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Alt.history Challenge - No Reformation, Does The Industrial Revolution Happen?


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I've started reading and thinking a bit about the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution, and then zooming back a bit to look at causes and effects before and after.

 

So, here's a challenge. Assume that Luther never nails his Theses to the door, no Protestant movements, no Lutheran/Calvinist/Catholic conflicts.

 

How does history change?

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There still could be a Dutch Revolt driven by the ambition of William the Silent of Orange. If not, Flanders and the Spanish Netherlands will continue to be the economic center of the continent, and they flourish because of no blockade by the Sea Beggars. More commerce with America through Seville/Antwerp, possible Flemish/Dutch emigration to the Spanish Indies.

The HRE keeps its religious and political unity. No Perpetual Diet at Regensburg, thus more effective administration, and no devastation because of the 30 Years War. The Teutonic Order does not evolve into the Protestant Prussian Kingdom. Perhaps Teutonic Knights are incorporated to the HRE.

Perhaps the Henry VIII divorce is now an anecdote, as there was no a separate set of religious sects to give him an intellectual background, and Mary I could redress the English situation. Increase of commerce with Spain and the HRE. Also no Puritans, thus no religious driver to settle out of England, and no Mayflower. North America is colonized by other means. Up north, Flodden Field still takes place, Scotland gets less aggressive for a time, and no Presbyterians.

 

Possible alliance between Spain, the HRE, and England against France. France could try to get help among the Turks. Turks that probably do not conquer Hungary in 1526, and find arrayed against them the forces that were battling the wars of religion. Perhaps that could end in some political marriages, Felix Austria-style.

 

Probably Sweden does not go devastating Poland and Northern Germany. Perhaps against Russia? Or, Poland helps Russia to get the Golden Horde/Crimean Khanate out?

Too many possible outcomes, but I think the major points are:

- Europe remains together, so Tartars, Turks, and North African pirates are dealt with 100 or 200 years before our time.

- France remains a wild card.

- I am not sure what could have been different for Spain, with the exception of less American bullion spent in wars. Still risk of hyperinflation. A Charles II could be avoided by marrying more with the Stuarts/Bourbons.

- More peace, good for the economy and the technical progress.

 

Of course, I am not an expert on the matter.

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History would be different while being the same. Martin Luther wasn't alone in his thinking or ideas, were he, nailing his Theses to the door of the All Saints' Church in Wittenberg*, wouldn't even have been a footnote in the history of vandalism. Moreover, it was an invention about 70 years prior to that which helped spread those ideas, the Gutenberg printing press. But then I'm not even giving much credit to Gutenberg because again, his idea for a printing press didn't happen in a vacuum, if he hadn't introduced movable type to the screw press, somebody else surely would have.

 

The point being that there would have been a blip in human history, maybe by as long lasting as a generation, but human cultural evolution will not long be stymied. There is just too much inertia for absence of one individual to have a lasting influence. In any case, how would we know?

 

*Apparently there is no evidence to support this mythological act.

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When I was studying the history of Europe between 1815 and 1914, which is when most of them industrialized, there was a trend noted that deserves some study. All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations. That doesn't mean that somehow protestants were smarter. It just implies there was some retardation on progress in Catholic nations, that held them back. And I think that was the Catholic church being a retardation on progress, perhaps for social reasons, perhaps even because they owned land or had great influence and feared the upheaval progress would bring.

 

An example is Italy, which was unified by Garibaldi. Unfortunately in doing so he took some of the land that belonged to the Vatican. If I can remember rightly, the Pope put out a bull or proclamation saying that anyone that supported Garibaldi and tthe new Italian state would be excommunicated (or at the very least, treated with extreme displeasure). The result was Italy took longer to unify than many of the European nations that also went through similar integrations (such as the German Empire). That may have contributed to poor performance in WW1, and eventually the rise of Mussolini.

 

I dont think the industrial revolution would have happened, it was too destructive of the established social order. If you think of what happened in just Britain, it nearly resulted in revolutions or uprisings several times, and it was only the use of excessive violence (such as at Peterloo) that kept things in check. Look to what happened in several places in Europe in 1848, and clearly that was an option that didnt always work. I think most nations would have recognized the problems it was causing and just clamped down on such progressive ideas.

