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Major Industrial regions 2
France: France has many important industries but as a whole is far less urbanized and industrialized than Britain. The major industrial areas are:
The Northeast industrial region: It is the largest single industrial district of France noted for iron and steel textiles and engineering. Two major factors, the presence of the coalfields of Nord and Pas-de-Calais (a continuance of the Sambre-Meuse coalfield of Belgium) and relative ease with which iron ore can be brought from Lorraine or imported from Sweden, make industrial growth possible. Some of the towns also manufacture agricultural machinery and have chemical plants associated with the textile mills.
Lorraine: This region was traditionally the major producer of iron and steel in France. The industry was based on local and some imported coking coal. Rolling mills and tin-plating works are also found in the region.
Greater Paris: The area of greater Paris contains 10 million people, more than ten times the population of Marseilles, the second city of France. It therefore provides a vast labour force and a large market. It makes a wide range of goods such as jewellery, cosmetics, porcelain, wearing apparel, cigarettes, furniture, medical instruments, precise scientific instruments, automobiles, locomotives, aircraft and chemicals.
Germany: The German industrial areas are more concentrated and much greater in extent than those of France. Industries are based mainly on coalfields though other raw materials such as iron ore in the Ruhr, and timber in the Black Forest have assisted industrial development considerably.
The Ruhr-Westphalia Region: This is Germany's largest industrial region. The factors, which contributed to its growth in the nineteenth century, were: 1. Coal outcrops in the Ruhr coalfield. 2. Local iron ores and 3. An excellent location in relation to transport routes.
Because of these locational advantages heavy industries including iron and steel, heavy chemicals engineering including large interest in armaments and a number of specialize industries such as cutlery and textiles (at Krefeld and Wuppertal) are developed.
In common with other industrial regions located on coalfields, the Ruhr has suffered a decline in the mining industry recently. The mines, which are still in operation are in the northern part of the region, now exploit a wholly concealed portion of the coalfield and are gradually being closed. German coal output is gradually declining. Unlike many other regions, however, the decline has not greatly affected other industries in the region. The reasons are:
1. Industrial inertia has a particularly strong effect, where the large plants of heavy industries are concerned 2 Destruction of many plants during the war enabled some firms to restart with newer and more modern equipment than those existing in less affected countries; 3. Better transport facilities; 4. Use of imported raw materials and imported fuel in the form of oil; 5. Imported oil has given rise to new heavy industries such as oil refineries and petrochemicals; and 6. The Post-war national desire of' the Germans to rebuild the country by its competitors and has helped to keep industries efficient and successful, so that disadvantages of location have been overcome by the development of good communications and efficient production.
The Middle Rhine industrial area. The widely spread industrial complex at the confluence of the Rhine and the Mainz enjoys the advantages of easy water transport and convergence of rail and road routes. Frankfurt is a railway-engineering centre with electrical, engineering, automobile and chemical industries. Mainz has leather, brewing, and engineering industries. Further south both Mannheim and Ludwigshafen with water-transported raw materials, have developed many industries; chemicals, electrical engineering, agricultural implements, iron and steel.
Eastern part of Germany: The main industrial areas of Eastern Germany are based on the Saxony coalfield and the Stassfurt salt deposits. The Elbe provides excellent water transport. Leipzig is famous for its optical instruments and Jena for Zeiss, photographic equipment. Dresden is the centre of Dresden porcelain and Chemnitz for textiles. The abundant supply of potash salts in Saxony has led the development of all kinds of chemical industries such towns as Magdeburg, Stassfurt and Halle. Other industries in the region include processing of agricultural products from the surrounding region; printing and publishing and engineering. Berlin, the capital Germany, is another major industrial centre with engineering, textile and electrical industries.
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