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The Beginnings of Capitalism in Central Europe

Edited By Cyril Levitt

This book focuses on the beginnings of capitalism in Central Europe with emphasis on the German-speaking areas from the 14th to the 17th century. It also reviews and assesses the writings on the topic by the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. At the center of the presentation are the developments in mining, metallurgy, smelting, book publishing, clock making, ship building and advances in trade, commerce and finance. This book will be of interest to students of medieval and early modern European history, the so-called transition debate of feudalism to capitalism, social scientists and historians who are interested in the various transitions in human history, and philosophers who follow developments in the changing issues regarding freedom and bondage over the course of human development. Anthropologists who are familiar with Krader’s writings on the development of the Asiatic mode of production will be interested to see how Krader treats this transition from feudalism to capitalism by way of comparison and contrast.

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Chapter One The Beginnings of Modern Bourgeois Society in Central Europe

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The Beginnings of Modern Bourgeois Society in Central Europe

The Bourgeois Revolution from the 15th–17th Centuries

A thousand years ago in large areas of Central and Western Europe, the feudal system, feudalism, serfdom, estates and the unfreedom of the peasantry dominated; now in the same region there is modern bourgeois society and the freedom of all citizens. A transformation of the old system occurred in the 15th to the 17th century, which was accomplished so quickly and so fundamentally that one could refer to it as revolution. The concept of a bourgeois revolution in the 15th to the 17th century is related to the introduction of the capitalist system, the expanded market and money economy, the liberation of the peasants, the development of urban industry and the founding of the nation state system of the modern era. The different estates, strata and classes of peasants, of merchants and of the urban working class have taken part in this transformation. Nevertheless, this revolution was in no way unitary; the aristocracy, the royal court and the Church together constituted the leading stratum in the European society of the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the modern era. The dominant role of this stratum in politics was not immediately refashioned.

Five hundred years ago many people were conscious of the fact that in their era it was not about the continuation of the past conditions of life, but rather that it was a new era in which new conditions of life occasionally surfaced not as isolated phenomena in this or that aspect of social relations, but rather everywhere, in the ←3 | 4→systems of economy and law, in religion, in the arts and sciences. In the south and in the north of Europe one spoke of a Renaissance.

Feudalism lasted for some time; it differed from antiquity. But in opposition to the transition to the modern era people in the Middle Ages did not delve into their distinction from the previous period of classical antiquity. They were not conscious of the transitional period, as were the painters, thinkers, poets and philologists of the modern era who distinguished their era from the previous one and separated the Middle Ages from classical antiquity. The notions of a succession of periods and of a periodization in human history are not new. Already in antiquity Hesiod sang of an earlier golden and beautiful period and of a later iron and ugly age. Aristotle repeated this idea in an altered form, and in fact did this in connection with his theory of myth, which he brought out in his Metaphysics. The period is the hallmark of a demeanour of people in the world; the end of a period is the indicator of the dissolution of that demeanour, of its upheaval and of the demarcation of the present from the past. However, a historical epoch is not a living being; it is not born, and it does not die. It disappears when the conditions which formed it are essentially changed.

What is called bourgeois society came about in several countries of Europe, first in the Mediterranean region, then in Upper Germany, on the Atlantic coast and on the Rhein. Communication of the north with the countries of the Mediterranean was driven by trade, the arts and the sciences. Scientists and artists went to Italy and studied there, and German traders were active in Venice, where they learnt the mercantile experience [Praxis] of practical calculation [Rechenkunst] and bookkeeping.