 

Maybe Industrialism would have progressed, but it would have been at a far, far slower pace than it was. It may have made the US the initial industrializing nation, and Europe remaining just a backwater.

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IMHO reformation (eventually) enabled education for masses. in current baltic states the roman catholic church arrived in early 13th century, but real education (and possibly, true spread of christianity in the sense that flock finally understood what priest was meaning while preaching :D​ ) started to spread with late swedish state and especially hernhutians-movement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moravian_Church in late 1600-s and first half of 18th century.

 

neither catholic church or orthodox really cared about spread of knowledge amongst lower classes

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(...)All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations(...).

 

Belgium was not a protestant nation.

 

The industrial revolution on the European continent began in Belgium. Before that, the country had traditionally enjoyed a vibrant trading tradition for many years. Textile production flourished in Flanders, iron processing in Walloon and there were large coal reserves in the south and east of the country. These key branches proved ideal pre-requisites for industrialisation. Belgians also maintained intensive contacts with Great Britain and in 1720, the first steam engine on the continent went into action near Liège. The model, made by Thomas Newcomen, was used to draw out waste water from a coal mine. Sometime later this was succeeded by another steam engine in the coal region around Mons and Charleroi. Thus everything was in place for boosting the coal and steel industries in both areas.

source

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When I was studying the history of Europe between 1815 and 1914, which is when most of them industrialized, there was a trend noted that deserves some study. All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations. That doesn't mean that somehow protestants were smarter. It just implies there was some retardation on progress in Catholic nations, that held them back. And I think that was the Catholic church being a retardation on progress, perhaps for social reasons, perhaps even because they owned land or had great influence and feared the upheaval progress would bring.

 

An example is Italy, which was unified by Garibaldi. Unfortunately in doing so he took some of the land that belonged to the Vatican. If I can remember rightly, the Pope put out a bull or proclamation saying that anyone that supported Garibaldi and tthe new Italian state would be excommunicated (or at the very least, treated with extreme displeasure). The result was Italy took longer to unify than many of the European nations that also went through similar integrations (such as the German Empire). That may have contributed to poor performance in WW1, and eventually the rise of Mussolini.

 

I dont think the industrial revolution would have happened, it was too destructive of the established social order. If you think of what happened in just Britain, it nearly resulted in revolutions or uprisings several times, and it was only the use of excessive violence (such as at Peterloo) that kept things in check. Look to what happened in several places in Europe in 1848, and clearly that was an option that didnt always work. I think most nations would have recognized the problems it was causing and just clamped down on such progressive ideas.

 

Maybe Industrialism would have progressed, but it would have been at a far, far slower pace than it was. It may have made the US the initial industrializing nation, and Europe remaining just a backwater.

 

The key is the separation of Church and state, that happened later in Southern Europe. Hence, Northern Italy industrialised earlier but the Papal states missed the train.

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I think the key for the early industrial revolution was having coal fields next to deposits of iron ore, more than the legal arrangements of state and church.

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Luther was neither the only, nor the first protestant reformer and maybe not even the most important one. In order to butterfly the reformation away the catholic church would have to change its ways a lot.

 

I'm not sure how much no Protestantism would impact industrialisation. The one thing you definitely need for it are secure property rights. The English parliament representing the property owners will work on that regardless of religion.

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When I was studying the history of Europe between 1815 and 1914, which is when most of them industrialized, there was a trend noted that deserves some study. All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations. That doesn't mean that somehow protestants were smarter. It just implies there was some retardation on progress in Catholic nations, that held them back. And I think that was the Catholic church being a retardation on progress, perhaps for social reasons, perhaps even because they owned land or had great influence and feared the upheaval progress would bring.

 

An example is Italy, which was unified by Garibaldi. Unfortunately in doing so he took some of the land that belonged to the Vatican. If I can remember rightly, the Pope put out a bull or proclamation saying that anyone that supported Garibaldi and tthe new Italian state would be excommunicated (or at the very least, treated with extreme displeasure). The result was Italy took longer to unify than many of the European nations that also went through similar integrations (such as the German Empire). That may have contributed to poor performance in WW1, and eventually the rise of Mussolini.

