The Great Train Race

by
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2000-09-01
Publisher(s): Berghahn Books
List Price: $135.00

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Summary

From their origins, railways produced an intense competition between the two major continental systems in France and Germany. Fitting a new technology into existing political institutions and social habits, these two nations became inexorably involved in an industrial and commercial rivalry that eventually escalated into the armed conflict of 1914. Based on many years of research in French and German archives, this study examines the adaptation of railroads and steam engines from Britain to the Continent of Europe after the Napoleonic age. A fascinating example of how the same technology, borrowed at the same time from the same source, was assimilated differently by these two continental powers, this book offers a groundbreaking analysis of the crossroads of technology and politics during the First Industrial Revolution.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
vii
Preface viii
Introduction: The Conundrum of Comparative History x
Part I: Launching the Railway Age
France, 1815-1870
3(34)
Liberalism and the Legrand Star
4(4)
The Emergence of the Great Railway Companies
8(10)
The Surge of the Second Empire
18(6)
Trains and Free Trade
24(7)
The Military Implications
31(6)
Germany, 1815-1870
37(31)
The Dilemmas of Political Diversity
38(5)
Particularism Unbound
43(7)
Prussia and the Push for Unification
50(4)
Before the Take-Off
54(6)
Strategic Thought and Military Action
60(8)
Comparisons, 1815-1870
68(17)
Administrative Organization
69(6)
Economic Competition
75(4)
Military Strategy
79(6)
Part II: The Signals Are Set
France, 1870-1890
85(35)
After the Fall
86(4)
The Counterattack of the Companies
90(9)
The Failure of Centralism
99(5)
A Condition of Troubling Inferiority
104(8)
Railways and the Republican Army
112(8)
Germany, 1870-1890
120(36)
Bismarck's Railroad Policy
121(8)
The Reassertion of States' Rights
129(7)
Germany Transformed
136(5)
The Age of St. Gotthard
141(8)
The Consolidation of Military Predominance
149(7)
Comparisons, 1870-1890
156(19)
Administrative Organization
157(7)
Economic Competition
164(4)
Military Strategy
168(7)
Part III: Internal and International Tensions
France, 1890-1914
175(38)
Recovery and Controversy
176(6)
The Companies Face Nationalization
182(8)
Private Enterprise or Public Service?
190(7)
The Long Stagnation
197(7)
France Prepares for War
204(9)
Germany, 1890-1914
213(35)
The Specter of Prussification
214(6)
Flirting with Unification
220(8)
Low Expectations and High Finance
228(6)
Railroads and the German Take-Off
234(7)
The Consequences of Escalation
241(7)
Comparisons, 1890-1914
248(17)
Administrative Organization
249(6)
Economic Competition
255(4)
Military Strategy
259(6)
Epilogue: From Trains to Trenches 265(5)
List of Abbreviations 270(2)
Notes 272(35)
Bibliography 307(9)
Name Index 316(6)
Subject Index 322

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