Protestant Ethic Thesis

During the second half of the 19th century, capitalism was rapidly expanding in the West. In Germany, various thinkers sought to uncover the origins of modern capitalism: Georg Simmel published his “Philosophy of Money” (Philosophie des Geldes) in 1900 and Werner Sombart followed with “Modern Capitalism” (Der moderne Kapitalismus) in 1902. Max Weber admired these works of these friends and colleagues but was convinced their accounts were fundamentally flawed. His work on the agrarian conditions in Western Prussia (now part of Poland) led him to recognize the economic disparity between the richer German Protestants and the poorer Polish Catholics. One of Weber’s students investigated a similar economic disparity between Protestants and Catholics in the southwestern German state of Baden. It was this type of disparity ...

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