It is shown here how the Carolingian rulers of Francia legislated to make every community contribute to the cost of the lights. It begins with Charlemagne’s conquest of northern Italy and his appropriation of oil supplies from the region. This shows how providing for the lights was associated with power, and the chapter traces this out in the evidence of laws and church councils. Since there was a determined effort to spread the costs of lighting throughout society, it becomes possible to see a response at community level. It is seen that categories of people became tributaries to the church with a hereditary obligation to provide for the lights.
This, the longest chapter in the work, examines in more detail how peasants on estates were organized to provide resources for church lights. There is a particular focus on church estate records (polyptychs) from the mid-ninth century onwards, the aim being to identify the social range of people who paid for the lights on a hereditary basis. The emergence of the guild is also examined. A sort of ‘middling group’ of people who contributed to the lights are identified and traced in France, Italy, Spain and England. Resistance to the forced cultivation of olives is discussed in relation to a famous case from Italy. The chapter closes with a survey of the social structure underpinning the supply of materials for the lights across Europe.
Here the social consequences of maintaining the lights are examined in greater detail. The discussion builds on the results of Chapter 4. At issue are two kinds of people: censuales, or cerocensuales in Germany and colliberti in France. Were they both hereditary tribute payers, formed as a group by the need to supply the Church? A lengthy discussion concludes that the censuales were a group called into being by the needs of the Church in this way, but that the colliberti were not. The discussion contributes to a long-running debate about the nature of servitude, manumission and obligation. The chapter ends by looking at the conditions under which the censuales lived and how their standing changed as towns grew and social distinctions were relaxed.
The last chapter traces the high-point of giving for the lights as guilds and confraternities mushroomed. A solid belief in Purgatory encouraged people to give in order to earn time off this pain. The use of wax for the lights grew until it was necessary to import wax into Western Europe. By the early sixteenth century, the cost of the lights was met predominantly by voluntary associations. The censuales and other tributary groups declined in a predominantly urban environment. Urban associations, however, gained control of much church funding, and they were instrumental in determining responses to reform teaching. When the belief in Purgatory came to an end, funding for the lights ended abruptly. This is the final twist in the relationship between belief and termaiality.
This chapter shows how the opponents of liberalism managed to achieve two things in this period. First, through active propaganda, in many ways, they began to create an impression, in certain sectors of Viennese society, that liberals and Jews were to a considerable extent the same thing, and that, therefore, liberal ideas were ‘Jewish ideas,’ imported into Vienna. Liberals and Jews were thus portrayed as exploiting new, capitalist modes of production at the expense of what were described as the indigenous, Christian Viennese lower bourgeois craft masters, who used handicrafts, not factory production, and who were being squeezed from markets. At the same time, and with antisemitic local priests at their head, antisemites began to put organised political groups together, weakening the liberal hold on elected public bodies, such as the Viennese City Council and district councils.
This chapter considers what are called here the founding myths of the antisemites. It explains that antisemites considered the introduction into Austria of modernising, secularising, economic, social and political reforms – in short, liberalism – as a step that damaged what they considered to be natural Austrian phenomena – a hierarchical social system, feudal, guild-based economics, and a privileged place in society for the Roman Catholic Church. The chapter examines these claims, setting out how Austria, and particularly Vienna, evolved from around the mid-nineteenth century, into a period of liberal reforms and liberal political ascendency. It examines how a weakening Austrian Empire was beaten in war and called on liberals to modernise the state.
The chapter describes and analyses how Dollfuss used the army to suppress a Social Democratic rebellion that aimed to unseat him as the effective dictator of Austria. The chapter then analyses how Dollfuss, legitimated by the Catholic Church, gave Austria a new constitution as a ‘Christian-German’ state, with a privileged role in social affairs for the Church. It describes how Dollfuss was murdered during a new Nazi coup attempt, and how his successor, Kurt von Schuschnigg, attempted to consolidate this Austria. Schuschnigg, under intense pressure from Hitler, sought allies, including Italy under Mussolini, and for a while he succeeded in keeping a distance from Germany. But he lacked support at home, challenged by Social Democrats, by German nationalists and then by Austrian Nazis, and by 1938 he was clinging to power.
The chapter describes how lay antisemitic activists, in particular, justified the existence of their movement as a Christian reaction to the poverty that was widespread in Vienna in the late nineteenth century, and which they blamed on what they described as ‘Jewish capitalism.’ The chapter analyses the efforts of a number of Christian Social charitable groups, often centred on parishes, and finds that their efforts achieved little, if anything. It emerges that many of these groups were little more than fronts for political activity on behalf of the newly founded Christian Social Party, which took control of Vienna City Council, albeit through an electorate that was a tiny part of the population of the city.
This chapter moves the narrative to the point where Adolf Hitler managed to remove Schuschnigg from office and then annexed Austria, incorporating it as the Ostmark into a new Greater Germany. It shows the violent scenes that accompanied the annexation, known in German as the Anschluss. It shows how senior clergy in Austria welcomed the move, while most of the lower clergy encountered here had serious misgivings. For all their antisemitism, the lower clergy emerge here as resisters to Nazism. This chapter shows priests who were assailed by the Nazis in different ways, even persecuted. It follows them into the war years, and the dreadful, violent fate that awaited Vienna and its citizens. Briefly, the chapter goes beyond the war, to complete some stories, but also to show that, for all that Christian Social thinking had contributed to social division, some could not rid themselves of it after the war.
This chapter analyses how, in the context of the multinational Habsburg Empire, predominantly German-speaking members of the Christian Social movement considered the importance of this national side of their character. The Empire was buffeted by conflicts between bourgeois political representatives of different nationalities, but these became particularly acute for Christian Socials in Vienna when, as a cosmopolitan city, German speakers clashed with Czech speakers there. This chapter shows how, despite their claims to be universalist Christians, above such national disputes, Christian Socials were drawn into these Viennese clashes. It shows how this German dimension would be important for debates as to what should happen to German-speaking areas of Austria if the multinational Empire fell and collapsed, as many suspected it might under international stress.