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Britain in the XIX century

Having returned to England, Darwin prepared for collections for the publication and thought about the reasons of diversity. At last he formulated the key positions of his theory. They were

1 – The diversity of species is the result of evolution (changing over time)

This conclusion was not so original for the period when Darwin lived. But the second conclusion was original.

2 – The reason (driving power) of evolution is natural selection. The plants and animals that best fit into the place where they live, the best adapted, survive. Those who are less adapted die off. The survived give the information about their shape and way of life to the new generations. So the reason of changing is the surviving of adapted only.

There were many reasons of Darwin’s theory. One of them was the book of the economist Thomas Maltose. Maltose proved, that in human society those who can adapt survive. The others die. The wars and famine select the most adapted and kill the least adapted. Further many ideas of Maltose about a society have been rejected. But the book of Maltose was a very rare example of how social ideas influenced natural sciences. In Darwin’s theory nature selects animals as in Maltose’s theory wars and famine select people.

Almost 20 years Darwin did not publish his conclusions about evolution and natural selection. These ideas contradicted with the theory of species diversity created by God. Darwin was a very shy person, and he didn’t like the role of a revolutionary in science. There is the fact which shows his shyness. When he got 30, he decided to marry. He approached to his own marriage from scientific positions. Has made the list of possible fiancées and near the name of each he wrote her advantages and disadvantages. Comparing all the data he came to conclusion, that the best variant of the fiancées would be his cousin. The reason was, however, that he had known her since their childhood, and it was not necessary to get acquainted. He was too shy to get acquainted with any other candidate for fiancée.

Now the Englishmen consider Darwin to be the 4 greatest Briton. But very few people, except for experts, know the name of the other English scientist, who was the contemporary of Darwin and did practically the same. His name was Alfred Wallace. He came to the same conclusions as Darwin. Unlike Darwin Wallace came from a poor family had to study science independently, he didn’t graduate from any university. In the other aspects the lives of Darwin and Wallace were surprisingly similar. Both traveled in South America, both gathered natural collections. Wallace read the same book by Maltose and came to similar conclusions.

Once Wallace sent a letter to Darwin, in which he told his theory. He chose Darwin to tell the theory because Darwin was a well-known scientist. Wallace didn’t know Darwin to work in the same direction. From the letter Darwin understood that he was not the only discoverer of the new idea that they both came to the same conclusion and at the same time. The further situation was unprecedented in the history of science. Two scientists didn’t argue for priority, for the right being named the first author of the idea. Instead of that they decided to report their ideas in the society of naturalists in one day. After a while Wallace told Darwin that he formulated his ideas better. Wallace refused the publishing his own book and let Darwin publish his. Moreover Wallace tried to do the ideas of Darwin popular. He was Wallace who coined the term "Darwinism". Thus the world knew Darwin as the creator of the evolution theory and didn’t know Wallace.

The modern biology recognizes the principal ideas of Darwin, though very much has been added and verified since Darwin’s time. It’s important to remember, that modern scientists don’t use the term “Darwinism”, they speak about syntetic theory of evolution. Darwin’s theory was a step in the development of this theory, but an important one.

In techniques the significant achievement of the XIX was a steam locomotive, which used steam engine of Watt

What was the previous kind of transport? – Horse

When was it tamed? – 3500 years ago, before it people could only walk

A steamer was the first new kind of transport after horse. It was designed by George Stevenson (1781 - 1848). He was a kind of man called in England self-made man. He was born in a village, worked as a shepherd, and then a stoker at the steam machine. The learnt letters at 18 years. And then he studied mathematics and the mechanic independently, through books, so that he began solving engineering problems. It took him 32 years constructing "a self-driving steam machine», the first transport mean without a horse. When his steam trains could move with a speed of 10 km per hour, people still doubted, if it were better than horse driving. To make his steamer popular Stevenson suggested locomotive races competition between different models of locomotives designed in different countries. His steam locomotive "Rocket" became the champion jf Europe in train races with a speed of 48 km per hour. In 1825 in England the first-ever railway was opened. Georges Stevenson and his son Robert participated in construction of many railways over the world.

The whole series of inventions in different spheres of technic was done by engineers Marc Isambard Brunel and his son Marc Kingdom Brunel. The first one was recognised by the Britons as the second greatest Briton after Churchill. There is one of his inventions.

There was a great transport problem in London. The bridge across Themes was overcrowded with coaches in day time, it was a traffic jam, and people couldn’t get from one part of London to another. It was proposed to build the tunnel under the Themes, but nobody knew how to do it. People couldn’t build long tunnels then, they ruined. The decision was found by Brunel. He invented a tunnelling shield. It is claimed that Brunel found the idea watching a worm, which bored a piece of would. Its head was protected with a firm shell, while it elaborated a material enforcing the walls of the hole. Brunel could build the tunnel – it was the first tunnel of such extension. But what was more important the invention made possible building metro.

In 1820 Brunel designed the project of metro and proposed it to government, but not to English. He proposed to build metro to Russian emperor Alexander I. Alexander hadn’t money in his treasury then and refused. But why did Brunel proposed building the first metro in Petersburg but not in London? Brunel was a brilliant engeneer, but not a good businessman, and he often got involved in projects that was not profitable. And once he was imprisoned for debts. As time passed and there seemed no perspective of being released, Brunel began to correspond with Alexander I about the possibility of moving with his family to St Petersberg and building the first metro in the world. As soon as it was learnt that Britain was going to lose its best engineer British government agreed to pay his debt on condition that he wouldn’t fulfil his plans in Russia. Brunel was released from prison but the construction of London metro started more than 30 years after his death.It began in 1863.

The first line of the underground got the name of столичная железная дорога», translate it into English - Metropolitan Railway. The abridgement of this long name formed the word "metro". London metro became the first metro in the world. The underground allowed London grow quickly, soon, thanks to metro, it became the biggest city of the world.

The modern life can’t be imagined without electricity. The era of electricity began in 1880-ies. The electricity has replaced the energy of steam. It became possible thanks to the discovery made in 1831 by Michael Faraday. He discovered the law of the electromagnetic induction. Just this law allows people elaborate electric power.

The electric power is the most convenient form of energy. Using electricity has changed a civilization. But people have used electricity only little more than one hundred years. The reason is that in nature we meet electricity very seldom.

In what form? - In the form of lightnings. But people can’t catch lightnings. In order to use electricity people had to learn how to get it artifitially.

Nowadays people receive electricity using the law of electromagnetic induction, which gives the way to get electricity with the help of magnets

Elaboration of electric power by generators is based on this law. If people have not guessed, bulbs would not shine, phones would not call and factories would not work. We would live in the other world. The person who has learned to receive electricity artificially was Michael Faraday (1791 - 1867)


Категория: Лекции по истории Англии | Добавил: Senebty (10.02.2018)
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