Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/240

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
228
APPRENTICESHIP

focuses itself for a time on the apprehended object, there is an expectation that such details will as it were emerge into consciousness. Hence he describes such apprehension as “implicit,” and in so far as the implicit apprehension determines the order of such emergence he describes it as “schematic.” A good example of this process is the use of formulae in calculations; ordinarily the formula is used without question; if attention is fixed upon it, the steps by which it is shown to be universally applicable emerge and the “schema” is complete in detail.

With this result may be compared Kant’s theory of apprehension as a synthetic act (the “synthesis of apprehension”) by which the sensory elements of a perception are subjected to the formal conditions of time and space.

See G. F. Stout, Analytic Psychology (London, 1896); F. Brentano, Psychologie (bk. ii. ch. vii.), and Vom Ursprung sittlicher Erkenntnis; B. Titchener, Outlines of Psychology (New York, 1902), and text-books of psychology. Also Psychology.

APPRENTICESHIP (from Fr. apprendre, to learn), a contract whereby one person, called the master, binds himself to teach, and another, called the apprentice, undertakes to learn, some trade or profession, the apprentice serving his master for a certain time.

Roman law is silent on the subject on this contract, nor does it seem to have had any connexion with the division of the Roman citizens into tribes or colleges. So far as can be seen it arose in the middle ages, and formed an integral part of the system of trade gilds and corporations by which skilled labourers of all kinds sought protection against the feudal lords, and the maintenance of those exclusive privileges with which in the interests of the public they were favoured. In those times it was believed that neither arts nor sciences would flourish unless such only were allowed to practise them as had given proofs of reasonable proficiency and were formed into bodies corporate, with certain powers of self-government and the exclusive monopoly of their respective arts within certain localities; and the medieval universitas (corporation)—whether of smiths and tailors or of scholars—included both such as were entitled to practise and teach and such as were in course of learning. The former were the masters, the latter the apprentices. Hence the term apprentice was applied indifferently to such as were being taught a trade or a learned profession, and even to undergraduates or scholars who were qualifying themselves for the degree of doctor or master in the liberal arts. When barristers were first appointed by Edward I. of England they were styled apprenticii ad legem—the serjeants-at-law being servientes ad legem; and these two terms corresponded respectively to the trade names of apprentices and journeymen. During the middle ages the term of apprenticeship was seven years, and this period was thought no more than sufficient to instruct the learner in his profession, craft or mystery under a properly qualified master, teacher or doctor—for these names were synonymous—and to reimburse the latter by service for the training received. After this the apprentice became himself a master and a member of the corporation, with full rights to practise the business and to teach others in his turn; so also it would seem that undergraduates had to pass through a curriculum of seven years before they could attain the degree of doctor or master in the liberal arts. On the continent of Europe these rules were observed with considerable rigour, both in the learned professions and in those which we now designate as trades. In England they made their way more slowly and did not receive much countenance, there being always a jealousy of anything savouring of interference with the freedom of trade. Nevertheless the formation of gilds and companies of tradesmen in England dates probably from the 12th century, and the institution of apprenticeships cannot be of much later date. In 1388 and 1405 it is noticed in acts of parliament. By various subsequent statutes provisions were made for the regulation of the institution, and from them it appears that seven years was its ordinary and normal term in the absence of special arrangement. By a statute of 1562 this was made the law of the land, and it was enacted that no person should exercise any “trade or mystery” without having served a seven years’ apprenticeship. In no place did the apprentices become so formidable by their numbers and organization as in London. During the Great Rebellion they took an active part as a political body, and were conspicuous after the Restoration by being frequently engaged in tumults. It was probably owing to this circumstance, quite as much as to economic considerations of freedom of trade, that the act of Elizabeth never found much favour with the courts of law. Soon after the Great Rebellion we find the apprentice laws strongly reprobated by the judges, who endeavoured, on the theory that the act of Elizabeth could apply to no trades which were not in existence at its date, to limit its operation as far as possible. Such limitation of the act gave rise to many absurd anomalies and inconsistencies, e.g. that a coachmaker could not make his own wheels but must buy them of a wheelwright, while the latter might make both wheels and coaches, because coach-making was not a trade in England when the act of Elizabeth was passed. For the like reason the great textile and metal manufactures which arose at Manchester and Birmingham were held exempt from the operation of the statute. Concurrently with the dislike to the apprentice laws which such anomalies generated, the doctrines of Adam Smith, that all monopolies or restrictions on the freedom of trade were injurious to the public interest, had gradually been making their way, and notwithstanding much opposition an act was passed in 1814 by which the statute of Elizabeth, in so far as it enacts that no person shall engage in any trade without a seven years’ apprenticeship, was wholly repealed. The effect of this act was to give every person the fullest right to exercise any occupation or calling of a mechanical or trading kind for which he deemed himself qualified.

Apprenticeship, therefore, which was formerly a compulsory, now became a voluntary contract. In the case of the learned professions the principles and theories which gave birth to corporations with monopolies, and required apprenticeship or its equivalents, have—contrary to what has taken place in trade—been not only maintained but intensified; that is to say, not only have such bodies retained and even extended in some cases their exclusive privileges, but in general no one is allowed to practise in such professions unless his capabilities have been tested and approved by public authority. Thus no man is allowed to practise law or medicine in any of their branches who has not undergone the appropriate training by attendance at a university or by apprenticeship—sometimes by both combined—and passed certain examinations. Entrance to the church is guarded by similar checks. In such instances the old principle—now generally abandoned in trade—of granting a monopoly to those possessing a certain standard of qualification is maintained in greater vigour than ever.

In some kinds of manufacture the old conditions have been modified by the subdivisions of labour or by the introduction of machinery, which have reduced the amount of skill which formerly was requisite, and thus they have passed out of the category of the higher skilled handicrafts, as only a very slight or short training is necessary to make an efficient worker; but a large number of the higher skilled trades remain which require a long period of training at the bench, and a careful inquiry into this subject has shown that in nearly all of such trades there is a scarcity of skilled workers, which is due to the falling off in the number of apprenticeships. Many persons qualified to form an opinion deplore that something in the nature of the old standard of qualification is not still applied to those trades, and consider that the only method of restoring a high standard of skill is by apprenticeship. The decay of apprenticeship in these trades is due, not to any inherent defect in the system, nor to its having been superseded by any other form of technical education, but to difficulties, especially in London and some other large towns, which place it beyond the reach of that class of persons who have the greatest need of it. Among these difficulties are:—first, insufficient organization, and secondly, want of funds to pay premiums where such are required. These difficulties are