The new men were not entirely new, the medieval relations of domination not entirely superseded. These had been reproduced in urban patrician lineages and in the aristocracy of modern times. As one of the resplendent figures of the modern era, the printer Johann Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg, the son of a patrician family in Mainz, made his mark. The 16th century was commonly portrayed as the epoch of new beginnings. We, however, set the origin of capitalist system in Central Europe in the 15th century; it began still earlier in Northern Italy. It depends on what kind of a model is sought out for identifying the beginning. The focal point of this work is the idea and justification of the periodization and of the model which it assumes. If one begins with the Mediterranean region the process of origination appears to have begun earlier, in Central Europe later. The process of trade and production appeared in Northern Italy in the 13th and 14th century, a century later in Upper Germany. Weavers and merchants served as pathfinders of progress in the Mediterranean region. The weavers’ guilds were not progressive in Germany; on the contrary, they reacted rather negatively to progress in production. Miners ←4 | 5→and merchants were progressive north of the Alps. These assertions are related to urban life. Equally important, perhaps even more important, is the origin of the peasant movement in Central Europe in the 15th and 16th century, somewhat earlier in Northern Italy and in England.

It is essential to know where and when one investigates the beginnings of the capitalist system. If the history of capitalism is set in the Mediterranean region, an entirely different model of the originating process than in Central Europe is obtained. The historical dynamic in the transition to capitalism in Italy and Spain appears bound up with the development of seafaring and shipbuilding more closely than in Germany; the same dynamic in Central Europe, on the other hand, appears to be more closely linked with mining, with the metal industry and printing than in the Mediterranean countries. The difference in the historical dynamic is huge not only regionally but also in terms of time. Transformations in the merchant class and in the practices of trade and banking begin earlier in Italy than in Germany; the Germans went to Venice to appropriate new processes and modes of commerce. One gets a completely different view of the origin of the capitalist system if the beginnings of it are examined in England and Holland, and this in turn changes if the origin of capitalism in France and Spain is the object of research, where mercantilism played an especially important role.

If one begins with the periodization of the capitalist era in Central Europe, the epoch of the 15th and 16th century thus appears to be the most influential in this process. Nevertheless, the capitalist system arises in specific countries under different conditions. The emergence of the capitalist system does not occur simultaneously in all parts of Germany, England, Italy or Holland. In Italy, it appears earlier in the north than in central and southern Italy, in Central Europe earlier in Upper Germany, in the coastal cities of the North and Baltic Sea; it appears on the Rhein and Main sooner than in the districts east of the Elbe. The weavers’ guilds were opposed to manufacturing and the establishment of textile factories, although they instituted a putting-out system early in the capitalist historical process; house-building, too, remained medieval in that period.

The systematic development of trade, of capital, of wage labour, of the commodities market, of credit institutes and of the circulation of money occurred in the 15th and 16th century based on a sporadic appearance of the same process in the late Middle Ages. We will attempt to specify the definition of the system more precisely in this work. The capitalist system changed from one epoch to another and from one country to the other, but the system of wage labour and capital remained approximately the same in its economic relations. The transition from the Middle Ages to modern times has been traced back to the discovery of America, to the invention of the printing press and of the hand casting of type, ←5 | 6→to the Reformation, to the principles and practices of mechanics, to the establishment of the great trading companies, to the mercantile activities of the Jews, to the liberation of the peasants or the expansion of money circulation at the cost of the natural economy.

Each period has its own particularities and amazements. One talks about inventions and voyages of discovery, because they are palpable and worthy of wonder. Nevertheless, sensations are not the determining moments in the period or in the question of periodization. The purely military-political writings of history dealt with the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in the year 1453 and its impact on intercourse between Europe and the Near East. We will consider these events not simply as a cause, but rather as an effect of further factors in the history of Eurasia.

