (as well as in transport), then, in the course of industrial-technical revolution, mechanical means (hand mechanisms, draught mechanisms, and machines) began to play the leading role also in industry, including construction. Industrial production, in the course of industrial-technical revolution or, rather, in the course of technical overturn in industry, turned to the third mechanized branch of production sphere, after hunting / fishing and agriculture. But if mechanization of hunting and fishing in the course of hunting-technical revolution was carried out on the basis of hand mechanisms, and if mechanization of agriculture during agrarian-technical revolution was carried out mainly on the basis of draught mechanisms, then mechanization of industry in the period of industrial-technical revolution was grounded mainly on machine technics.
Simple technical means continued to occupy the dominant position in the sphere of mental labour, including science, and in some branches of non-productive sphere: trade, life. However, during the industrial-technical revolution, machine technics displaced not only simple technical means, but also pre-machine forms of mechanical tools from various branches of productive and non-productive spheres. If, during agrarian-technical revolution, draught technics began to occupy the dominant position in agriculture and transport having displaced simple technical means from there, but did not become widespread in hunting and fishing where hand mechanisms continued to play the leading part, then, in the course of industrial-technical revolution, machine technics took the dominant position not only in industry where the main role was previously played by simple technical means, but also in transport and agriculture, where the prevalent position was taken by draught mechanisms, and in hunting (as well as in military sphere), where the hand mechanism played leading role earlier. Thus, machines displaced all the forms of pre-machine technics: hand, draught mechanisms and simple technical means from various branches of social production, taking the dominant position in them. But it doesn’t mean that machine technics caused complete disappearance of other forms of technical means. The latter continued to exist; they were produced on a still larger scale and played a considerable part in social production. However, in all branches except for spheres of mental labour, commerce and life, they played a secondary role.
During the industrial-technical revolution, there appeared a substitution of old mode of technics for new, higher technical mode, in which, in the course of industrial overturn, machine technics became the main form of technical means in many branches of social production. This substitution of old mode of technics for another one in characterized not by disappearance of old technical forms and appearance of new one instead, but by addition of new form of technics – machines – to old forms of technics: simple technical means, hand and draught mechanisms.
So, what do these new technical means – machines – represent? What is their difference from another forms of technics, in particular from mechanical labour tools: hand and draught mechanisms?
Considering hand mechanisms, we saw that, during the work of man with their help, there appeared the transfer of function of operation of working instrument from man to technical means. This executive function is embodied in new, second element of hand mechanisms – working mechanism. Considering draught mechanisms, we saw that one more function (together with executive one) is transferred from man to technical means – function of transmission of motion energy. This function is embodied in new, third element of draught mechanisms - transfer mechanism. When a man works with the help of new mechanical means of labour – machines, the transfer of one more function, together with executive function and function of transmission of motion energy, from man to machine takes place – motive function. Thus, four main functions are embodied in machine: function of direct impact onto objects of labour that is materialized in working tool, one of more; function of operation of working tool (executive) that is embodied in working mechanism (working machine); function of transmission of motion energy, incarnated in transfer mechanism; and motive (energetic) function embodied in new, fourth element of machine – motive mechanism (mechanical engine, machine-engine).
As one can see from the aforesaid, machines differ from other technical forms by their composition as well. If simple technical means consist of one element (main element) – working (instrument) tool, if hand mechanisms consist of two elements: working mechanism and working tool, and if draught mechanisms consist of three elements: transfer mechanism, working mechanism and working tool, then machines consist of four elements (being four-element technical means): motive mechanism, transfer mechanism, working mechanism and working tool.
In such a way, further complication of technical means took place, that consist not only in increase of number of working tools (cutters, drills, shuttles, spindles, etc.) and often even of number of working mechanisms in one mechanical facility (machine), not only in the rise of its power, size, weight, productivity, efficiency, and not only in substitution of more simple transfer mechanism (harness) for another, more complex transfer mechanism, but also in the fact that new mechanical means (machines) possess a qualitatively new main element that was absent in older, pre-machine technical means. This new element was mechanical engine in which the motive or energetic working function is embodied.
Thus, in the course of technical overturn in industry (industrial overturn), new mechanical means – machines – took the dominant position in industrial production and in many other branches of social production. There appeared the mechanization of industrial production on the basis of machine technics (machinization) that developed from the phase of initial mechanization that took place during the origin of industrial-technical revolution, into the phase of advanced mechanization.
