chapter  4
15 Pages

The Natural History of Industry

I In a previous paper, the problem of science and industrialization was pursued in some detail through an account of the discovery of the Leblanc process. The present paper approaches the question on a broader plane and ventures to offer some general considerations. Both articles are a result of investigations pursued in France, and refer specially, therefore, to the pattern of French scientific and industrial development. This was necessarily affected by certain factors peculiar to French history, notably the ever-growing centralization of cultural development in Paris and its learned bodies and the profound instinct of everyone concerned - scientist and statesman, industrialist and artisan - to expect of a paternalistic state the impetus which their British counterparts drew from private venture and expected only of themselves. But these are only social influences. Neither science nor industrialization has ever been national in scope, and to consider a question related to the Industrial Revolution in a framework other than British may have the merit of modifying the tendency to see t11is great event in the exclusive perspective of the Midlands of England and the Lowlands of Scotland.