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The Education of Henry Adams - Study Guide Chapter 33 A Law of Acceleration (1904) Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 33 A Law of Acceleration (1904) Summary

Adams writes that 19th Century society measures its progress by coal output. The Dynamo is the symbol of the age; "the ratio of increase in the volume of coal power may serve as a dynamometer," and "by the rate of progress since 1800, every American who lived into the year 2000 would know how to control unlimited power." It is not just the world in general that is accelerating, but America in particular, led by its advances in science, it's growth in political and economic power, it's conversion to capitalism. Acceleration, and thus the expansion of the nation in space and in power, is the guiding law of America in the 20th Century.

Chapter 33 A Law of Acceleration (1904) Analysis

Adams puts forth a very optimistic view of "acceleration," in which he ignores all the possible...

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