4. Completion of industrial-technical revolution.
If mechanical means of labour, that were set in motion by man and occupied the dominant position in technics during the first revolution in the development of productive forces of society, found its application first of all and mainly in hunting, and if mechanical means of labour, that were set in motion by animals and played the leading role in technics during the second revolution in the development of productive forces, found its application first of all and mainly in agriculture, then new mechanical means of labour, that were driven by engines and took the main position in technics during the third revolution in the development of productive forces, found the most wide and quick application, as we saw above, in industry, in all its sections.
Machine technics found its quickest and widest use in industrial production mainly because the most primitive, unproductive technics, as compared with other branches of social production, were used in this branch. If, by the beginning of industrial-technical revolution, in many spheres of human activity, such as hunting, fishing, agriculture, transport, military field, the dominant position in technical means was occupied by mechanical means: hand and draught mechanisms, then in industry simple technical means continued to play the leading role. Mechanical means, though being used in various sectors of industrial production, constituted insignificant part in all the technics of industry, played a secondary role. At the same time, the significance of industry grew more and more, especially in connection with expansion of trade, development of the means of communication, production of new weapons to wage wars and to conquer foreign lands, with building cities. On the eve of the third revolution in the development of productive forces, the industry was the most perspective branch for introduction of new, machine technics.
As a result of wide introduction of mechanical means in various branches of social production, industry gradually turned to the leading branch of production. Its leading role is determined, first, by the fact that, in the course of industrial-technical revolution, their various sectors gradually concentrated the majority of population that found their application in machine-building, woodworking industry, extractive industry (including mining), metallurgy, chemical industry, timber industry, construction, etc. And, second, the main point, industrial production began to give the major part of gross product of one or another country where industrial-technical revolution took place.
In spite of apparent absolute similarity between the structural-branch overturns of different revolutions in the development of productive forces, between the last phase of industrial-technical revolution and last phases of the first two revolutions in the development of productive forces, there is a big distinction between them. Hunting (fishing) business turned to the leading branch of ancient economy, in the course of hunting-technical revolution, not only at the expense of reduction of amount of labour in gathering, but, at the same time, at the expense of reduction of amount of food-stuff obtained by means of gathering. It became possible, because both in hunting (fishing) and in gathering people produced one and the same product – food. The food-stuff that was lost owing to reduction of gathering, was compensated by the increase of procurement of food in hunting and fishing businesses. Moreover, this growth in hunting and fishing was more than loss from the shortening of production in gathering. Similar phenomenon can be observed in the course of structural-branch overturn of agrarian-technical revolution. Owing to the fact that new main branch – agriculture and, related to it, cattle-breeding – produced food, ancient people could, without prejudice to themselves, reduce hunting, fishing and gathering or leave them at all and occupy themselves exclusively by agriculture and cattle-breeding.
Looking at the history of industrial-technical revolution, we see quite a different picture. Agriculture, being the leading branch before the industrial-technical revolution, produced food-stuff. And industry, turning to the main branch in the course of industrial-technical revolution, produced not food-stuff but industrial products. So, people could not leave entirely or even reduce agricultural production, production of food-stuff. The structural-branch overturn, being the last phase of industrial-technical revolution, was carried out not at the expense of reduction of agricultural production, as it was the case during the first two revolutions, but at the expense of sharp increase of labour productivity in it by means of wide application of new, machine technics and new, more progressive technology.
As the industrial production developed in the course of industrial-technical revolution it needed more and more workers. To produce many machines and much metal, to extract ore and coal, to build cities and plants (factories), to transport people and weights, many working hands were necessary. And the main supplier of labour power of that time was agriculture in which, since the time of agrarian-technical revolution, the absolute majority of population was concentrated. But for the population of one or another country, where the industrial-technical revolution took place, not to feel any lack of food-stuff in the course of decrease of agricultural population, the constant growth of labour productivity in agricultural production was necessary. If rural population, say, halved, then the labour productivity of remaining half should rise not less than twice. And this continuous growth of labour productivity could be achieved mainly owing to application of new highly productive machine technics in agricultural production. That is why machine technics began to be widely used in agriculture, especially by the end of industrial-technical revolution.
