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There is abundant evidence for the opinion that after about 1850 the Industrial Revolution entered upon a new phase in its development. Inventions occurred at a more rapid pace than ever before in history. (Between 1850 and 1914 there were more than fifty times as many patents issued in the Unites States as during the preceding sixty years.) Increasingly these inventions were the work of scientists and engineers working in the research laboratory rather than of self-taught craftsmen, as had often been the case in the eighteenth century. [excerpt]


This is a part of Section XIV: The Industrial Revolution, Classical Economics, and Economic Liberalism. The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.