 

I dont think the industrial revolution would have happened, it was too destructive of the established social order. If you think of what happened in just Britain, it nearly resulted in revolutions or uprisings several times, and it was only the use of excessive violence (such as at Peterloo) that kept things in check. Look to what happened in several places in Europe in 1848, and clearly that was an option that didnt always work. I think most nations would have recognized the problems it was causing and just clamped down on such progressive ideas.

 

Maybe Industrialism would have progressed, but it would have been at a far, far slower pace than it was. It may have made the US the initial industrializing nation, and Europe remaining just a backwater.

Good point here. The Catholic nations still had the dead hand of the papacy holding them down.

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IMHO reformation (eventually) enabled education for masses. in current baltic states the roman catholic church arrived in early 13th century, but real education (and possibly, true spread of christianity in the sense that flock finally understood what priest was meaning while preaching :D​ ) started to spread with late swedish state and especially hernhutians-movement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moravian_Church in late 1600-s and first half of 18th century.

 

neither catholic church or orthodox really cared about spread of knowledge amongst lower classes

 

I've often felt that the publication and mass production (relatively) of the King James version of the Bible was a turning point.

 

As for Bibles and Christian services in Latin, a wise man once said "Romani ite domum."

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A major economic and social advantage of reformation was dissolution of monastic orders. Not only were some monasteries horribly corrupted, it meant that lots of the educated people had to find something else to do than cozy life in monasteries. Also it was one step in centralizing the states, eliminating a large class of independent landowners.

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History would be different while being the same. Martin Luther wasn't alone in his thinking or ideas ... Moreover, it was an invention about 70 years prior to that which helped spread those ideas, the Gutenberg printing press. ... again, his idea for a printing press didn't happen in a vacuum, if he hadn't introduced movable type to the screw press, somebody else surely would have.

 

I fully agree.

Luther was a skilled demagogue and at the same time also a well-schooled theologian, so he combined three factors that made his absolutely non-unique critique of the Roman Catholic church particularly successful. But he was also a useful pawn on the chessboard of European politics at the time for those of the aristocracy who wished to liberate themselves from overbearing RCC influence on non-religious policy matters.

 

Another often overlooked effect of the Gutenberg press was that it made people realize that they had bad eyes, giving rise to the lens making industry which in turn then accelerated scientific research, both in astronomy and, ultimately, microbiology.

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(...)All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations(...).

 

Belgium was not a protestant nation.

 

The industrial revolution on the European continent began in Belgium. Before that, the country had traditionally enjoyed a vibrant trading tradition for many years. Textile production flourished in Flanders, iron processing in Walloon and there were large coal reserves in the south and east of the country. These key branches proved ideal pre-requisites for industrialisation. Belgians also maintained intensive contacts with Great Britain and in 1720, the first steam engine on the continent went into action near Liège. The model, made by Thomas Newcomen, was used to draw out waste water from a coal mine. Sometime later this was succeeded by another steam engine in the coal region around Mons and Charleroi. Thus everything was in place for boosting the coal and steel industries in both areas.

source

 

 

True, but it was surrounded by nations that were. And I would suspect a LOT of that trade between North Germany, France and Britain would have inevitably gone through them. I also get the impression, rightly or wrongly, that whilst the Catholic Church was still well established in Belgium, it didnt have the kind of authority and control it had in Italy or Spain.

 

It would be interesting to learn who built the Belgian transport links. I'm willing to bet a lot of it was built from outside investors.

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When I was studying the history of Europe between 1815 and 1914, which is when most of them industrialized, there was a trend noted that deserves some study. All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations. That doesn't mean that somehow protestants were smarter. It just implies there was some retardation on progress in Catholic nations, that held them back. And I think that was the Catholic church being a retardation on progress, perhaps for social reasons, perhaps even because they owned land or had great influence and feared the upheaval progress would bring.

