Quotation by Thomas Carlyle

The three great elements of modern civilization, gunpowder, printing, and the Protestant religion.
Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), Scottish essayist, historian. The State of German Literature, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays (1839-1857).

Carlyle was alluding to an earlier observation by Francis Bacon: "Printing, gunpowder, and the magnet ... these three have changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world." (Novum Organum, bk. 1, aph. 129, 1620).
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