From gild to factory - PDF book by Alfred Milnes

From gild to factory: a first short course of economic history

From gild to factory

The following pages contain the substance of a short course of University Extension Lectures. Confined within such close limits of space, it is obvious that the aim of the speaker or of the writer must also be restricted. And the aim here has been rather to kindle interest than dogmatically to in- struct — rather persuade to read much than to offer a substitute for much reading. 

The author has had frequent occasion to notice how a certain type of mind, by no means uncommon amongst the young, is repelled from historical reading as being dull, and in a sense arbitrary. And this feeling he has believed to be traceable to an inarticulate repugnance to what is felt to be the isolation of each historical fact. 
Occurrences that do not hang together might as well be separated by five hundred years as by five; and the personages in history who do not hang together are like the puppets in a Punch and Judy show, who deserve to be, and generally are, hanged separately.

 To learn by heart a list of battles and their dates can only be accepted as an unavoidable consequence of original sin. But once let human sympathy pro- vide the thread, and the beads will be strung. Once persuade Simon de Montfort to live again for us, and the triumph of Lewes and the fatal ruin of Evesham are no longer hard to remember.

 Now the first step towards supplying this natural craving for intellectual sympathy seems to be taken when the reasonableness of history is insisted on. And if this be so, then our First Book in any branch of historical study must be not an "Outline " containing a list of facts, all alleged to have "happened," and between no two whereof is any connection stated, but rather the driving of a shaft of reasoned cause and effect through the matter with which we have to deal. The following pages attempt to drive such a shaft — a very slender one — through the mass of our economic history. 

By its purpose, such work must be judged. Far from being intended as in any way a substitute for the study of such works as those enumerated in the "List of Authors," these pages will have failed of their purpose if they do not incite a few more students to the study of those very works. Therefore it becomes needless to say how the author is indebted to each and all of them. 

This little book is founded on those works and contains little or nothing that cannot be read in further detail in someone or more of them, and nothing at all save what the author earnestly hopes may be so studied.

 In preparing the Second Edition the opportunity has been taken to comply with the suggestions of experience in using the book for teaching purposes, and certain omissions have been supplied and some corrections made; whilst in one important respect — Trade Union Law — the narrative has been continued to include more recent legislation.


The Making of England i
Rise and Fall of Gilds Merchant. .22
Rise of the Craft Gilds 33
Craft Gilds and Working-Class Organizations 39
Rise of Textile Industries 57
The Great Death and its Results. ... 67

the book details :
  • Author:  Alfred Milnes
  • Publication date: 1910
  • Company: Publisher London [England] : Macdonald and Evans

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