Austria is Roman Catholic dominated and

Bavaria is the most Roman Catholic province of Germany.

"It was in Bavaria that the Austrian-born Hitler enjoyed his strongest popular support.

And most of the conspirators in the July 1944 plot against Hitler were Protestants, mainly Calvinists."

From ....................... THE TROUBLE WITH FRANCE

By - Alain Peyrefitte

Translator- William R. Byron

USA Publisher - Alfred A.Knopf, Inc., NYC 1981

Canadian Publisher - Random House 1981

French Publisher - Librairie Plon 1976


CHAPTER 14 ........... At Different Speeds ........... page 111

After the Counter-Reformation, the nations that remained Catholic dozed. After the Reformation, the Protestant nations awoke. Let's simply say 'after'; for the moment, nothing allows us to say 'because of'.

The dividing line is not so clear everywhere, however. It cuts some societies in two - a single people, with identical antecedents, yet split into two sometimes extremely unequal communities. Does the disturbing economic inferiority we find in Catholic countries reemerge between the Protestant and Catholic communities within a single country? If so, the religious factor clearly must be given decisive weight; the national factor would cease to coincide with it, might perhaps even confuse it. There is no lack of examples to supply this supporting evidence.

Let's look at four: those of Germany, Ireland, France and Canada.

Germany: Catholic and Protestant

Although it was born in Germany, the Reformation did not conquer all the Germans. It shattered their religious unity. Since then, Germany has been a marquetry pattern of Protestants and Catholics.

Its Protestant areas did not enter the industrial age as quickly as Holland, England, Switzerland or even the United States. Before we seize on this as an exception to the rule, it should be noted that Reformed Germany is Lutheran, not Calvinist. It launched the Reformation, but it clung to its early Protestantism. Lutheranism remains a Church, anti-Roman of course, but still a Church, hierarchical and dogmatic. Psychologists and sociologists place it somewhere between Catholicism and Calvinism. This must have some connection with the fact that the Calvinist countries began their development in the seventeenth century, the Lutheran countries only in the nineteenth, while the Catholic countries waited until the twentieth.

It can also be noted that Prussia's image is very similar to that of the Catholic countries: a strong central authority bolstered by a powerful military establishment, a hierarchical, extremely disciplined society. A warrior state more than a Protestant society. Like the Lutheran Church, the Prussian state remained impregnated with Romanism.

page 112 ................. THE TROUBLE WITH FRANCE

Yet when Germany began to modernize its agriculture and industry in the nineteenth century, it was the Protestants who dragged the rest of the country with them. In the pluri-religious principalities - and in Germany's overall equilibrium - it was the Protestants (or the Jews) who usually controlled big business, big finance, big industry. Protestant Prussia had a well-developed railway network in 1840, before France. Germany's Catholics stuck chiefly to small businesses and household crafts.

In 1900, Max Weber took as the point of departure for his thesis on The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism a study by his disciple Martin Offenbacher on the situations of Catholics and Protestants in the state of Baden. Offenbacher showed that the Catholics, less urbanized, less cultivated, were shopkeepers, artisans, office workers, farmers. The Protestants had moved in force into the ranks of industrialists, technicians, bankers, traders. Subsistence farming remained largely the rule on the smallholdings in the rural, Catholic west and south; the Protestants in the north and east quickly adopted modern agricultural methods.

This conflict of influence came to a test of strength in the nineteenth century. In a Germany broken up into a cluster of small states, the clash of vitality and immobility was polarized around the Protestant north, led by Prussia, and the Catholic south, centered in Bavaria and supported by Austria. Vitality won. Germany, united in January 1871 under the Hohenzollern crown, opted for industrialization and expansionism.

The French habitually see the half century [1866-1913] following the Battle of Sadowa, [The decisive battle of the Seven Weeks' War that confirmed Prussia's hegemony in Germany was fought at Sadowa, in Bohemia, on July 3, 1866] when Germany's power and potential were really established, in the guise of "Prussian militarism." They too easily forget that the German empire was not centralized a la francaise. It was merely a federation of constitutional monarchies, each of which maintained its own dynasty, its parliament, legislation, budget, sometimes even its army and diplomatic corps. Germany remained a complex, heterogeneous, multifarious world Ñ polycentric - in which the Catholic states fully played their part. Change came through flexibility. This too-often misunderstood fact may go far toward explaining Germany's vitality.

At the heart of this diversity there was, nevertheless, a unitary dynamism. In 1906, the Swiss historian Paul Seippel wrote: "Germany today seems to me to be at the beginning of a change that could lead it to the point the most Romanized nations have reached. The administrative spirit is flourishing magnificently."

A quarter of a century before the event, Seippel guessed that one day "an illustrious personage would incarnate, not without brilliance, the principle of infallible spiritual power extended to every sector." The personage came from the south - the most Romanized part of the Germanic Holy Roman Empire.

It was in Bavaria that the Austrian-born Hitler enjoyed his strongest popular support. And most of the conspirators in the July 1944 plot against Hitler were Protestants, mainly Calvinists.