This is a detailed account of the British and German steel industries' performance during three decades which were marked by radical changes in technology, in sources of raw materials, and in product markets. Relying on governmental and corporate archives as well as on the contemporary trade literature, Professor Wengenroth has drawn a meticulous picture of how managements in the two countries met the strategic problems raised by these changes. The author does not however merely trace technological developments; rather, he uses them as a backdrop for a contribution to the long-running debate on Britain's relative industrial decline in the late nineteenth century. Was this the result of massive entrepreneurial failure, or was it merely the by-product of evolutionary changes that bestowed automatic competitive advantage on latecomers such as the Germans? The author argues a detailed case for the latter scenario, and in doing so makes a major contribution to the debate on the 'Great Depression'.
"Tenison is to be congratulated on a felicitous translation." Journal of Interdisciplinary History "...an outstanding analysis of technological change in the German and British steel industries." Charles K. Hyde, Journal of Economic History "...Enterprise and Technology, by a Munich-based historian who has worked extensively in both German and British primary sources, breaks new ground in a variety of ways...it makes a real and important contribution to economic history and, in particular, to comparative national surveys of a detailed and searching kind." W.D. Rubinstein, Victorian Studies "Ulrich Wengenroth has produced a fine history of the two main steelmaking industries of Europe in the late nineteenth century...Wengenroth's clear and deeply researched book will be important reading for anyone working on the economic history of Britain and Germany in the late nineteenth century." Steven Webb, Central European History