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Outlines of Industrial History…


Outlines of Industrial History i1,-THE RENAISSANCE FROM MEDIEVALI NIGHT. The -ar4L,.a,(ith and depth of this subject forbid Its adrJ equate treatment in a single lesson or utiine. The fact that this re-awakening move- ramt has never stopped, and that daily now s 'Pen^ ai lities and sub-divisions of the sciences are 11-P made compel us to make only a brief 00Qeral surrey of it. To follow out the technical lltOgTOSS in any one of the sciences born in the ^naissa-noe would fill ponderous tomes. Even ,reo^r(l of the names of the brilliant thinkers, Who had a hand in the matk, would be a ?ngthy affair. Therefore only a few of the most striking con- tra'??6 between the ideas of the Middle Ages and f '? ?n'es will be given, lea.ingthe reader to foil" this re-birth out upon a fuller scale him 9on.tradietorv descriplions of the Dark Ages ÎlSt. With that glossing over of hard facts and th t ?'"??? too often granted to the past, hist °r,a i^ns have told us romantic tales about the tlrfle c.iiiN,?ili,v flourished and feudal knights ? ?_ bold, and when the monasteries and their  tended the flickering flame of culture and ''Tun? when the gusts of barbarism threatened Extinguish j L ??"?r writers paint a different picture The ra Ie ?gcs was a period of bestial ignorance, ra. "hts, robber troubadours and fine 1:J )?? 's wbo never changed their underplathin?." I't 'ainly modern historians are not possessed wit) 1 a ?hnd esteem for this period. PREVIOUS ADVANCES IN LEARNING. r? 4"? the name implies the Renaissance was the r J"'r"h a.nd not the birth of learning. Greek Q?'ght migtitily innuenccd the world. In lle that necessary leisure—without which ? ,?'Qing cannot commence—was secured "i?y ?'?-labour. The Greeks almost as soon as they iíe known to history have left behind thm their .?eric mythology. It is an mt<,restmg task  Notice how the introspection of Socrat&s and he vague ideahsm of Plato followed the Sophists ao the vain attempts of Thaler, Anaxa.goras, jj faelitu?? Empedocles and many others to ex- raIn the orgin of the universe and its inhabi- ?ts. They failed because they lacked the lillo,7ledge which specialisation and centuries of ?rvation in the sciences were to bring. ■However, these philosophers made some clever ?s<? at the truth. Two thousand- four hun- dr years before Kant. Anaximander rightly lectured the nature of the heavenly bodies. ? '??'tUM anticipated the Atomic Theory only p??'hed hy Dalton in 1803; and Empedocles uHeiracIitus perceived that "Nothing is; ?'ything is becoming," long before Hegel 0 .t it and Darwin furnished such a striking' I>t"oof of it in biology in 1849. t' '? it wa,? a little later in history in the beau- tif ??' of Alexandria that science began. Tbo li?y attacheti to the famous Alexandrian UinSeUru contained four hundred thousand vol- U?? ? an a(^'tional library alsa had three hun- ?.'?.?ousand. Fourteen thousand students "? the city. Strenuous efforts were made, 4'ad iuo ?xpens<t was spared, to collect, increase aod -flllHe knowledge. The Aristarchus fore- sta]] findings of Copernicus. Here ?, ??id formulated his well-I?nown propositions. ???*' the famous mathematician and in- v? ?'?? '?auenced b' y his residence in this i??lectual metropolia. Hipparchus, with his ronomical tables, and Ptolemy, with his thir- f>tandard books on astronomy which were on I displaced nearly fifteen years iaterov New- "UW.1S work upon the subject, gathered in Alex- observations and knowledge. And tllftct names are only examples drawn at random from lengthy list of famous thinkers and dis- coverers in many branches of science who tri-ed to; solve the riddles of Nature in the shadow of UUtt famous museum which was unluckily burnt Illu,ing Julius Caesar's scige of the town. finlU"nillg to nome in its cosmopolitan days we S?h?OL the orac^fs neglected; the gods left to look :r thOOl:e1v b.nd Hill liberty of thought -Rilo?vf-d to ,411 if they did not.endanger the I' ?r dl:itur? 0i^ers wlth ???"' v?M'ons pro- s?ytiain"? ? ? t-? ?? Christians an d the Jews. Pinal] ? ,tIe 1"1shans an te ews. 0', t Y 9nstlaUlt.Y triumphed, became the .:lta.f} rello-lon d Scribed ??°????? Pap?T, which Hobbes *the ,ho,et of the deceased Roman Umpire. sittir> ?'?-ned upon the grave there- of ,i 1, dl'T"I()Ped. But beforc the latte'- ?- '7r had 1-iai)peRe(f, f'ch scenes ? the murder of ? Hypa.tiu8, the de?, ion of books of scier. |ie ''?sing of the schools, had oc- A Chri8tianiv proscribed philosophy, a,?'