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UNIT 19: Global Industrialization

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VIDEO SEGMENT: Liebig's Beef

One of the hallmarks of the Industrial Revolution was how diverse regions of the world came to be connected through the movements of labor, technologies, capital, and ideas. In many cases, advances or changes in a particular idea or technology in one part of the world led to advances or changes in another. This video segment looks at the development of beef extract in the mid-nineteenth century as an example of this phenomenon.

The idea for beef extract was developed in Germany in 1847 in a social context of concern for the deteriorating health of urban industrial workers. The promoters of beef extract — which was alleged to be rich in protein — argued that its consumption would improve the health of European workers. The problem was finding an inexpensive supply of beef.

This problem was solved by a German in Uruguay, who learned the extraction process and set up a small local factory. In order to expand production to make enough beef extract for a global commercial market, however, substantial financial backing had to be found. This support was eventually located in Belgium and then in Britain, where beef extract came to be extensively used by the Royal Navy. This example demonstrates the global and interconnected nature of ideas, technologies, and capital during the Industrial Revolution.

SELECTED IMAGES AND MAPS


Anonymous, LIEBIG BEEF EXTRACT COMPANY, FRAY BENTOS, URUGUAY (1896). Courtesy of Rene Boretto, Museo de la Revolucion Industrial, Fray Bentos, Uruguay.

Evert A. Duyckinick, BARON JUSTUS VON LIEBIG (1873). Courtesy of University of Texas-Austin, Portrait Gallery.


Anonymous, CHILDREN WORKERS AT THE LIEBIG BEEF EXTRACT FACTORY, FRAY BENTOS, URUGUAY (n.d.). Courtesy of Rene Boretto, The Museo de la Revolucion Industrial, Fray Bentos, Uruguay.

Anonymous, RAILROAD TRAIN AT PARIS EXPOSITION (1889). Courtesy of The Library of Congress.



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