Essay On The Impact Of The Government Form On Engineers And Engineering Projects In The 20th Century

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Production, Politics, Government, United States, Adolf Hitler, Technology, Development, Vehicles

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/23

The industrial breakthrough of the twenties century was caused by technological discoveries and new approaches introduced in the production process. The engineering innovations have brought the industrial development on a new level. In many ways industrial achievements in countries such as USA, Germany and USSR would not have been accomplished without government’s promotion. However, the process of technologies introduction into mass production differed depending on the government form. The paper reveals the contribution of the governments in the evolution of engineering processes and its impact on development of the industrial sector depending on the government form.
At the beginning of the previous century US have accumulated a significant industrial force, which eventually has lead to an overproduction followed by the Great Depression in 1930s. However, the progress of the early 20th century has made USA the role model for such countries as Germany and USSR in their attempts to build a powerful industrial infrastructure.
The US mass production has accelerated the economic growth and increased the quality of life of Americans. It is believed that mass production was the evolutionary answer of the consumer market to increased demand for goods. The ‘fathers’ of mass production Henry Ford, Whitney Colt, W. McCormick and other prominent manufacturers introduced large-scale production due to innovative approach, implementation of new technologies and entrepreneurial resourcefulness.
The production of complex mechanisms such as cars or plains required steel details and large equipment. This brought up the problem of interchangeability of parts and standardization issues. Hounshell in his work stresses that US government has made a fundamental step in the right direction promoting interchangeability of different parts and mechanisms beginning from the middle of 19th century. The US Ordinance Department “contributed significantly to the growing sophistication of metalworking and woodworking by the 1850s” (330) by coordinating the production of small arms between state and private manufacturers. Despite huge expenditures during the process of bringing the parts to uniformity, this experience was further spread and applied in other industries thus easing the transition of manufacturers to mass production.
Of course, the managerial genius of Henry Ford was not created by the US government, but the attempt to reproduce his achievements in automobile industry was strongly supported by the Nazi government. According to König Hitler was a motorcar enthusiast and as soon as he came to power in 1933, the Nazi government announced the intention to build people’s car, Volkswagen. The presence of US companies in the German automobile industry was a favorable factor. The policy of German national dominance determined the Nazi government to present their own car even though it was copied from Ford’s Model T. Hitler was aiming at a cheap car that could be affordable for average working class.
Attributable to each totalitarian regime, Hitler’s goal was beyond reach. Several manufacturers such as BMW, Opel, Benz and others were unable to produce a car that could comply with Nazi requirements. Eventually, the Nazi labor front, DAF accepted the project of Volkswagen. According to König, DAF searched for opportunities to maintain political influence and strengthen its position within Nazi regime. Therefore the construction of Volkswagen was more political decision than a business opportunity. DAF imitated Ford’s production process and hired several specialists from Ford’s factories; however the project was in deep crisis. It turned out that despite car’s low price Germans still could not afford Volkswagen due to high oil prices and maintenance costs. It turned out that German consumer market was not ready for mass motorization – the demand for Volkswagen was not meeting the supply. Besides the burden of war played its role – the production capacities were redirected on arms production and potential consumers were liable for military service.
The World Wars and mass armament during the 20th century had their impact on production purposes. The government stimulated (USA) or dictated (Nazi Germany and USSR) the development of defense technology and production of military equipment. Fritzsche in his work states that the outcome of the World War I outlined the importance of aircraft in creating military advantage. Beginning from the 1920’s the “airmindedness” of Germany created the background for the evolution of aviation industry. For many governments airforce was considered as a political tool undermining the threat of military invasion. The scientists and technicians worked not only on constructing airplanes, but also on strengthening air defense. This resulted into the development of civil aviation and a number of great discoveries that enabled humanity to perform space trips and use different military navigation technologies in day-to-day life.

CONCLUSION

The technological evolution in USA was caused by natural development of the market and competition that drove manufacturers to improve quality, optimize production process and increase output whereas government created favorable conditions for entrepreneur enthusiastic ideas. The idea of technological dominance in Germany was imposed by Nazi government. The government initiated and financially supported the development of automobile industry, aircraft and many others by copying the achievements of US in these fields. The totalitarian societies of Nazi Germany and USSR pressed the development of technology in terms of global competition on the threshold of the World War II.

Works sited

König, Wolfgang. "Adolf Hitler vs. Henry Ford: The Volkswagen, the Role of America as a Model, and the Failure of a Nazi Consumer Society." German Studies Review 27.2 (2004): 249-68. JSTOR. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Web. 16 Mar. 2015. <http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1433081?sid=21105665612421&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739232#references_tab_contents>.
Fritzsche, Peter. "Machine Dreams: Airmindedness and the Reinvention of Germany." The American Historical Review 98.3 (1993): 685-709. JSTOR. Oxford University Press. Web. 16 Mar. 2015. <http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2167546?sid=21105665612421&uid=2&uid=3739232&uid=4#references_tab_contents>.
Hounshell, David A. "Polhem 2." From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States (Studies in Industry and Society). Johns Hopkins UP, 1985.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 23) Essay On The Impact Of The Government Form On Engineers And Engineering Projects In The 20th Century. Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/essay-on-the-impact-of-the-government-form-on-engineers-and-engineering-projects-in-the-20th-century/
"Essay On The Impact Of The Government Form On Engineers And Engineering Projects In The 20th Century." WePapers, 23 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/essay-on-the-impact-of-the-government-form-on-engineers-and-engineering-projects-in-the-20th-century/. Accessed 18 April 2021.
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