By Miguel de Guzmán
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Additional info for Aventures mathématiques
In an "Address to the Agricultural Society of Rutland County" (1847), he cast social development in terms of the transition Page 24 from savagery to civilization, a common enough conceit of the Victorian era, but one that he unwittingly began to challenge in the same essay. "America offers the first example of the struggle between civilized man and barbarous uncultivated nature," Marsh posited. Everywhere else on earth, the savage was the first to subdue nature by his primitive slow processes. " Civilization, on the other hand, "is at once the mother and the fruit of peace.
Whiggery thus combined a relatively modern set of beliefs regarding industrial capitalism and governmental activism with a more conservative and traditionalist emphasis on social conformity and hierarchy, an ideological mix not without contradiction, to be sure. The greater and greater degrees of mobility and individualism made possible by the new expansive economy inevitably caused the traditional politics Page 14 and society of deference to be less and less viable, virtually obsolete, by midcentury.
19 George Perkins Marsh was to confront many of the same ideological boundaries as he rose to the task of instructing his countrymen about the environmental consequences of divorcing material progress from moral progress. Paternal, republican "Duty," defined by rational restraint and commitment to the community good, must counterbalance self-interested and self-aggrandizing "Desire"or so the Whigs asserted in their stern rhetoric. From this perspective they condemned the wasteful conquests over nature perpetrated by their frontier brethren while righteously absolving their own enterprises of excesses that were at least as profligate and destructive.
Aventures mathématiques by Miguel de Guzmán