Leslie, T.E. Cliffe. 'An inquiry into the progress and condition of mechanics' and literary institutions, part II'. - Dublin: Transactions of the Dublin Statistical Society, Vol III Session 5, 1851/1852, pp.1-18
Journal of The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland Vol. III Session 5 1851/1852
The former paper advocated the establishment of Institutions of a
class which does not exist; the present treats of a class which not
only exists, but is a very remarkable feature of the age. The facts
connected with the inquiry must be interesting to a statistical society,
as being indicative of the direction and degree of social progress;
but the amount of immediate interest which the subject may elicit
is a matter of minor importance, compared with the public advantage
which may arise from directing to it the judgment and experience
of a society so constituted as this, and which is every day
becoming more influential. For Mechanics' and Literary Institutions
not only afford, by their condition and progress, important evidence
of the character and spirit of the nation and the epoch; but are, in
the natural connection of cause and effect, powerful agents in the
formation of that character and spirit. And although the immutable
laws which govern the course of civilization are beyond your
control, you may exercise a salutary influence over the means which
are mediate between first causes and final results.
In laying before you the principal general facts presented by a
review of the Institutions, there will be some convenience in taking
separately the three countries of the United Kingdom.
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