?shed the schools, and plunged the world QK) an abyss of darkness from which it only Merged after twelve hundred yea?s" is the con- 'AlLsi?,l Of ,he American sociologist. Lester F. Ward. OhriRtianitv gathered and filled its pan- tit .1 ?eon wi.h pa,gan gods in the numerous saints ,? wo?ittppetl. Inquiry was soon thought to ?. f ?n; to "onht was to be damned; and the "lhle \1'as M?c? the fiual anthontv on aU ques- As we shall endeavour to s how later the eco- ^^i0 causes behind the re-awakening, it should here *ta ted that this intellectual reaction, deT. ^'lf ??? Quotation given above, was not Call'ied ?? ??? introduction of any particular cre^ °r 8yste,n of thought, but it was an ev i t- iE'i or s:vsem of thouglt, bt!t it va.san evit- afole CoU(x,tlLitant of the invasion of Europe by fol] .'n a ???'' state of development, who later ill-, tt?'Ite'd the feuday system. Fighting pre- doI'ITIated (rrer thinking. CONTRASTS. j? ? ? dark ages the world was thought to be fl. 1 i tlle sk-v fitted it like an inverted basin in ?cnt to and fro the sun and moon and star- ti ills providing man, ,the centre and the <w?rn of creation, with light. Above the sky -????' and beiow the earth was hell. One ino^vvT, "1<7Us exPla»ation of night was that the sun vs-«^ round behind a big mountain. ? ? ??'? and the earth's shap? and position ?.p +i r5)t ??Ks to attract the attention of tuini' ???? it to say that now the geo- eentr-^ anthropocentric Mnceptions of ,he TJni'*1 are Sone for ever. The revolulOn iK thou'?? ? Sone for ever. The revolution m thought, bega by Copermcus about 1607, proved ih ??? of the heliocentric theory and t'evealed ?1? .°?? earth i.s only a minute sp(???k of dust dim a??????? larger ,?orld? -pi? naded dim mh\\orlds, Writes Draper <? '^mense inane "'rites Drap'f.l', "are scattered Jike dust i vast abyl-?se.q Of SP )4an eould to longer be con- «ud lig'"ht. thH I'Cason ?Y ,1 sun yielded heat arad light. ?T1?. '? u° not J1f ?' after sailors had proved the horizon endless. AA st, ronomy 18 thu8 the oldest science. In our Wn r_ ?'?' the bnilders of Stonehenge had watched the movements of the sun and stars louth -V°- Pe°ially in the clearer ??.? -?"\?'f uthe stars at night would serve as a gu?e to the ea.rly desert and ocean travellers, and 7- their ^t^l^y excite interest. The a?e, fotl-llat'?on and motion of t;he ?'? also provided olir, fielda of study and controversial topics. v. ^ls^'De thought that suoh discussion was ?Oss as a new earth and a new heaven were soon to be." Ideas, which we now found in children's lees«n aooks, were denounced fiercely by the Church as being heretical. There were contradictory estiniates of the earth's age based UpoR the scriptural records, but they all agreed that she was not more than six thousand year's old, and that she had been made in a week. The abandonment of these ideas with Noah's Ark and the Beluge, the theory of Man's Fall and the Atonement, is recent history. Geology destroys" the lie on the lips of the priest," and gives evidence of the earth's remote origin and formation in a period requiring myriads of centuries. Biology and the Evolution Theory reveal that man himself is about a quarter of a million years old, and is a part of the animal kingdom which enjoyed an even longer prior existence. In noting these contrasts between the ideas held then, and now, we should not forget the founders of science, which so rapidly in modern times accelerates its rate of advance. It is not, and never has been, a pleasant thing to be the bearer of new ideas. Giordiano Bruno, for as- serting the plurality of worlds, was burned by the Church in the Field of Flowers in 1660. In 1889 a huge crowd witnessed the unveiling of a magnificent statute to his memory upon the same spot. Recantation of his belief in the earth's motion was forced by the terrors of the Inquisition fro in the 70-year-old Galileo. His name, with that of Kepler. Newton, Kant, and Laplace, and many others, is connected with the showing that the worlds have evolved and are evolving in obedience to natural mechanical laws. The supernatural has now no niche in astronomy. We have a difficulty of realising the dense ig- norance of a time when ascetics, to glorify their religion, broke off the highest of human rela- tions, and in deep solitude became dirtier than the beasts; when the churches were filled with teror-striken praying crowds at the appearance of the comets; and when, while the Saracens in Spain and Africa, had raised science, hygiene, drainage