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Lecture 10

EURO ST 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Pietism, Protestantism, Ninety-Five Theses

European Studies
Course Code
John Smith

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Professor Smith
Europe Studies 10
Course Code: 24000
4 units
2018 Fall Quarter
Course Notes
What is driving capitalism?
Greed and avarice?
The accumulation of capital? A banking system? Trade?
Individuals succeeding?
Yes, but more is needed
What is the relation between these aspects of the economic system and the
“attitude” that turns these aspects into full-blown capitalism?
See page 9 or p.11 on “ascetic” attitude
What is asceticism?
“Severe self-discipline and avoidance of indulgence, often for religious reasons”
The necessary conditions
What conditions foster the development of modern capitalism?
“...the spirit of capitalism was present before the capitalistic order”
Hence, the “revolutionary process” of capitalism cannot be explained in strictly
economic terms but needed “the spirit of capitalism”
Defined as:
“Temperate self-control”, a set of “ethical qualities”
In sum: for capitalism to develop it needed an ethos, an attitude, a “spirit”, that
encouraged hard work and asceticism for their own sakes
Only they could overcome “traditionalism”
And where did this attitude or spirit come from?
Protestant theology
What is “rationalization” can we see that is connected to capitalism?
“Time is money” - this leads to thinking about efficiency
Can we explain capitalism merely by appealing to this phenomenon
Clearly it is important, but what (for weber) is behind the king of thinking?
More historical examples
Women workers of pietist (strict protestant) background
Florence vs. “backwoods pennsylvania” (13)
What’s the difference between these two places in terms of the
development of capitalism?
Florence has all the conditions (banking, trade, capital...) but is lacking what?
Time and Place
Where and when does capitalism emerge in Europe?
Northern europe: germany, england, and especially holland
What is different about these countries, as opposed to those of southern europe
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