Originally the new economic, social and artistic practices were judged positively and negatively. The peasants sought to become wage labourers; of course, not all, but many in Central, Southern and Western Germany took part in the process of transformation. Martin Luther selected and cursed the monopoly companies [Gesellschaft Monopolia] and the peasants’ revolt, that is the two historical moments which were important in initiating the modern age. The monopoly company [Gesellschaft Monopolia] is not to be considered a joint-stock company, but rather the capitalist form of organization originating from medieval monopoly. Adam Smith opposed the organization of guilds, monopolies, slavery, and championed free trade, free labour, and the open market. This has to do with a market monopoly in the late Middle Ages and the beginnings of the modern era, so that the burgesses were only able to buy their cloth from one guild, their knives only from another. Conversely, the domestic workers who created their cloth and knives, needles and thread found the demand for their products only with one merchant, not with any other. This practice is called the monopoly company [Gesellschaft Monopolia]. The critique of the monopolistic practices of the 16th century was started by Luther; opinions of this kind had already arisen in the Middle Ages. The merchant class and manufacture in the 18th century attenuated the activities of the guild monopolies; the industrial revolution unfurled a bond with free trade and set itself against the mercantilism of the 17th and 18th century. This referred to the politics of insertion by men of state into the economic system. Adam Smith exercised a sharp critique of the intervention by the men of state into the healthy affairs of the industrialists, of the capitalists and of the private enterprises; the state was supposed to interfere as little as possible in the private sphere. In hoc signo, that is in this symbol of Lutheran condemnation of monopolies and of Smith’s praise of private enterprise and interests, Marx portrayed modern bourgeois society as ←6 | 7→the most developed and complex organization of production in history, as we have seen above.

The peasant war and the Reformation are the great events of the 16th century in the history of Central Europe and it is thus no wonder that according to the theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber, this period is presented as the decisive one in the process of development of the modern bourgeois social formation. What both thinkers have said holds true for some aspects of the history of Central Europe, for others, on the other hand, it does not; nor does it apply in the case of the capitalist economic and social system in general. If the enquiry begins in Italy, then the same process of transition and of the new beginning could be regarded differently. The peasant liberation movements had their beginning at the close of the 14th century in Northern Italy and in England.

So as not to give a complete explanation for the process of transformation but rather to designate it as a problem, let us take as an example the figure of Jacques Coeur, who was a wealthy man in Bourges, a copper king. He was not an aristocrat but rather a man of the common people, who had risen up; then, in 1453, he was charged and arrested by the authorities in France. Jakob Fugger, the wealthy man, was also a copper king; he was not a nobleman but was born in the year 1459 into a guild family in Augsburg. If one situates the new era in the 16th century, then Jacques Coeur and Jakob Fugger would be considered capitalists and the large firm of Thurzo and Fugger as a capitalistic enterprise without capitalism. Marx asserted that modern bourgeois society appeared sporadically before, and systematically in the 16th century. This view can prevail if one highlights the period of the Reformation as the standard for the beginning of the capitalist historical process.

The question of periodization is not a matter of persons or of singular appearances such as inventions, but rather one of social moments and movements, personified in the above-named individuals. During the 15th century peasants in the different countries of Europe had attempted to free themselves. Shipbuilding and the arts of seafaring linked with it were developed in the area of the Mediterranean; the sea passages to America and India were discovered; the printing industry was founded in Mainz and Frankfurt. Trade between Upper Italy, Upper Germany, Brabant, Spain, Flanders, France, England, Holland and Portugal was expanded. Mechanical clocks, paper, cannons and gunpowder were produced in several countries of Western Europe. Mining was transformed and then the mine share certificates for the same were sold. We will relativize the above-mentioned views. What was valued as an innovation namely from the standpoint of Central European practice, is to be considered as an already systematically developed matter from the standpoint of Northern Italy. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, the capitalist ←7 | 8→moments of the 16th century were more fully developed than in the 15th in Europe overall.

The history of that epoch is not determined by the military or political events of the 15th century such as the conquest of Byzantium by the Turks and the Reconquista of Spain by the Spanish, but rather only delimited by them. Islam, which had spread over the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily in the early Middle Ages, was pushed back; in Southeast Europe it was propagated in the 15th and 16th century. The Middle Ages as a period and as a historical category, is related to European, not to Islamic peoples. For Islam, the epoch of new beginning and awakening is the 7th century. Finally, the extension of the Russian Empire beyond Siberia took place in the 16th, 17th, and 18th century, the liberation of the peasants in that country only in the 19th.

