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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/77

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FACTORY LEGISLATION

omitted. The act therefore did not get the extension which was wanted and which perhaps twenty or thirty years ago would have been greeted as beneficial by those whom it was meant to protect.

On the whole it may be said that a strong individualism, in spite of a great movement toward socialization within the Danish community, is still to be found in the lower classes. In some trades the number of apprentices has increased to such an extent that in the near future it may be difficult for a young man to find work in the trade for which he has trained himself; but the working classes will not hear of laws that will restrict the freedom of their children in the choice of a trade.

This individualism confronts us at many points. Help to self-help is an extraordinarily deep-rooted idea. Heretofore the initiative for the launching of many movements useful for society, as in philanthropy, education or science, has been taken by private persons; but little by little a large part of the burden will eventually be laid upon the public. Now one society, now another, will with more or less right lay claim to government recognition and support, and in this way private initiative will co-operate with the community as a whole. Without private initiative the movement might never have been started. Perhaps one of the most striking examples is that of the Hedeselskdbet (Heath Society), which was founded in 1866, after years of more or less futile endeavour to plant the vast wastes of Jutland, under the direction of Mr. E. M. Dalgas. It attacked the problem with such energy and success that after a while the state began to aid the project, at first granting very small subsidies, but later on steadily increasing them. By this co-operation between the state and individuals very large waste areas have been converted into valuable farms or plantations. After the loss of the province of Sleswick, Denmark took great satisfaction in thus getting some small compensation for it.

Again, co-operation has brought about a signal advance