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Research Papers on the History of Technology

Technological advances that could very well change the society we live in as we live in the early part of the 21st century are occurring rapidly in the industrialized nations of the world. These advances do more than simply raise the levels of existing discrete technologies; they also involve changes that are altering our conception of technology. Such changes are occurring in a variety of fields, and, more importantly, at a very rapid pace. The progress that has been made since 1970 is so striking that many industrial historians believe that we are now in the midst of a Third Industrial Revolution. Many of the new technologies are already responding to society’s newest needs. History of TechnologyComputers and satellite communication systems are just a few examples of the new technologies that have become essential to support today’s society. More importantly, many of the elemental technologies that are being developed today have so much potential that we simply cannot predict where they will take us. This is the common denominator of the new technologies to which we commonly refer collectively as “high technology.”

Historically speaking, and briefly stated, the modern era has already witnessed two major technological leaps.

  1. It is generally accepted that The First Industrial Revolution was triggered by the invention of the steam engine in 1776 by James Watt. The key to the accomplishments of this period is steel, as people gained the ability to manipulate this material. In other words, the First Industrial Revolution was based on innovations in materials technology.
  2. The Second Industrial Revolution occurred about 100 years later. Specifically, it began during the 1870s, when we learned how to use electricity, we learned how to convert it into many different types of energy, including heat, light, locomotive power, magnetic power and sound. The Second Industrial Revolution, therefore, was based on innovations in energy technology.

Outlining Technology in Your Research Paper

For those who were born within the last couple of decades, it is hard to imagine a world prior to computers, the internet, cell phones, and other forms of informational technology that came with the technical revolution.  Like many other social revolutions within the history of civilization, it has taken awhile for the laws to catch up with the technology itself.  There are still many issues surrounding the use of computers and the internet, including ethical and moral, legal, and of course, privacy.  These all play a role in understanding the differences that generations of Americans are going to face with the information revolution into the future.

There are many different problems which information technology has brought to the board, including those dealing with infringements of copyrights, international access, and the right of privacy versus protecting the public.  The internet, which began only about a decade ago, is one of the fastest growing and longest reaching of the new technologies that carry information around the world.  With one click of a mouse, a person can navigate through hundreds of websites full of all types of information.

Different people from different countries are connected more readily than ever before.  While this allows for growth of information sharing, it also poses plenty of issues, including how to regulate the internet.  There are as many different laws and regulations within the world as there are nations.  Each nation has a definite set of laws that are followed within the boundaries and have treaties with other nations in order to help regulate international problems.  The internet though surpasses many of these laws and treaties, making it extremely difficult to prosecute some legal issues that begin in certain countries. Many crimes committed such as identity theft and the selling of child pornography are abundant and because there is so much, it is extremely difficult to even track down where the information is coming from.  Once tracked, if the criminal lives within certain countries, the legal and political problems begin for those trying to prosecute such cases. These issues are made even more difficult by the changes in the technology.  Where before, the internet was almost exclusively tapped by computers that were stationary, the influx of wireless connections including cell phones, blackberries, and other such technology can make finding such criminals even trickier.  Once someone is found to be doing something illegal and is in a position and country where they can be prosecuted, it can still be difficult to stop the crimes.  There are many examples of different troubles this causes.

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