It was clear to the Europeans during the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern era that they were living in a period of radical transformation, as Petrarca, Alberti, Erasmus and Dürer attested. Further, they were aware of the duration and the extent of the process of transformation, as they were of its depth. Thus, Albrecht Dürer wrote in relation to painting in 1525: “In what honour and worthiness these arts were held by the Greeks and Romans, is demonstrated by the ancient books well enough. Even though they were subsequently lost altogether and even hidden for a thousand years and only two hundred years ago once again brought to light of day by the Italians [die Wahlen].”1 In his opinion the Italians brought about the renaissance of art in the 14th century. His book relates not only to art but to Euclidean geometry as well. Giorgio Vasari in his book which appeared shortly thereafter held the same view concerning the painters, sculptors and architects. Tizian, according to Vasari’s assertion, could be counted among the greatest painters through his mastery of colour, even though, as Fra Bastiano del Piombo declared, Tizian never visited Rome to view the statues there. The creative force of antiquity had an impact on the modern arts through its statues and its architecture.2

The recognition of change by the Italian scholars Petrarch and Alberti was discussed after them by Dürer and Vasari. The consciousness of the process of transformation was thus given expression, only with them the technical terms were missing such that the abstract termini technici feudal and medieval came into use only in the 17th century. The history of the concrete expression is other than that of the concrete word. Feodum, fief in the concrete meaning are both already mentioned in the medieval epoch. The general term and word for the feudal Middle Ages was related to the past in the linguistic usage of the 17th century.

There are multiple moments which led to the transition from the Middle Ages to modern bourgeois society. The contacts of the various parts of Europe to one ←8 | 9→another and to the external world in Asia, Africa and America in the 15th and 16th century, further the intercourse which this contact occasioned and the movements of people from the country to the city as well as from one country to another extended this transition or new beginning; in the qualitative sense they deepened and further developed it. This concerns externally free movements and inner compulsion. Copernicus, Dürer, Agricola freely emigrated to Italy and freely returned home. The religious views of that time, too, show the striving for a new beginning, not only out of free choice, but rather out of inner compulsion and necessity, as Luther’s well-known expression: I can do nothing other declares. The concepts of new beginning and of restauration are not new. In their religions, the Hebrews, the early Christians and the Muslims spoke of a new beginning through the prophets and the Messiah and thereby heralded world renewal.

According to Dürer’s understanding, the arts of his period had entered into a process of a new beginning. From our standpoint, the Renaissance is a form, an epoch of completion, an idiographic whole, not a part of something larger but rather the being in-and-for-itself of enormous creative human activity. The economic moments of that epoch, on the contrary, present themselves as a preparation and as a transition. The contemporary consciousness of it is the reverse. We shall concretize this assertion. Petrarch and Dürer believed they lived in a period of dawning, of spiritual re-awakening, on the doorstep of further development. Jakob Fugger, on the other hand, was not conscious that this had to do with something new, a new beginning in his time; in his view mercantile activity was in full bloom and he only wanted to continue what he and his fellow merchants had already set in motion, and to continue to drive what had already been undertaken. The scope of our survey ends in the 17th century. The epoch of early capitalism and beginnings of modern bourgeois society have their system which forms the object of the present work. This epoch gave way to the imposition of the free market, of the industrial revolution, of the nation state system and of the Enlightenment of the 18th century. The German Hansa, the Patrician system in Augsburg, Nuremburg, Mainz, and elsewhere, and the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation did not survive the new moments. Neither the beginning stage nor the later industrial stage were introduced simultaneously everywhere. Thus, Dürer portrayed his historical perspective which appears to us to be so decisive. Capitalism in the 15th and 16th century is part of a larger system. John Winchcombe (“Jack of Newbury”) Jacques Coeur, Fugger, Thurzo, Gutenberg, Erasmus, Petrarch, Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci, Fibonacci, Pacioli, Adam Ries, Luther, Calvin, Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Agricola and Biringuccio were people and at the same time symbols which pointed to a changed human activity.

