Scientific Development, Engineering Schools and the Building of a Modern State

TitleScientific Development, Engineering Schools and the Building of a Modern State
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsPetitjean, P.
Secondary TitleHistory and Technology

Many engineering schools were established in countries outside Europe in the 19th century. Most of them referred to European models, such as the Ecole Polytechnique, the Ecole des Ponts et Chausses, the Ecole du Gnie for France, the Technische Hochschule for Germany, or the Polytechnicum of Zrich. Such transfers gave birth to public discussions about the validity of the models and how they could ft the goals of State modernisation. A frequent gap appeared between the claimed references and the actual functions of these schools: training and/or legitimization for local elites, State administration building, attempts at industrial development, needs of civil infrastructures, first scientific institutions, etc. An important part was played by the pressure of European countries which were sharing the world and establishing their imperial domination. This paper analyses the Brazilian case, and compares it with different situations and other countries whose cases are developed elsewhere in this volume. Particular attention is paid to the significance of the so-called French model.

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