and street paving to a high level, Murope, wallowing in ignorance, had none of these tilings. But in time. personal and public cleanliness and efficient drainage were found to be better preventives against plagues than prayers; sickness and lunacy were not ascribed to the workings of evil spirits and to demonical possession (though Luther, living as late as he did, strongly believed in devils) and a thousand and one improvements, such as glass windows and chimneys, were made in the dwellings of the people with beneficial results. Gone are the ferocious punishments for crime, the trials by ordeal, the horrors of the Inquisi- iJÏon-the thoughts of which still provoke a shudder—-the burnings and drownings of men and women as wizards and witches, the ruthless means by which enquiry was suppressed, and the absurd worship of relics. The Renaissance was the dawn of commonsense. NEW METHODS OF REASONING. Hitherto reasoning had been largely deduc- tive in its method. General principles whose truth no one was allowed to question had been used to explain particular facts often in a ludi- crous manner. Bacon's name and his book, "Novum Orga- non," are associated with the revival of the in- ductive method in England. This is just the op- posite to the deductive. The fa.cts displace the theory in importance. The tendency of the mind to rashly generalise and to let its wishes in- fluence its thoughts and beliefs is under this method of reasoning restrained. All the facts m.t be observed carefully before the generali- sation is made, and with new facts may come the revision of the theory or generalisation. This is the method of science..For science corrects the evidence of the senses; probes beneath the superficial; preserves an alert and critical mind ignores the mysterious and the miraculous; and is always willing to recase her generalisations if they do not agree with the facts. While the Roman Chrucli had its infallible. Pope and even the Protestants an infallible book, the scientific method of reasoning sought Truth, believing her alone to be infallible. It was the growth of this spirit, which, armed with telescope, microscope, spectroscope, barometer, thermometer, ehemical balance and other tools, was to later have such wonderful results; and that broke up the absolute torper, credulity and ignorance afflicting the-medieval mind. THE CAUSES OF THE AWAKENING. What, then, was the cause behind this awaken- ing which gradually substituted reason for revel- ation and caused men to carefully observe and interrogate Nature in all her phases; and which revived the study of the ancient manuscripts which had been so long neglected. Indeed many of them had had their original writing scraped from them by monks in need of parchment. Many reasons have been given as to why the Church's power declined until she was no longer able to preserve her unity of belief by burning the folk who dissented therefrom; why innumer- able improvements of civilisation were intro- duced into Europe; and why anatomy with its dissection of the human body, ignoring the theologian's fears of difficu1ti arising on the resurrection morning, was adopted with other sciences wnicn nave sought to banish disease and pain rather than to treat them as necessary evils. Lecky in chap. 4 of his History of European Morals" wntes: Not till the education of Europe passed from the monasteries to the uni- versities, not till Mohammedan science and clas- sical free-thought, and industrial independence broke the sceptre of the Church, did the intel- lectual revival of Europe begin." The fall of Constantinople (1453) drove the remnants of the ancient culture west, chiefly to the Italian towns which, it should be noted, were not only the centres of trade but also of learn- ing. In other lessons the economic cause behind the Ctuisades and their effects upon Europe, in bringing her into touch with the more highly developed Saracens, have been traced. Not only were the plugged-up trade routes the cause of the Crusades, but they made it imperative that another way to the East should be dis- covered and were thus the cause of those voy- ages which had suoh immense results in widen- ing the trading are-a,, in creating an adventurous spirit of enquiry, and in destroying old ideas con- cerning the world. To sum up briefly we would say that, new ideas betoken the rise of a new class. The con- flict between the darkness of Medievalism and the light of the Renaissance was the ideologioal counterpart of the growing