Michael Menzis invented threshing machine with hydraulic drive already in 1732, but it was not spread then. In 1786, Andrew Makle invented threshing machine with rotating drum that became widely used since the beginning of XIX century. Since 1802, threshing machines began to be converted to steam drive. In 1794, James Cook invented drum straw-cutter. Machine for cutting edible roots and making fodder was invented and began to be used at that very time. In 1826, in Scotland, Patric Belle constructed the reaper, but it was not widely applied. In 1834, a reaper of another design was invented by an American Syrus McCormick, and this machine became very popular. About 50 thousand reapers were used in the USA in 1870. By the beginning of XX century, reaper plants of Chicago had produced 5 million reapers that were exported to all countries of the world (4-178). In 1878, the reaper - sheaf-binder appeared in the USA enabling to double the labour productivity. In 1836, the first combine harvester was constructed, but it became widespread only later, with the appearance of tractors.
Various machines began to be used in agriculture: potato-planter, potato-digger, mowing-machine, hay spreader, mechanical rake, baling press (invented in the USA in 1881), sowing-machine, winnowing machine, and many others.
Steam engines began to be used for tillage since the middle of XIX century. First, there appeared tractors with steam engine, then – with internal combustion engine, first of which was built in the USA in 1890. In 1910, the tractor with light petrol engine was constructed.
Machinization of agriculture allowed to increase manifold the labour productivity in it and, owing to this, the same way manifold decrease the overall number of agricultural workers. The major part of labourers released from agriculture shifted to various sectors of industrial production; as a result, the majority of population of the countries, in which the industrial-technical revolution not only began but was completed, concentrated in industry.
If, before the industrial-technical revolution, peasants constituted the majority of population of one or another country, and if still earlier, before the agrarian-technical revolution, the majority of population were hunters or fishers (or hunters-fishers), and before the hunting-technical revolution – gatherers, then, by the end of industrial-technical revolution, industrial workers and employees began to build the majority of population. At that, in some countries, workers of physical and mental labour occupied in industrial production constituted, by the end of industrial-technical revolution, the absolute majority of overall number of labourers in the country, in other countries – only relative majority, i.e. more than in any other single branch of social production.
The industrial labourers represented the absolute majority, as a rule, in the countries that entered the path of industrial-technical revolution earlier than the others. The earlier, as compared with other countries, the industrial-technical revolution in one or another country took place, the more is the part of industrial workers in the whole able-bodied population of the country. On the contrary, the later was the beginning of industrial-technical revolution in a country, the less is the part of industrial labourers. In some countries, they may not constitute even relative majority. It concerns the countries that entered the path of industrial-technical revolution too late, so that the second half or completion of industrial-technical revolution took place simultaneously with the beginning of the next revolution in the development of productive forces - scientific and technological revolution – that left a mark on structural-branch distribution of labourers. However, even in these countries, industry (including construction) became the main branch by the end of industrial-technical revolution, since it was in industrial production that the main part of gross social product (by its value) was made at that time.
The industrial-technical revolution in England took place earlier than in other countries, so, by the end of the revolution, the part of industrial workers in all able-bodied population was there the most significant. Probably, already in the middle of XIX century, workers of industry (and construction) constituted the majority of all labourers. As F.Engels wrote in 1884: "Sixty to eighty years ago, England was a country like any other, with insignificant and underdeveloped industry, with thin, mainly agricultural population. And now it resembles no one country, having the capital with population of 2 ½ million people, huge factory cities, industry that supplies all the world with its products, producing almost everything by means of complicated machines, having industrious, intelligent, dense population two thirds of which are occupied in industry …" (Marx, Engels, vol. 2, p. 256).
It should be noted that industrial workers constitute the majority, absolute or relative, of population of one or another country only at the final phase of the development of industrial-technical revolution. And while the revolution passes through the first phases of its development, the industrial labourers represent a minority of population. In the course of development of industrial-technical revolution, the number and share of industrial workers in all able-bodied population grows constantly until they become the majority by the end of the revolution. The significance of industry in social production increases accordingly until it turns the main branch of it.
If, before the industrial-technical revolution, all the countries were agrarian ones, then, in the course of the revolution, the countries in which it takes place become first agrarian-industrial, then, as it develops further, – industrial-agrarian, and, finally, industrial countries.
Thus, by the completion of industrial-technical revolution, the industry (including construction) turns to the leading branch of social production, in which the major part of gross social product is made, and in which the majority, absolute or relative, of able-bodied population of one or another country, in which the industrial-technical revolution takes place, is concentrated. And agriculture shifts to the position of the second, by significance, branch of social production.
5. The main characteristic features of industrial-technical revolution.
So, what is the essence of the industrial-technical revolution? What are its most characteristic features distinguishing it from the other revolutions in the development of productive forces?