 

An example is Italy, which was unified by Garibaldi. Unfortunately in doing so he took some of the land that belonged to the Vatican. If I can remember rightly, the Pope put out a bull or proclamation saying that anyone that supported Garibaldi and tthe new Italian state would be excommunicated (or at the very least, treated with extreme displeasure). The result was Italy took longer to unify than many of the European nations that also went through similar integrations (such as the German Empire). That may have contributed to poor performance in WW1, and eventually the rise of Mussolini.

 

I dont think the industrial revolution would have happened, it was too destructive of the established social order. If you think of what happened in just Britain, it nearly resulted in revolutions or uprisings several times, and it was only the use of excessive violence (such as at Peterloo) that kept things in check. Look to what happened in several places in Europe in 1848, and clearly that was an option that didnt always work. I think most nations would have recognized the problems it was causing and just clamped down on such progressive ideas.

 

Maybe Industrialism would have progressed, but it would have been at a far, far slower pace than it was. It may have made the US the initial industrializing nation, and Europe remaining just a backwater.

Good point here. The Catholic nations still had the dead hand of the papacy holding them down.

 

No, it is not. Stuart could present his own opinions, but not his own facts. One fact there is Belgium, a Catholic country, being the first Continental European country to develop an Industrial Revolution. Thus that argument is a good example of garbage in, garbage out.

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A major economic and social advantage of reformation was dissolution of monastic orders. Not only were some monasteries horribly corrupted, it meant that lots of the educated people had to find something else to do than cozy life in monasteries. Also it was one step in centralizing the states, eliminating a large class of independent landowners.

You know I had not thought about that, an interesting idea. Getting land away from the "dead hand" of the Church was a major impetus as well I suspect.

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When I was studying the history of Europe between 1815 and 1914, which is when most of them industrialized, there was a trend noted that deserves some study. All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations. That doesn't mean that somehow protestants were smarter. It just implies there was some retardation on progress in Catholic nations, that held them back. And I think that was the Catholic church being a retardation on progress, perhaps for social reasons, perhaps even because they owned land or had great influence and feared the upheaval progress would bring.

 

An example is Italy, which was unified by Garibaldi. Unfortunately in doing so he took some of the land that belonged to the Vatican. If I can remember rightly, the Pope put out a bull or proclamation saying that anyone that supported Garibaldi and tthe new Italian state would be excommunicated (or at the very least, treated with extreme displeasure). The result was Italy took longer to unify than many of the European nations that also went through similar integrations (such as the German Empire). That may have contributed to poor performance in WW1, and eventually the rise of Mussolini.

 

I dont think the industrial revolution would have happened, it was too destructive of the established social order. If you think of what happened in just Britain, it nearly resulted in revolutions or uprisings several times, and it was only the use of excessive violence (such as at Peterloo) that kept things in check. Look to what happened in several places in Europe in 1848, and clearly that was an option that didnt always work. I think most nations would have recognized the problems it was causing and just clamped down on such progressive ideas.

 

Maybe Industrialism would have progressed, but it would have been at a far, far slower pace than it was. It may have made the US the initial industrializing nation, and Europe remaining just a backwater.

Good point here. The Catholic nations still had the dead hand of the papacy holding them down.

 

No, it is not. Stuart could present his own opinions, but not his own facts. One fact there is Belgium, a Catholic country, being the first Continental European country to develop an Industrial Revolution.

 

I was unaware of that.

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(...)All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations(...).

 

Belgium was not a protestant nation.

 

The industrial revolution on the European continent began in Belgium. Before that, the country had traditionally enjoyed a vibrant trading tradition for many years. Textile production flourished in Flanders, iron processing in Walloon and there were large coal reserves in the south and east of the country. These key branches proved ideal pre-requisites for industrialisation. Belgians also maintained intensive contacts with Great Britain and in 1720, the first steam engine on the continent went into action near Liège. The model, made by Thomas Newcomen, was used to draw out waste water from a coal mine. Sometime later this was succeeded by another steam engine in the coal region around Mons and Charleroi. Thus everything was in place for boosting the coal and steel industries in both areas.

source

 

 

True, but it was surrounded by nations that were. (...)

 

 

Yes, like that conspicuous champion of Protestantism, 19th century France. More reading, less writing, Stuart.

