Modern Industrialism: An Outline of the Industrial Organization as Seen in the History, Industry, and Problems of England, the United States, and Germany

By Frank L. McVey | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER V
COMMERCIAL INSTITUTIONS

THE industry of to-day is typified by its unity. Through it run lines to every part of the world binding the whole together in a gigantic organization. This unity is shown by the growing interdependency of trades and markets, the long processes of production involving many industries and agencies and the close dependence of them upon each other. Capital in the newer forms of production becomes more and more specialized, while the speculative element in the creation of goods for future markets grows increasingly greater. From the extraction of the raw material from the earth to the disposal of the finished goods to the consumer by the retailer, there is at work a minute and highly organized machine through which passes an endless chain of commodities on their way to the final user.

The railroad, telegraph, telephone and steamship have accomplished the herculean task of widening the market. The contrast of the earlier days of a place, where tradesmen met to exchange goods, with the world-wide groups of men dealing in the staple articles of a world's market today brings vividly before the mind the difference not only in the field but in the machinery of modern exchange. As of old the transfer of ownership in goods and commodities takes place between individuals, sections and nations on the basis of division of labor. To accomplish this trans

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