A History of Spanish Civilization

A History of Spanish Civilization

A History of Spanish Civilization

A History of Spanish Civilization

Excerpt

The word civilization is of frequent occurrence in daily life. We call certain peoples civilized, and others barbarians or savages. Amongst the former we meet with certain conditions of social life and knowledge which we consider to be relatively high in development. When these conditions are lacking, the word civilization is not used.

But what are these conditions? In general terms we all believe ourselves to be in agreement about them, though in a negative rather than a positive sense. Thus, we do not call those people civilized who are ignorant, superstitious, lazy, cruel, gross, dishonest, un-humane in their international and internal social relationships, lacking in industry, commerce, and the amenities of life. And though, in considering these things, and trying to reduce them to scientific terms, men disagree as to the number and extent to which they must be combined in order to deserve the name of civilization, yet we all agree that the criterion lies in our actual conception of human life, though this varies in every individual within certain limits common to all. We also notice that this criterion has changed in our own time, passing through various stages to the highest and most complete conception of which we are capable to-day, and that the nations which are called civilized have adapted themselves to it in very different degrees.

It is also certain (as we have already implied) that . . .

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