AT the opening of the twentieth century production had reached enormous proportions: in every civilized land was heard the hum of cotton-mills, railroads and telegraph provided adequate and quick means of transportation and communication, organization of capital and labor was carried to unheard of proportions, markets were worldwide and products enormous in quantity. To reach this position in industrial organization the world had cast aside the stage-coach for the railway train, accepted the gigantic steamer in lieu of the wooden sailing vessel, discovered the process of making Bessemer steel, invented the sewing machine and a dozen devices of equal importance, created a factory system, seized upon and colonized foreign lands, accumulated savings and capital, formed gigantic corporations and with it all produced a great number of difficult problems that were to press harder and harder for a solution.
The nations selected are representative of that growth, and also, of three distinct phases of national development. England was the oldest of these, for her industry and national organization had taken root long before it had done so in the other lands. With iron in her possession she was able to put the early inventions into material form and under the protection of the Napoleonic wars to establish her factory system upon a firm foundation. Hampered