By R.J. Holton
Towns, Capitalism and Civilization seems to be on the personality and area of expertise of Western Civilization. R.J. Holton units out to problem the assumption that towns and concrete social periods have shaped the most part of the improvement of civilization, and the main dynamic of Western capitalism. This e-book was once first released in 1986.
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Additional resources for Cities, Capitalism and Civilization (Routledge Library Editions: The City)
My aim is not to argue that before 1914 Germany was merely one capitalist society like any other, separated only by certain 'accidents' of previous historical development from Britain or France. I have no desire to demote the importance of specific political differences amongst societies or to explain away the patent authoritarianism of the German political system, diminishing the latter to a purely epiphenomenal significance. Nor (to go to the opposite extreme) am I advocating the practical historian's familiar nominalism, in which every society is 'peculiar' and history's comparative calling completely dissolved.
More generally, it might be said that we attend more to historical texture, to the 'thisness' of historical experience, than those who represent the present embattled orthodoxy do. One of us made a rather playful allusion to this position in the German edition by adapting a celebrated Ranke dictum in his title. But what we are advocating hardly adds up to historicism in the bad old German sense. The positive virtues of historicism, with its emphasis on verstehen and the unique event, and of critical history, with its stress on the application of theory, are not mutually exclusive.
For Introduction 23 parties to the left, on the importance of the confessional divide and its political effects in hampering a reformist bloc. One might say that the failure of the Weimar Coalition after 1923 was prefigured by the failure of a putative 'Gladstonian Coalition' before 1914, a subject we both discuss. These general problems of German politics played an obvious role in the Weimar Republic. Some were exacerbated by war and revolution, some by the post-1929 crisis, some by both. Some appeared in slightly altered form: the Communist Party (KPD), for example, inherited the SPD's mantle as the chief "revolutionary threat'.