“This England” – John of Gaunt’s Famous Speech in Shakespeare’s ‘Richard II’

In William Shakespeare’s English history play Richard II John of Gaunt delivers a patriotic speech, which has been often quoted ever since. 

Shakespeare II
‘Richard II and John of Gaunt’ by Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897). This 19th-century engraving is taken from page 384 of Die Shakespeare-Illustration (Teil 2) (ed. Hammerschmidt-Hummel, 2003).

In Act II, Scene I of William Shakespeare’s English history play Richard II the dying John of Gaunt awaits the arrival of King Richard II at Ely House in London, while talking to the Duke of York, his brother. Both have a very critical attitude towards the king.

John of Gaunt eventually delivers a famous speech. As far as the reception of Shakespeare is concerned, his speech has been regarded as an invocation of English patriotism. Correspondingly, it has been often quoted ever since. This especially applies to phrases like “this scepter’d isle” or “[t]his blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England”.

First of all, Gaunt’s speech evokes an image of England that is majestic, beautiful and protected from outside attacks or harm. It is also depicted as a fertile, feared, highly respected and divinely favoured country. Generally speaking, the depiction of “[t]his blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England” gives the impression of a natural fortress and an organic whole.

However, John of Gaunt then laments that England has been rented out. Here he refers to King Richard’s methods and plans to fund his wars in Ireland. (That is, parcels of land are leased to wealthy noblemen to raise money.) Thus, England (“this scepter’d isle”) – which is safe from outside harm and, in the past, conquered others – harms itself at present or, so to speak, “[h]ath made a shameful conquest of itself” because of internal corruption.

shakespeare-ii1.jpg
‘John of Gaunt’s death’ (anon., 1874). This woodcut is taken from page 385 of Die Shakespeare-Illustration (Teil 2) (ed. Hammerschmidt-Hummel, 2003).

A Part of John of Gaunt’s Speech (and Photos)

“This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,

300200_213254115397095_4891187_n
Garden – Hampton Court Palace (Surrey, 2011)

This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,

Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,

For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,

Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,

317529_213364505386056_2312374_n
Seven Sisters‘ (Sussex, 2011)

With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!”

 

Note: The other photos show Rochester (Kent), Rochester Castle, Leeds Castle (Kent), St Martin’s Church (Canterbury, Kent), Rochester Cathedral (outside and inside), Battle Abbey (Sussex; inside), a tomb in a chapel at Arundel Castle (West Sussex), Battle Abbey (outside).

Source:

Hammerschmidt-Hummel, Hildegard. (Ed.) Die Shakespeare-Illustration (1594-2000). Teil 2. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003.

Bemerkenswerte Zitate / Aussagen: Modeschöpferin Jil Sander und ihr ‘Denglisch’

Die deutsche Sprache wimmelt inzwischen von Anglizismen bzw. Amerikanismen wie T-shirts, Shorts, Eyeliner, After Shave Lotion, Lifestyle, Inlineskating oder E-Mail. Gerade vor dem Hintergrund der Globalisierung unserer Alltagssprache sehe ich solche Anglizismen bzw. Amerikanismen nicht unbedingt als Bedrohung für unsere deutsche Sprache an. Wenn es beispielsweise um die Aufnahme einzelner Begriffe für neue Sachverhalte geht, finde ich die Verwendung von Anglizismen durchaus legitim.

Allerdings gibt es auch eine Reihe von überflüssigen Anglizismen. Sie sollte man aus meiner Sicht unbedingt vermeiden. Hier lohnt sich ein Blick in das Wörterbuch überflüssiger AnglizismenRichtig eigenartig sind außerdem Pseudoanglizismen oder Scheinanglizismen, die wir anstelle deutscher Wörter für neue Gegenstände oder Sachverhalte gebrauchen. Bestes Beispiel ist das deutsche Wort Handy für Mobiltelefon.

