Max Weber - Critical Responses To Weber

Critical Responses To Weber

Weber's explanations are highly specific to the historical periods he analysed. This makes it more difficult to generalise from his analysis and modify his theories for other circumstances.

Many scholars, however, have disagreed with specific claims Weber makes in his historical analysis. For example, the economist Joseph Schumpeter argued that capitalism did not begin with the Industrial Revolution but in 14th century Italy. In Milan, Venice and Florence the small city-state governments led to the development of the earliest forms of capitalism. In the 16th century Antwerp was a commercial centre of Europe. Also, the predominantly Calvinist country of Scotland did not enjoy the same economic growth as the Netherlands, England and New England. It has been pointed out that the Netherlands, which had a Calvinist majority, industrialised much later in the 19th century than predominantly Catholic Belgium, which was one of the centres of the Industrial Revolution on the European mainland. Emil Kauder expanded Schumpeter's argument by arguing the hypothesis that Calvinism hurt the development of capitalism by leading to the development of the labour theory of value.

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