Tawney, Richard Henry

Tawney, Richard Henry
born Nov. 30, 1880, Calcutta, India
died Jan. 16, 1962, London, Eng.

English economic historian.

He was educated at Rugby School and at the University of Oxford, where he wrote his first major work, The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century (1912). From 1913 he taught at the London School of Economics. An ardent socialist, he helped formulate the economic and moral viewpoint of the Labour Party in the 1920s and '30s. In his most influential book, The Acquisitive Society (1920), he argued that the acquisitiveness of capitalist society was a morally wrong motivating principle. His Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926), which built on the work of Max Weber, also became a classic.

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▪ British economist
born Nov. 30, 1880, Calcutta, India
died Jan. 16, 1962, London, Eng.

      English economic historian and one of the most influential social critics and reformers of his time. He was also noted for his scholarly contributions to the economic history of England from 1540 to 1640.

      Tawney was educated at Rugby School and at Balliol College, Oxford. After doing social work in London at Toynbee Hall, he became an active member of the Workers' Educational Association in Rochdale, Lancashire, serving as its president from 1928 to 1944. He taught tutorial classes (for working-class students) at Oxford, where he wrote his first major work, The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century (1912). That study of the use of land in an underdeveloped economy that was simultaneously in the midst of a population explosion and a price revolution (caused by the influx of New World gold and silver) opened a new avenue of research for historians. The next year he began teaching at the London School of Economics, becoming professor of economic history in 1931 and professor emeritus in 1949.

      Tawney was an ardent socialist who helped formulate the economic and moral viewpoint of Britain's Labour Party in the 1920s and '30s by his influential publications. He served on numerous economic committees and as an adviser to governmental bodies, and he campaigned vigorously for social reforms. Many of them—raising of the school-leaving age, extension of workers' education, fixing of minimum wages—were adopted.

      In probably his most provocative and influential book, The Acquisitive Society (1920), he held that the acquisitiveness of capitalist society was a morally wrong motivating principle. Acquisitiveness, he said, corrupted both rich and poor. He argued that in capitalist societies work is deprived of its inherent value and thus becomes drudgery, for it is looked at solely as a means to something else.

      A few years later Tawney wrote another book that has also become a classic: Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926). It argued that it was the individualism and the ethic of hard work and thrift of Calvinist Protestantism that had fostered industrial organization and an efficient workforce in northern Europe. He thus shifted and extended the emphasis of the earlier work of Max Weber (Weber, Max) (of whom Tawney considered himself a disciple). Weber had argued that the ideological stage for the rise of capitalism had been prepared by Calvinist religious doctrines, especially predestination.

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  • Tawney, Richard Henry — (30 nov. 1880, Calcuta, India– 16 ene. 1962, Londres, Inglaterra). Historiador de economía inglés. Se educó en Rugby School y en la Universidad de Oxford, donde escribió su primera obra importante, El problema agrario en el s. XVI (1912). Desde… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Richard Henry — is a name that may refer to several people:* Richard Henry (pseudonym), pseudonym credited on collaborative works of authors Richard Butler and Henry Chance Newton * Richard Treacy Henry (1845 1929), New Zealand naturalist and conservationist **… …   Wikipedia

  • Richard Henry Tawney — noun English economist remembered for his studies of the development of capitalism (1880 1962) • Syn: ↑Tawney • Instance Hypernyms: ↑economist, ↑economic expert …   Useful english dictionary

  • Richard — /ri shahrd /; Fr. /rddee shannrdd /, n. Maurice /maw rees /; Fr. /moh rddees /, ( the Rocket ), born 1921, Canadian hockey player. /rich euhrd/, n. a male given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Allen Richard Arkwright Sir Richard Attlee… …   Universalium

  • henry — /hen ree/, n., pl. henries, henrys. Elect. the SI unit of inductance, formally defined to be the inductance of a closed circuit in which an electromotive force of one volt is produced when the electric current in the circuit varies uniformly at a …   Universalium

  • Henry — /hen ree/, n. 1. Joseph, 1797 1878, U.S. physicist. 2. O., pen name of William Sydney Porter. 3. Patrick, 1736 99, American patriot, orator, and statesman. 4. Cape, a cape in SE Virginia at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. 5. Fort. See …   Universalium

  • Henry — ► sustantivo masculino ELECTRICIDAD Denominación del henrio en la nomenclatura internacional. IRREG. plural henrys * * * henrio o henry (de J. Henry, físico inglés) m. Fís. Unidad de inductancia eléctrica en el Sistema Internacional. * * * …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • henry — ► sustantivo masculino ELECTRICIDAD Denominación del henrio en la nomenclatura internacional. IRREG. plural henrys * * * henrio o henry (de J. Henry, físico inglés) m. Fís. Unidad de inductancia eléctrica en el Sistema Internacional. * * * henry …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Richard — (as used in expressions) Allen, Richard Arkwright, Sir Richard Attlee, Clement (Richard), 1 conde Attlee de Walthamstow Avedon, Richard Ballinger, Richard A(chilles) Barton, Sir Derek H(arold) R(ichard) Bentley, Richard Bonington, Richard Parkes… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Tawney — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Charles Henry Tawney (1838–1922), Indologe James Albertus Tawney (1855–1919), US amerikanischer Politiker Lenore Tawney (1907–2007), US amerikanische Textilkünstlerin Richard Henry Tawney (1880–1962),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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