THE ADVANCING FAITH IN SCIENCE
THE material expansion of the nation was dramatically emphasized by the stream of scientific inventions which accompanied the industrial revolution in America during the decades from 1815 to 1860. Although both theoretical and applied science attracted attention in this period, the older interest of the eighteenth-century enlightenment in pure science was supplanted by the increasing domination during the nineteenth century of utilitarian science. To the generality of the American people it was the practical application of the powers of science that furnished the most obvious evidence of progress. Succeeding chapters will indicate some of the effects which this technological advance exerted on the concept of progress entertained by different groups in American life. However, it may be useful to examine first the notion of technological progress held by some of the early advocates of the cause of science and progress.
In the United States an illustration of this trend away from pure science was shown in the importance attributed to Francis Bacon and his inductive system. It was therefore appropriate that the "Account of Lord Bacon's Novum Organon Scientiarum . . .," written originally for the British Library of Useful Knowledge by Henry Brougham, the English utilitarian, should be published in the American Library of Useful Knowledge for 1831.1 While Bacon's works were probably more reverenced than read in America, still the declarations of faith in technological improvement often began by paying homage to him as the father of all modern scientific progress. And although allusions to his inductive system pervade the literature of the idea of progress, Samuel Tyler, a Maryland lawyer, in A Discourse of the Baconian Philosophy ( 1844), provided a systematic ac____________________
For Bacon's influence as an exponent of utilitarian science, see: R. F. James, Ancients and Moderns ( St. Louis, 1936), passim.