French economist, b. at Paris, 10 March, 1782; d. there, 16 Nov., 1863. He was devoted to medical studies, and later to social questions. He wrote two important memoirs on the mortality among prisoners and promiscuity in gaols (1820, 1829) and established the "Annales d'hygiène" (1829). His works on vital statistics were regarded as a refutation, on many points successful, of Doubleday's "True Law of Population". His chief title to renown is his "Tableau de l'état physique et moral des ouvriers employés dans les manufactures de coton, de laine et de soie" (184), which was the result of lengthy investigation. It showed how the hand combining of cotton, engenders pneumonia, and contained a protest against excessive child-labour in manufacturing; Villermé's cry of warning was thus the origin of the law of 1841 on child labour. The period of 1848 was marked by three works of Villermé: "Les associations ouvrières" (1849); "Les cités ouvrières" (1850); "Les accidents produits dans les ateliers par les appareils mécaniques" (1858). To Villermé belongs the credit of having given an accurate diagnosis of the industrial evils which social Catholicism later sought to remedy. A Liberal in political economy, he was timid when it came to organizing remedies, but he brought to the observation and exposition of the social evil the exactitude employed by a physician in the diagnosis of a patient's malady. He was a member of the Academie des Sciences Morales et Politiques from about 1833.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online