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No, it is not. Stuart could present his own opinions, but not his own facts. One fact there is Belgium, a Catholic country, being the first Continental European country to develop an Industrial Revolution.

I was unaware of that.

 

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=44060&do=findComment&comment=1437573

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Anyway, if we could extract ourselves of the old "Papists should be exterminated because reasons", perhaps we could consider that a Catholic Europe going into stasis like the Egypt of the Pharaohs is not very reasonable. That same Europe was able to put the foundation of the scientific revolution with Copernicus, Bacon, Leonardo and Galileo. In case anyone does not know, Galileo was not burnt at the stake.

In our time line, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, Genoa, and Venice were able to keep the Turks at bay, thanks in part to technological advancements. The types of ship used in the great European explorations, caravels, carracks, and galleons were Iberian developments. The Renaissance military revolution, that affirmed the supremacy of pike and shot infantry over the heavy cavalry of the middle ages, was born in the Italian wars, between sundry Italians, Frenchmen, and Spaniards.

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When I was studying the history of Europe between 1815 and 1914, which is when most of them industrialized, there was a trend noted that deserves some study. All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations. That doesn't mean that somehow protestants were smarter. It just implies there was some retardation on progress in Catholic nations, that held them back. And I think that was the Catholic church being a retardation on progress, perhaps for social reasons, perhaps even because they owned land or had great influence and feared the upheaval progress would bring.

 

An example is Italy, which was unified by Garibaldi. Unfortunately in doing so he took some of the land that belonged to the Vatican. If I can remember rightly, the Pope put out a bull or proclamation saying that anyone that supported Garibaldi and tthe new Italian state would be excommunicated (or at the very least, treated with extreme displeasure). The result was Italy took longer to unify than many of the European nations that also went through similar integrations (such as the German Empire). That may have contributed to poor performance in WW1, and eventually the rise of Mussolini.

 

I dont think the industrial revolution would have happened, it was too destructive of the established social order. If you think of what happened in just Britain, it nearly resulted in revolutions or uprisings several times, and it was only the use of excessive violence (such as at Peterloo) that kept things in check. Look to what happened in several places in Europe in 1848, and clearly that was an option that didnt always work. I think most nations would have recognized the problems it was causing and just clamped down on such progressive ideas.

 

Maybe Industrialism would have progressed, but it would have been at a far, far slower pace than it was. It may have made the US the initial industrializing nation, and Europe remaining just a backwater.

Good point here. The Catholic nations still had the dead hand of the papacy holding them down.

 

No, it is not. Stuart could present his own opinions, but not his own facts. One fact there is Belgium, a Catholic country, being the first Continental European country to develop an Industrial Revolution. Thus that argument is a good example of garbage in, garbage out.

 

 

Its not my opinions, it was in a textbook on Europe between 1815 and 1914, and the industrial development of it, that I read when I was doing an Open University course on the industrial revolution. I can probably look it up if you want to cite it.

Do I agree with them? Yes. But please dont imply im plucking them out of think air just to attack Catholics because this is not the case.

 

As said before, for goods to go from Britain and Germany, where do they go? Belgium. So what we are interpreting as Belgian industrialization efforts, may just be British and German Financiers developing trade links in a 3rd nation. I do seem to recall that unlike the UK, the Belgian Railways, like the German ones, were state planned and largely built with state funds. Which implies to my mind, entreprenerism didnt have much to do with the initial stages of the Belgian industrial revolution. Why was Belgium different in this regard from other Catholic nations? A good question I have no answers to. But that it was, is self evident.

 

Compare and contrast to Spain, Portugal and Italy, and contrast how industrial development occurred there compared to Britain. It lagged considerably. Even France to a large extent lagged the UK, although to be fair to them, not sitting on large stockpiles of coal didnt help matters much either. Its why they subsequently became world leaders in hydro electric power, and perhaps nuclear power also.

