The Unity of Civilization eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 291 pages of information about The Unity of Civilization.
the movement in which they had engaged and the impossibility of confining it in its sweep and effects to a section of the manual workers, they succeeded in gradually bringing home to the ablest among their fellow-workers the necessity for closing the gulf which French mental habit had fixed between factory and home workers and preparing to treat both classes on a similar footing of equity.  In Germany,—­where, as we might expect, there was less forwardness to launch unofficial schemes and a disposition to work rather from the first through authoritative channels—­experiments were being made under the Home Work Act which, if of little value in themselves, seemed the earnest of much better things.

If this result only had been attained, the meetings of the Association and the labours of the sections would not have been in vain.  But far more was in process of achievement when the work of the Association was interrupted by the catastrophe of the European War.  The adoption in all industrial countries of the ‘English week’, with its half-holiday so much coveted by the continental worker—­the establishment of a uniform working day—­the gradual introduction of the eight-hours shift into such ‘continuous industries’ as steel-smelting and glass-blowing—­an international agreement to eliminate the use of lead from many branches of the pottery industry and to limit and safeguard its use in all others,—­these were only some among the questions which study and investigation and discussion had brought to a stage at which the Association could look upon them as fit matter for potential international conventions in August 1914.  Now that its activities are, for the most part, in suspense, it is well to remember that its greatest achievement was the proof, again and again renewed, that it is possible for persons of twenty different nationalities, holding the most diverse opinions on nearly every subject under the sun, not only to act together but to find common motives of action so strong as to break down every sundering barrier of political doctrine and religious creed.  Whatever of suspicion or antipathy might flourish outside the boundaries of the international association, these evil weeds have never taken root inside them.  Is it Utopian to dream, when the days of peace shall have returned, of a reconciliation within its borders for those between whom at present the great gulf of division seems hopelessly fixed?

BOOKS FOR REFERENCE

History of Factory Legislation, Harrison and Hutchins.  Macmillan.  Revised edition.

Frederic Keeling, Child Labour in the United Kingdom.  P.S.  King.

Clementina Black, Sweating.  Duckworth.

R.H.  Tawney, Studies in the Minimum Wage:  (i) Chainmaking; (ii) Tailoring.  G. Bell & Sons.

J.A.  Hobson, Work and Wealth.  Macmillan.

Edward Howarth and Mona Wilson, West Ham:  A Study.  Dent.

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The Unity of Civilization from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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