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From 1347 to 1506 26 universities were established in Central Europe. At that time, students went to Italy for training in medicine, mathematics, arithmetic, astronomy, and classical philology; The universities of Salerno, Bologna, and Padua served as important reference points for higher education. The early universities in Central Europe, England and France were not centres for the natural sciences, but rather for the four disciplines of philosophy, law, medicine and theology as well, as Goethe had enumerated them. The Central European universities were endowed by various means, by papal bulls as well as by imperial or other noble authorization. In the 16th and 17th century 20 additional universities were established; some did not survive for long, 8 of them were abandoned shortly after their establishment. The universities were small in comparison with those of today. In 1588 there were 13 professors and 588 students in Heidelberg; they were for the most part, although not all, registered at the University of Heidelberg.3 On average the number of students in a university at that time amounted to between 300 and 500.

The Italian, Giovanni Botero took a critical position against the universities. He believed it would be better if they had less to do with the conflicts of the tongue and of the dagger. Yet, he took note of the contribution of the university to the grandezza of the city.4

The establishment of the system of nation states in Central Europe took place at the end of the early period of capitalism. Development did not proceed in a straight line. When the nation state appeared in the 17th and 18th century in Central Europe, it disappeared again straightaway. Hegel complained in 1802 that Germany was no longer a state.5 The beginnings of the mercantilist-cameralist system, manufacturing and the establishment of the German nation state signified the end of the early epoch of modern bourgeois society.

Our undertaking in this part of the book is to investigate the theories concerning the beginning and the first stages of the capitalist period in Central Europe. It is therefore a problem of periodization that was repeatedly taken up by historians, philosophers, political scientists, economists, sociologists, and ethnologists. All of these disciplines provided their contribution to our problem. Our task becomes complicated by the fact that the words change their meanings, as can be understood by means of the following examples. Books concerning the democracy of antiquity and of the modern period were published en masse. The word is derived from classical Greek; the practice, the theory and the meaning of the word in the present have nevertheless little to do with that of Socrates’ times. We speak now only of formal democracy. In antiquity one already had the right to vote, but only a small part of the population—5 or 10%—could exercise it. In the Athens of antiquity slaves, women and foreigners constituted the majority of the population. ←10 | 11→They were excluded from the political process of the city. Democracy and freedom in this sense signify political, formal democracy and freedom.

The peasants of Central Europe in the 15th and 16th century were, for the most part, serfs. They were not slaves as in antiquity, but they lacked formal freedom in the political sense. The theory of freedom was traced back to the Jubilee year in the Old Testament according to which the slaves were freed with a cry of jubilation; further expressions concerning human freedom are then to be found in the Institutes of the Roman Emperor Justinian. Hegel linked the concepts of freedom and political practice. In the East only the head of state was free, in his hands alone was political power united. In classical Greece some citizens were free; only they could vote, have a say, decide; slaves, on the contrary, could not. Afterwards, only those who were citizens availed themselves of freedom and the right to vote; the serfs could not.6 As we shall see, Hegel brought together 350 years of Central European liberation movements and gave expression to them. חור ,חרות (Chor, Cherut) in the Old Testament, liber in Justinian had at once the same and other meanings than frei (free) in modern times. There is a philological relationship between democracy in antiquity and in modern bourgeois society. We will return to this question.

The category of bourgeois society—societé civile, political and civil society—extends across Antiquity and the modern era, and thus we speak of the difference of modern bourgeois society from the civil society of Antiquity or of the Middle Ages. Democracy is also found outside of civil society, namely among the non-literate peoples or so-called primitives. Finally, we mention the words natio and nationality, which played a large role in the 15th and 16th up to the 20th century. Without our getting involved with the question of the nationality of Copernicus, Dürer or Agricola, we take note of the circumstance that in their age students in Italy were registered as members of this or that natio. The concept of German nation had a different meaning then than it does today.

