Uwe Sunde, LMU

"Education and Enlightenment in France"


This research investigates the hypothesis that access to scientific education was a prerequisite for the adoption of the ideas of enlightenment that ultimately led to the industrial revolution. Based on newly  digitized data on the establishment and curriculum of public secondary schools in France from 1500 to 1789, the empirical results document the role of a scientific curriculum for the receptiveness to new scientific and technical knowledge, for the ability to innovate, and for subsequent for development. Exploring the determinants of schools foundations, there is evidence for historical persistence. As for the determinants of a scientific curriculum, we find evidence for a contribution of the Jesuit order. Protestantism was related to the receptiveness to enlightenment independently from schools.

Uwe Sunde

Contact person: Casper Worm Hansen