By Kevin McQuillan
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Extra info for Culture, Religion, and Demographic Behaviour: Catholics and Lutherans in Alsace
A number of studies of the social and economic development of Alsace have touched on population questions (Boehler 1995; Juillard 1953; Kintz 1977; Leuilliot 1959; Hau 1987; Marx 1974; Peter 1995), but, in contrast to many other French regions, analysis of demographic change has been limited. Virtually none has employed family reconstitution methods to examine the components of demographic change. As a result, our knowledge of population movements in the area is lacking in detail. The outbreak of the Thirty Years War clearly marked a turning point in the demographic history of Alsace.
The religious geography of the region was largely set with the signing of the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. By establishing the principle cuius regno, ejus religio, the treaty solidified the religious attachment of communities. Strasbourg and Mulhouse remained Protestant as did perhaps one-third of rural communities (Strohl 1950, 107). Aside from the region around Mulhouse, this entailed a commitment to an orthodox Lutheranism as established in the Confession of Augsburg. The remainder of the countryside, much of which belonged to the diocese of Strasbourg or to powerful religious communities such as the Abbey of Murbach, and many of the smaller towns continued to be Catholic.
The factory at Wesserling, for example, passed through a number of changes in ownership and personnel (Schmitt 1980). Nevertheless, the base was created for extraordinary growth in the nineteenth century. Hau (1987) saw the decades 1800-40 as the highpoint of the textile industry. In the late eighteenth century, the industry had relied heavily on the immigration of skilled labour, first from Switzerland and later from Germany. But in the nineteenth century, it was local workers who held the dominant position.
Culture, Religion, and Demographic Behaviour: Catholics and Lutherans in Alsace by Kevin McQuillan