The focal point of our investigation will not be the word natio, but rather the labour process in the 15th and 16th century in the Central European region, mainly in its German-speaking part.

The events, with which we are dealing, exist in space and in time. The delimitations and designations of the spatial details are not fixed and constant, but rather variable. Central Europe is not seen today the way it was in the 15th and 16th century. Hence, we will take up in a loose way the territorial concept in the sense understood then in that part of the world which lies between the Hansa cities of Hamburg, Lübeck, Danzig as well as Emden, the Calvinist Centre in the north, and Basel, Strasbourg, Vienna and Budapest in the south. Such a delimitation by city is still only partly accurate, because the population was mainly rural. Agrarian ←11 | 12→relations in the 15th to the 17th century were, moreover, not unitary. Agriculture in the eastern part of Central Europe was operated fundamentally differently than in the western part.

History can be treated as a continuous or as a discontinuous process. In the first case, the same relations, life conditions and ideas are encountered in the past and in the present, if not entirely, then nevertheless in a variation of the same. In the second case, however, there is an abyss which lies between the past and present in the historical process, or even several such discontinuities are noticeable. In the 17th century Leibniz asserted in relation to the first continuous mode of treatment, nature makes no leap: natura non facit saltum.

Another adumbration of the same idea emerges in the myth of the eternal return of the past, as well as in the assertion there is nothing new in the world. Human history is thus conceived as a recurring cycle. In opposition to this idea, we proceed from the notion that there are discontinuities in history, hence, periods in relation to which a discontinuity can be objectively indicated. The indices for this are manifested in two ways: in the idiographies of the fine arts and in the nomotheses of the labour processes. The idiographies are the peculiarities, the nomotheses are the laws, the positing of laws and the lawful aspects of nature and of the process of labour.

To be sure, the creation of a painting or of a poem includes both the objective as well as the subjective moments in itself. The objective moments in art were shown by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Dürer through the mastering of the theory of colour, of Euclidean geometry and through the laws of perspective according to Brunelleschi and Alberti. Dante and Petrarch mastered the objectively existing laws of Latin and Italian grammar. The nomothetic in the labour process constitutes the major theme of the present work. It is therefore true that the labourers and labour in the form of compulsory labour [Frondienst] were unfree and that wage labourers are free in the formal sense.

These research categories will be treated empirically and concretely. Two questions are to be distinguished, empirical research and the quest for universals. The first leads to scientific laws and conceptions, but not to universal, absolute principles. The attempts of the metaphysicians are abstract sub specie aeternitatis. Neither they nor Leibniz distinguished the universalisations, which were empirically conceived, from absolute universals. We have considered nature and human history as lawlike, because they display rule-like appearances under concrete conditions. They cannot be regulated under all conditions by the humankind.

The fine arts of poetry and of painting consciously introduced a new epoch in their history. The peasants consciously and deliberately fought for their freedom, and this struggle led to a new historical epoch. These two epoch-making ←12 | 13→phenomena are related to the beginning of modern bourgeois society; they determine the transition from the feudal period and delimit it from the modern bourgeois. The artists and the peasants were conscious of their activities. We have cited Dürer not as an embellisher, but rather as a self-conscious interpreter, one of the first, who mastered the concept of the New as a painter in Central Europe and discussed it theoretically as a thinker.

A brisk intercourse arose in the 15th and 16th century between the various parts of Europe, further, across and beyond the Mediterranean among the European, Asiatic and African countries, and finally across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans with America and the Far East. This intercourse was not only extensively, but rather also qualitatively and intensively developed and, in this way, was driven in peacetime by trade and by education differently than in times of war. In the state of war neither law nor intercourse are silent.7 Agricola wrote a book about the war with the Turks; in mining and coinage Turkish coins came to Europe as did darbhane [mint, coinage]. In the Middle Ages one seldom had immediate access to the Greek texts of Aristotle, Euclid, Archimedes, among others, but after the Turkish conquest of Constantinople a number of Greek scholars went to Rome. The Italians, the Germans and others took advantage of this opportunity to study the Greek language and the ancient texts. Let’s take an example: When the Greek Cardinal Bessarion went to Rome, the German mathematician Regiomontan came to him and studied the Greek language and the texts of Archimedes. After his return, Regiomontan had these texts printed and published.