 

 

There was something different about the Protestant countries. And I dont mean they were better, or cleverer, or anything like that. For some reason they industrialized first, and there was some inherent structural advantage being 'different' from the rest of Europe helped them. We can argue about why that is, but that it happened that way is a fact.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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When I was studying the history of Europe between 1815 and 1914, which is when most of them industrialized, there was a trend noted that deserves some study. All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations. That doesn't mean that somehow protestants were smarter. It just implies there was some retardation on progress in Catholic nations, that held them back. And I think that was the Catholic church being a retardation on progress, perhaps for social reasons, perhaps even because they owned land or had great influence and feared the upheaval progress would bring.

 

An example is Italy, which was unified by Garibaldi. Unfortunately in doing so he took some of the land that belonged to the Vatican. If I can remember rightly, the Pope put out a bull or proclamation saying that anyone that supported Garibaldi and tthe new Italian state would be excommunicated (or at the very least, treated with extreme displeasure). The result was Italy took longer to unify than many of the European nations that also went through similar integrations (such as the German Empire). That may have contributed to poor performance in WW1, and eventually the rise of Mussolini.

 

I dont think the industrial revolution would have happened, it was too destructive of the established social order. If you think of what happened in just Britain, it nearly resulted in revolutions or uprisings several times, and it was only the use of excessive violence (such as at Peterloo) that kept things in check. Look to what happened in several places in Europe in 1848, and clearly that was an option that didnt always work. I think most nations would have recognized the problems it was causing and just clamped down on such progressive ideas.

 

Maybe Industrialism would have progressed, but it would have been at a far, far slower pace than it was. It may have made the US the initial industrializing nation, and Europe remaining just a backwater.

Good point here. The Catholic nations still had the dead hand of the papacy holding them down.

 

No, it is not. Stuart could present his own opinions, but not his own facts. One fact there is Belgium, a Catholic country, being the first Continental European country to develop an Industrial Revolution. Thus that argument is a good example of garbage in, garbage out.

 

 

Its not my opinions, it was in a textbook on Europe between 1815 and 1914, and the industrial development of it, that I read when I was doing an Open University course on the industrial revolution. Do I agree with them? Yes. But please dont imply im plucking them out of think air just to attack Catholics because this is not the case.

 

"All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations". That is a quite strong statement. I am wondering if your memories are accurate, as this statement is clearly false, because of Belgium.

 

As said before, for goods to go from Britain and Germany, where do they go? Belgium. So what we are interpreting as Belgian industrialization efforts, may just be British and German Financiers developing trade links in a 3rd nation.

 

I think the Dutch Netherlands are more in the way, and the Rhine does not meet the sea in Belgian territory. Then there is the Hansa.

 

Compare and contrast to Spain, Portugal and Italy, and contrast how industrial development occurred there compared to Britain. It lagged considerably. Even France to a large extent lagged the UK, although to be fair to them, not sitting on large stockpiles of coal didnt help matters either.

 

You should go back to your books. In mine, they stated that coal fields + iron ore is the common trend among the early areas that had the industrial revolution.

 

There was something different about the Protestant countries. And I dont mean they were better, or cleverer, or anything like that. For some reason they industrialized first, and there was some inherent structural advantage being 'different from the rest of Europe helped them. We can argue about why that is, but that it happened that way is a fact. Im not making it up.

 

Yes, there was something different, like better propaganda.

 

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I fully agree.

Luther was a skilled demagogue and at the same time also a well-schooled theologian, so he combined three factors that made his absolutely non-unique critique of the Roman Catholic church particularly successful. But he was also a useful pawn on the chessboard of European politics at the time for those of the aristocracy who wished to liberate themselves from overbearing RCC influence on non-religious policy matters.

And not only the direct Church influence, but also against the Habsburg dynasty at the top of the Holy Roman Empire. German princes championed Luther's cause as a way to assert/extend their sovereignty against the Catholic emperor and his base of legitimacy.

 

I'm rather sure a variant of the Thirty Year War would have happened anyway; its religious facade wore off quick enough, with Catholic France fighting alongside Protestant Sweden against the Catholic Habsburg side, etc.

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And not only the direct Church influence, but also against the Habsburg dynasty at the top of the Holy Roman Empire. German princes championed Luther's cause as a way to assert/extend their sovereignty against the Catholic emperor and his base of legitimacy.

Very much. I've seen the thesis that William the Silent used Lutheranism to justify his rebellion against Philip II.

