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mutual assistance and for the defence of a standard of life. In addition to the law of settlement which, though intended for paupers, actually prevented labourers from going from one parish to another in search of work, in 1799 and 1800 acts were passed definitely forbidding workmen to combine for the purpose of securing better conditions. Agitation carried on by Francis Place, assisted by Joseph Hume and J R. Mulloch, succeeded in forcing a repeal of the restrictive laws in 1824; but the strikes and disorders which followed frightened the Government, and Parliament passed an Act rendering illegal any action arising from the deliberations of the Unions. It is impossible to trace here the growth and vicissitudes of the movement during the Chartist and Corn Law agitation. It was not, however, until 1871-76 that unions were placed on a legal basis. At first Trade Unionism accepted competition, made few appeals to Parliament, and contented itself with collective, in place of individual, bargaining with employers. Within recent years, however, there has been a decided change in the attitude of the Unions towards legislative interference. Having within their ranks not one-fifth of the workers, they are beginning to recognise their own weakness in dealing with vast combinations of capital, while an outside army of unemployed is clamouring for work. The Trade Union Congresses are now appealing to Parliament for assistance in maintaining a standard of life. Sec. 9.—The Co-operative Movement. Unlike Trade Unionism, Co-operation grew out of a denial of the justice, righteousness, and desirability of the competitive system and its profit-making foundation. Trade Unions accept private capital, competition, and the profit
making system, and seek by raising certain standards of life to protect the worker from the destructive workings of the industrial order. Co-operation in theory seeks to eliminate profits, and to free the worker from dependence upon capitalists and middlemen. Though the early co-operative movement, with its four or five hundred stores, had collapsed in 1833-34, the second movement, which began at Rochdale in 1844, certainly grew out of the teachings of Robert Owen. The Rochdale Pioneers included in their designs the establishment of a store for the sale of food, clothing, etc., the provision of houses for members, manufacture of certain articles, employment of the unemployed and under-paid in manufacture and agriculture, and the arrangement of the powers of production, distribution, education, and government. The movement grew rapidly. In seven years there were 130 stores; in 1865, the Co-operative Wholesale Society was formed; and in 1897 there were 1,822 stores, with 1,512,128 members, a total capital of 36.22,984,825, with sales amounting to 659,881,039, and with net profits of more than £6,000,000. Many of the Co-operators are progressive, and if the younger generation will adhere to the principles of the pioneers, and not become satisfied with large sales and dividends, they can wield an inestimable influence in shaping the destiny of the nation to higher ends. In the words of Mrs. Sidney Webb : “Before we can have a fully developed democracy, the nation at large must possess those moral characteristics which have enabled Cooperators to introduce democratic self-government into a certain portion of the industry, commerce, and finance of the nation. It is, therefore, as moral reformers that Co-operators pre-eminently deserve the place in the
vanguard of human progress. While completing and extending their domain to its furthermost limits, cooperators should deliberately introduce their methods and experience into the administration of the parish, the municipality, the county, and the State; thus fulfilling, by the sure but slow progress of democratic selfgovernment, Robert Owen's co-operative system of industry.” There are many obvious limits to the complete extension of voluntary co-operation. The very poor, with low wages and uncertain employment, the thousands of small shopkeepers and private traders, and the idle, luxury-consuming rich are entirely out of reach. In fact, the Co-operative Movement is yet far from Robert Owen's ideal of an independent, self-sustaining organisa, tion, for at present it stands or falls with the competitive world from which its members draw their wages. The principles of co-operation are right and just; but the work is scarcely begun. The co-partnership movement, without denying competition and profit-making, seeks to secure a more equitable division of earnings between capital and labour. It includes profit-sharing, bonus paying, and other similar industrial organisations. The Co-operative Union, a federation of various co-operative concerns, is a protective and educational “institution charged with the duty of keeping alive and diffusing a knowledge of the principles which form the life of the Co-operative Movement.” Sec. 10.—Conclusion. The brief summary in this chapter cannot be called even an epitome of the constructive social tendencies of the wonderful nineteenth century. It only indicates here and there the larger lines of development in which the spirit of the time has found expression. It has been the aim throughout to lead the student out into the wider fields of study, wherein he can acquire for himself that knowledge which will give him the power to deal intelligently with the problems of the new century. Volumes have been written on the various subjects which bear directly upon the problems of life and labour. The growth of education in all its forms; the results of investigations in the different branches of science; the further developments in industry; the growth of general intelligence; the reform movements in their diverse aims and methods—these and many other subjects must be studied before one can hope to get a true perspective of the most marvellous century in all the history of man. No one more than the writer realises the fragmentary character of this chapter. The materials for investigation are voluminous, and the problems presented are infinitely complex; but out of the tangled mesh of human affairs three main threads may be drawn : (1) the revolt against the terrible conditions of labour and the laissez faire policy; (2) the rise of democracy in England; and (3) the growing consciousness among the people of their power to control their own conditions. These generalisations furnish a rude sketch, which will enable the student to see the relations among the various parts of the larger whole as he works them out for himself in his broader studies.
THE INDUSTRIAL PROBLEM FROM THE STANDPOINT OF MECHANICS AND SOCIAL NEEDS
Sec. 1–Developments and Confusion. We have now traced briefly the main lines of the political and industrial evolution which has changed mediaeval into modern England. We have indicated in part the marvellous mechanical and scientific progress which has led men to call this “The Wonderful Century,” and we have summarised the developments in democratic association through which the people have sought to establish and maintain certain standards of life and labour, freed from the variable vicissitudes of fluctuating markets. Amid the apparent confusion of industry, mechanics, science, and politics, there is, however, a unity of tendency—the progressive control of man over his environment. The central theme of history is that development political, religious, scientific, and industrial, which has led the human race away from primitive life, in which man was a prey to priestcraft, feudal tyrants, and warring elements, to modern times, in which man is beginning to assert his right and power to determine his own religion and politics, and corporately to control every form of his material environment. In this little book we have necessarily been limited to a synoptic epitome. We have left almost untouched developments o, biology and physiology, 6