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MAKING THE MODERN WORLD
Stories about the lives we've made

Tour 1: Technology as passport

1600s1945

Technological advances are often associated with the movement of people between countries. Either a new development needs skilled workers who have to be attracted from overseas or else migrating workers bring new technologies with them. In both these cases, technology acts as a 'passport', allowing the flow of people and ideas from one place to another.


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Huguenot migrants from France were some of the first workers to bring exciting new technologies and skills that transformed the textile industry.

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During the early nineteenth century, mass migration of workers from Ireland met the British railway system's insatiable demand for labour. However, their work was accompanied by discrimination and prejudice.

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High technology and international rivalry can be a heady mix. In the dying days of the Second World War the rapid migration of highly skilled scientists from Germany had a profound effect on postwar history.

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