Transport links became varied and multiplied in this regard: Italy—Byzantium, Upper Germany—Italy; Ancient Greek philology and the interchange between mathematicians and philologists; the connection between Archimedean geometry, book printing and instruction was advanced by Regiomontan in the 15th century. These activities are related to the field of mathematical theory, of book publishing and the book trade, of pedagogy, of linguistics and of the rising class of entrepreneurs. One could also add other fields of activity. The entrepreneurial activities of Regiomontan found favour with the public and the Church as well. His undertakings were crowned with success in mathematics, in the ecclesiastical hierarchy as well as in the book trade. Transportation links between Byzantium and Rome, between Italy and Germany were developed in both directions in the 15th century. In the 16th century Dürer had mastered the theoretical writings of Euclidean geometry and applied them in a practical way in painting, architecture and city planning and, in this way, contributed to pedagogy.8

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1. 1 A. Dürer, Unterweisung der Messung, Nürnberg, 1525. [In this and in later citations the writing is largely brought closer to current orthography].

2. 2 G. Vasari, Le Vite de´ più Eccelenti Pittori, Scultori e Architettori (1550), 2nd edition 1568.

3. 3 F. Eulenberg, Städtische Berufs- und Gewerbestatistik (Heidelbergs) im 16. Jahrhundert, Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins, N.F. Bd. 11, 1896.

4. 4 G. Botero, Delle Cause della Grandezza delle Citta, 1596.

5. 5 G. W. F. Hegel, Die Verfassung Deutschlands, 1802. Hegel believed the state as well as other human institutions were not eternal things, but rather transient. They would disappear in order to re-appear in a new and almost unthinkable form. Hegel later changed his opinion concerning the state. Hegel’s view, that Germany was no longer a state, is related to the year 1801/02. Prior to that, Germany was a state. Frederick the Great was the sole master of his state in the middle of the 18th century [Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Weltgeschichte, J. Hoffmeister (ed.) Bd. 4 Hamburg 1968]. Hegel considered Frederick the Great the philosophical king. Heinrich von Treitschke took up Hegel’s idea and saw Frederick the Great as a true head of state. This view was not universally held in the Wilhemine period. Hugo Preuss, Die Entstehung des deutschen Städtewesens, Leipzig 1906, wrote: “Germany was stateless for centuries—since the beginnings of the Reformation period.”

6. 6 G. W. F. Hegel, Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Weltgeschichte, J. Hoffmeister (Ed.) 2nd edition (1839) Volume 1, Hamburg 1968.

7. 7 The question concerning right and law in the state of war had an important meaning in the early epoch of modern bourgeois society. Hugo Grotius published his book De Jure Belli ac Pacis (Concerning the Law of War and Peace) in 1625. The laws correspond to right. Entirely to the contrary Thomas Hobbes asserted: Inter arma silent leges—in the state of war the laws are silent. He repeated Cicero (Pro Milone). Yet the interconnections were not interrupted by the state of war. Agricola composed a book against the Turks: De Bello adversus Turcam, Basel 1528 (In German: Oration, Anrede und Vormanung … wieder den Türken. L. Berman translator, Nürnberg 1530) But Turkish coins were described and disseminated in German mining and coinage.

8. 8 Regiomontan: see J. Tropfke, Geschichte der Elementarmathematik, 4th edition, Vol. 1, K. Vogel et al. (eds.), Berlin, 1980. Albrecht Dürer, Unterweisung der Messung. Id. Etliche Unterricht zu Befestigung der Städte, Schloss und Flechen, Nürnberg, 1527.