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Les mutations de la sidérurgie mondiale du XXe siècle à nos jours / The Transformation of the World Steel Industry from the XXth Century to the Present

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Charles Barthel, Ivan Kharaba and Philippe Mioche

La sidérurgie a joué un rôle moteur dans l’éclosion du monde industrialisé moderne. Quoique son importance relative par rapport à l’ensemble des économies globalisées soit aujourd’hui en recul, il n’en demeure pas moins que, grâce à un processus d’adaptation permanente aux nouvelles données d’un environnement qui change de plus en plus rapidement, elle occupe toujours une place de choix. Aussi ses innombrables implications technologiques, commerciales, politiques, diplomatiques, culturelles et sociales font-elles apparaître l’utilité de faire le point sur deux siècles de mutations dans une démarche comparative à vocation essentiellement historique, mais également ouverte à d’autres disciplines.
Changes in the world steel industry have been faster in the late twentieth century than in all previous periods. The Transformation of the World Steel Industry from the Twentieth Century to the Present aims to scientifically describe and study the transformations which occurred in all areas of that industry. Its positioning in the contemporary period allows a multidisciplinary and comparative reflection about the origins and forms of these technological, commercial, political, diplomatic, cultural and social changes.
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The Internationalization of the Thyssen Group Before the First World War (Manfred Rasch)

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Manfred RASCH

ThyssenKrupp Konzernarchiv

This paper presents information on the German Thyssen group, based on the Lower Rhine, and its efforts, not only to found branches for trading and to buy ore mines all over the world immediately before the First World War, but also to build several steel works. The focus lies on the concept of the founder August Thyssen for a vertically structured trust.

The paper is divided into three sections. The first section introduces the man who gave his name to the group, August Thyssen, and his business activities up to the age of 60 – it was only after this that he drove forward the international growth of his enterprise. The main section presents iron ore, trade, and transportation as the main pillars of the international growth of this iron and steel company. The final section gives an outlook on developments in the post-war period.

August Thyssen was born in 1842 in Eschweiler near Aachen. He was the first son of a Catholic family of entrepreneurs and civil servants who had been members of Aachen’s middle class for generations.1 With no starting capital, his father had worked his way up from being the technical manager of the first wire rolling mill in the Aachen mining region (1832) to becoming its co-proprietor and then a banker in his own small private bank (1859). This indicates that he too, possessed both technical expertise and business ← 71 | 72 → skill. From 1859 to...

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