conflict between the decaying feudal system with its chief support the Church, wealthy in land and in revenue and greedy for its own aggrandisement, and the rising commercial class. Both gunpowder and printing—the latter a, munition works of mental high explosives—were used to help on the passing of femda-Iism. In order that old traditions and authorities should be shattered and individualism developed, science, ever the handmaid of the rising class, was employed. The Industrial Revolution( to be treated later) was no chance happening. Who can imagine it happening withoiit the de-relop- ment of physics and chemistry P Think of the intimate oonnection between mining and geology and tbeee are Maly sta-ay examoes. Yet all tksm sciences had and bare their roots in the spirit of the Renaissance. It is not without sW It is not witboat significance that science, first applied and successful in the far away heaveas, is gradually coming nearer to man until we get Sociology, the science of society, begun. The powers- of reaction, whose chief represen- tative in the period under notice was the Church, fluttered like a moth at the light of the re- awakening but all in vain. From Hypatia to Ferrer the Church has punished the sin of en- quiry wherever she has been powerful enough; to do so. The vituperation, with which the proofs of the Evolution Theory were hailed, has hardly died away; yet we have in our own times intellectual slovenliness, cloudy mysticism, and attempts to square science with religion encour- aged by the reactionary forces of the capitalist class once a ruthless opponent of feudal tradi- tions and medieval mysticism, but now wishing to preserve things as they are. Be this as it may, the tide of battle which turned at the Renaissance has never suffered a setback." Confident in truth, science has no need to persecute and crucify its enemies; oreak its opponents upon the wheel of torture or burn them at the stake. Endeavour to recall what tremendous benefits in her shori- three hundred years of life she has brought to mankind and who will say what she will not do in the next three hundred years. The capitalist class found it necessary in their rise to power to develope the natural sciences and consciously control the natural forces. True, all classes have not shared in the benefits as thev might have done. Take a, modern example mining chemistry and by-product plant make small coal of value, but do not ensure the oollier pay for getting it. Thanks to science, the har- nessing of natural forces, and the improvement of machinery, less workers are required, and thus the benefits accrue largely to one class only. But just as in the natural sciences astrology preceded astronomy; alchemy—with its vain search for the elixir of endless life and for the philosopher's stone with the Midas touch—pre- ceded chemistry; and Genesis, the "Origin of Species" in biology; so, in the social sciences Ideal Socialism came before Scientific Socialism and in the development of the latter a conscious control of the social forces will be won, the bene- fits resulting from past improvements will no longer be unequally shared; and the re-awaken- ing of the scientific spirit the, theme of this Out- line, will be continued and applied in regions hitherto untouched. The working-class, if it so desires, can reap the heritage of the past and enjoy the hopes of the future and be The crowning race; Of those that eye to eye shall look on knowledge; Under whose command is Earth and Earth's; And in their hand is Nature like an open book." Reading a little more general than our usual textbooks is needed to appreciate the cause and significance of the Renaissance. The works of Ir/ecky, Draper, White and others contain much information upon the subject. Professor Bury's History of Freedom of Tliou-ht" (H.U. Is. 3d.) is a handy little book for those who lack the time and money for larger works. Charles Reade's The Cloister and the Hearth (7d.), besides being an interesting novel gives a good idea of the credulity and ignorance which prevailed before the printing press began. Two books summing up the position in a general popular fashion from & Social i*t view- point. are Ar-elint- -NII. Struggle between Science and Superstition and N S'cience and Re- volution. These are published by Kerr and Co., Chicago, purveyors of intellectual dynamite, the like of which, unfortunately, the English Socialist movement is without as yet. MARK STARR. I

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