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Catholicism in Medieval Europe - Essay Example

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The connection between religion and economic growth has been discussed by many authors, and the aim of the present research is to define, how the catholic allegiance influenced the European catholic territories in pre-industrial period, or, to be exact, before 1570…
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Catholicism in Medieval Europe
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Catholicism in Medieval Europe

Download file to see previous pages... Before starting to discuss the topic of the essay, it should be beneficial to point out the main statements, met in literature as for the possible impact, which religion may create on the economic development of any country.
When considering the Bible as a complex social and ethical teachings, it is necessary to account, that it does not contain any 'definite system of theoretical and practical knowledge',1 but only the essential features of faith and morality are described; the Bible gives only the basis for behavioral patterns of human business life. The influence of Catholicism on the dynamics of the market system development can not be unilaterally evaluated. The development of capitalism in Italy, Spain, Portugal and the related countries, has happened much later in comparison with the other countries of Western Europe. The explanation to this phenomenon researchers find in the long-lasting Muslim influence in Spain and Portugal.2 Catholicism was noted as the religion, which was able to quickly react to the changing reality, but we are here to consider the possibility of Catholicism as religion influencing the economic development of the Western European countries before 1570, and though the thesis of close connection between religion and economic development is now subjected to fair criticism, it can't be denied that during the period of pre-Industrialism Catholicism as religion has created considerable effect on the way people were living and working, creating the general product and defining the direction of economic development of their countries.3
As far as the data about the economic development of pre-Industrial Europe is scarce, it would be better to base the evaluation of the economic state at that time and the impact of religious allegiance on that state through the notions of urban population growth and looking closer at the situation with real wages by 1570. Real wages may become the very factor, which will lead us to the conclusion, but exact numbers are absent and we may only take into consideration the aspects of growth or decrease in these wages in comparison to other non-catholic countries of Europe.4 The growth of urban population also presupposes the higher economic prosperity of the certain European countries. It should be noted here, that the northern parts of Europe, which were characterized by the development of Protestantism, were by that time not very well economically developed, due to the scanty population and lacking economic ties between the countries of that region; this has little to do with the impact of religion, but it should be noted, that the notions of Catholicism have ultimately defined the way Southern European countries were going in their economic development.
It is also necessary to say, that historically the period of European development before 1570 was closely connected with social tension and economic underachievement - facing the consequences of the plague epidemic and crisis of the agrarian production.5 The workers who had traditionally been involved into agriculture, had to leave their places and arrive to cities, where they were hardly been able to find a place of constant employment. The cities by that time were well-developed as the separate units of each state, and had enough amount of autonomy, thus ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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