As we have already seen, at a certain stage of development of society and its productive forces, there appeared the mass invention, production and wide application and spread of new mechanical means – machines that were not only more productive, more powerful and more complex, but also qualitatively different from other technical means: simple tools, hand mechanisms and draught mechanisms. These new mechanical means contain a new main element (link) – motive mechanism that was not possessed by previous forms of technical means. The motive function that was earlier performed either by animals (in draught mechanisms) or by man (in hand mechanisms and simple technical means) is embodied in this new element. Thus, new mechanical means are four-element technical means consisting of motive mechanism (mechanical engine), transfer mechanism, machine tool (working mechanism) and working tool (one, several, or many).
The wide application and expansion of machine technics signify the appearance of a new, higher mode of technics embracing the four main forms of technical means: machines, draught mechanisms, hand mechanisms (integral tools, compound tools and non-tool technical means); this mode had displaced the old one.
The new mechanical means – machines, together with old mechanical means – hand and draught mechanisms, found the widest application in industry (and construction); the mechanisation of the latter took place. The industry, in which machine technics took the dominant position in the course of technical overturn, became the third (after hunting / fishing business and agriculture) mechanized branch of production sphere.
At the same time, the new mechanical means did not confine themselves to expansion only in industrial production – they became widespread also in hunting business and agriculture, as well as in transport and military field, displacing the other forms of technical means from there, carrying out the machinization of labour (production) in these branches.
In the course of industrial-technical revolution, the substitution of the old technological mode of production for a new one took place; the technological overturn was accomplished. New materials appeared: cast iron, steel, light alloys, abrasive materials, reinforced concrete; they took the place of the main materials, displacing many old materials.
Along with improvement and expansion of application of mechanical and physical methods of impact onto objects of labour, new, chemical methods of impact were mastered and began to be widely used. These were: cracking (thermal decomposition) of oil, production of mineral fertilizers, chemical protection of metals (and alloys) from corrosion, cyanidation, nitration, etc.
New kinds of energy began to be used as the main ones: chemical energy of coal, oil and its products, natural gas; energy of rivers. Of the secondary kinds of energy, the energy of steam found the wide application, electric energy began to be used by the end of industrial-technical revolution.
The rapid specialization of technical means, especially in industrial production, took place; the operational (manufactory) division of labour continued to develop.
Together with technological and technical (in industry) overturns, the structural-branch overturn took place being the continuation of the former two ones and, at the same time, the final phase of the industrial-technical revolution. Industry, including construction, turned to the leading branch of social production, in which the major part of gross social product was produced. Labourers of industrial production constituted the majority of able-bodied population, agrarian countries turned to industrial ones, and machine technics took the dominant position in the whole new mode of technics.
So, the main characteristic features of industrial-technical revolution are:
- Mass production and wide application and expansion of new form of technical means – machines. The appearance of a new, higher mode of technics comprising simple technical means, hand mechanisms, draught mechanisms, and machines.
- Complication of technics, appearance of four-element technical means consisting of engine, transfer mechanism, machine tool (working mechanism) and working tool.
- Transition from man to the new technical means – machines (together with the functions of operating working tool and of transmission of motive energy) also of the motive (energetic) function that is embodied in a new, fourth element of new mechanical means – motive mechanism (machine-engine).
- Wide application of mechanical means: machines, draught and hand mechanisms in industrial production (and construction); its mechanization. Displacement of simple technical means by mechanical means out of industry, occupation by the latter of the dominant position in industry (realization of technical overturn). Transformation of industry to the third mechanized branch of productive sphere (after hunting / fishing business and agriculture). Occupation by the machine technics of the dominant position in the whole new mode of technics by the end of industrial-technical revolution.
- Appearance and wide application of new materials, becoming the main ones: cast iron, steel, duraluminium, reinforced concrete, abrasive materials.
- Appearance and widespread occurrence, along with mechanical and physical methods of impact onto subjects of labour, also of new, chemical methods of impact.
- Mastering and wide use of new kinds of energy: chemical energy of coal, oil and its products, natural gas and energy of rivers, as well as energy (secondary) of steam.
- Acceleration of specialization of technical means, especially in industrial production.
- Wide spread occurrence of operational (manufactory) division of labour.
- Transformation of industrial production (including construction) to the leading branch of social production, and agriculture – to an auxiliary one (second by significance). Production of the major part of gross social product in industry. Concentration of majority, absolute or relative, of able-bodied population, by the end of industrial-technical revolution, in industry and construction. Transformation of agrarian countries to industrial ones.
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