No Luther could also means no Müntzer, then no German Peasant's War, but still could have been smaller revolts, Jacquerie-style.

 

I'm rather sure a variant of the Thirty Year War would have happened anyway; its religious facade wore off quick enough, with Catholic France fighting alongside Protestant Sweden against the Catholic Habsburg side, etc.

Yes, France is a wild card. On one hand, they will not suffer the internecine religion wars, on the other hand, the Habsburg encirclement could be a fact.

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When I was studying the history of Europe between 1815 and 1914, which is when most of them industrialized, there was a trend noted that deserves some study. All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations. That doesn't mean that somehow protestants were smarter. It just implies there was some retardation on progress in Catholic nations, that held them back. And I think that was the Catholic church being a retardation on progress, perhaps for social reasons, perhaps even because they owned land or had great influence and feared the upheaval progress would bring.

 

An example is Italy, which was unified by Garibaldi. Unfortunately in doing so he took some of the land that belonged to the Vatican. If I can remember rightly, the Pope put out a bull or proclamation saying that anyone that supported Garibaldi and tthe new Italian state would be excommunicated (or at the very least, treated with extreme displeasure). The result was Italy took longer to unify than many of the European nations that also went through similar integrations (such as the German Empire). That may have contributed to poor performance in WW1, and eventually the rise of Mussolini.

 

I dont think the industrial revolution would have happened, it was too destructive of the established social order. If you think of what happened in just Britain, it nearly resulted in revolutions or uprisings several times, and it was only the use of excessive violence (such as at Peterloo) that kept things in check. Look to what happened in several places in Europe in 1848, and clearly that was an option that didnt always work. I think most nations would have recognized the problems it was causing and just clamped down on such progressive ideas.

 

Maybe Industrialism would have progressed, but it would have been at a far, far slower pace than it was. It may have made the US the initial industrializing nation, and Europe remaining just a backwater.

Good point here. The Catholic nations still had the dead hand of the papacy holding them down.

 

No, it is not. Stuart could present his own opinions, but not his own facts. One fact there is Belgium, a Catholic country, being the first Continental European country to develop an Industrial Revolution. Thus that argument is a good example of garbage in, garbage out.

 

 

Its not my opinions, it was in a textbook on Europe between 1815 and 1914, and the industrial development of it, that I read when I was doing an Open University course on the industrial revolution. Do I agree with them? Yes. But please dont imply im plucking them out of think air just to attack Catholics because this is not the case.

 

"All the nations in Europe that first industrialized were protestant nations". That is a quite strong statement. I am wondering if your memories are accurate, as this statement is clearly false, because of Belgium.

 

As said before, for goods to go from Britain and Germany, where do they go? Belgium. So what we are interpreting as Belgian industrialization efforts, may just be British and German Financiers developing trade links in a 3rd nation.

 

I think the Dutch Netherlands are more in the way, and the Rhine does not meet the sea in Belgian territory. Then there is the Hansa.

 

Compare and contrast to Spain, Portugal and Italy, and contrast how industrial development occurred there compared to Britain. It lagged considerably. Even France to a large extent lagged the UK, although to be fair to them, not sitting on large stockpiles of coal didnt help matters either.

 

You should go back to your books. In mine, they stated that coal fields + iron ore is the common trend among the early areas that had the industrial revolution.

 

There was something different about the Protestant countries. And I dont mean they were better, or cleverer, or anything like that. For some reason they industrialized first, and there was some inherent structural advantage being 'different from the rest of Europe helped them. We can argue about why that is, but that it happened that way is a fact. Im not making it up.

 

Yes, there was something different, like better propaganda.

 

 

We didnt have any Iron ore. We had to import it. We had mountains of coal, so there was a growth industry for a start.

 

Sunday, you absolutely cannot accept this is not propaganda based, but an academic study of where industrialism occurred. Ok, lets look at a map.

 

And bear in mind, that is halfway through the 1800's. The industrial process is already half done by that point, and still the predominant point is Northern Europe. Look how little it had yet to touch spain or Italy. And arguably they should have been among the first, because they had far better sea links than say, the German confederation.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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