Bizarr ist meiner Meinung auch die bewusste oder absichtliche Verwendung des sogenannten „Denglisch”.  Als anschauliches Beispiel dafür dienen Aussagen der bekannten deutschen Modeschöpferin Jil Sander in einem Interview aus dem Jahre 1996:

„Ich habe vielleicht etwas Weltverbesserndes. Mein Leben ist eine giving-story. Ich habe verstanden, daß man contemporary sein muß, das future-Denken haben muß. Meine Idee war, die hand-tailored-Geschichte mit neuen Technologien zu verbinden. Und für den Erfolg war mein coordinated concept entscheidend, die Idee, daß man viele Teile einer collection miteinander combinen kann. Aber die audience hat das alles von Anfang an auch supported. Der problembewußte Mensch von heute kann diese Sachen, diese refined Qualitäten mit spirit eben auch appreciaten. Allerdings geht unser voice auch auf bestimmte Zielgruppen. Wer Ladyisches will, searcht nicht bei Jil Sander. Man muß Sinn haben für das effortless, das magic meines Stils.”

Auf den Einschub (sic) habe ich mal an einigen Stellen verzichtet. But ich habe die opinion, dass man solchen use der language avoiden sollte. 😉

William Shakespeare: Die Kontroverse um seine Identität und Autorschaft

Die Debatte um die Verfasserschaft von Shakespeares Werken hat eine Geschichte. Dabei wird daran gezweifelt, dass Shakespeare aus Stratford der Autor war. 

William Shakespeare ist sicherlich der berühmteste Dramatiker der Welt, bekannt durch Werke wie Romeo and Juliet, Richard III und Hamlet. Allerdings sind diese häufig auch nur über berühmte Aussprüche wie „Sein oder Nichtsein, das ist hier die Frage“ aus Hamlet oder „Ein Pferd, ein Pferd, mein Königreich für ein Pferd!“ aus Richard III geläufig.

Jedoch wird gerade im populärwissenschaftlichen Bereich die Identität Shakespeares angezweifelt. So bestreiten einige Kritiker und Verschwörungstheoretiker, dass William Shakespeare aus dem Ort Stratford-upon-Avon tatsächlich all die bekannten Tragödien, Komödien und Historienstücke verfasst hat.

Das Bild von Shakespeare als Naturtalent

Die Ursache für die Zweifel an seiner Autorschaft sind ideologisch motivierte Meinungen und Thesen, die bis in die Frühe Neuzeit zurückreichen. Ein gutes Beispiel dafür liefert der englische Dichter Leonard Digges (1588-1635) in dem 1640 erschienenen Buch Poems.

In seinen kommentierenden Versen dazu wird Shakespeare von Digges als Naturtalent dargestellt, der in seinen Meisterwerken weder griechische oder lateinische Phrasen kopierte noch fremde Ideen übernahm. Wie sich aber herausstellte, ist Digges Darstellung von Shakespeare überhaupt nicht korrekt, denn Shakespeares Stücke sind voll von Übersetzungen klassisch lateinischer Textpassagen. Zudem findet man Handlungsmuster anderer Autoren.

Das Bild von Shakespeare als reines Naturtalent öffnete schließlich die Tür für verschiedene Sichtweisen. Hierbei ist vor allem die britische Tradition „Bardolatry“ im 18. Jahrhundert erwähnenswert. Diese war sehr vom Nationalbewusstsein gefärbt. Bezogen auf Shakespeare hatten die Anhänger dieser Tradition oder Bewegung daher ein Interesse daran, ihn als einen von ausländischen und klassischen Modellen unbeeinflussten Sohn englischen Bodens bzw. als einheimisches Genie vom Lande zu präsentieren.

Ähnlich verhält es sich mit den Romantikern des 19. Jahrhunderts. Sie waren Verehrer der durch die Natur inspirierten Vorstellungskraft sowie des Individuums, das sich den herkömmlichen Konventionen widersetzt. Folglich erkannten sie in dem angeblich uninstruierten Naturtalent Shakespeare aus dem ländlichen Stratford-upon-Avon solche Züge und verehrten seine Werke mit einer fast quasi-religiösen Haltung.

Von Verehrung, Fälschung und Zweifel

Allgemein entwickelte sich im Verlauf des 18. Jahrhundert in England ein Personenkult um Shakespeare. Die große Verehrung für seine Werke erhöhte selbstverständlich das Interesse an seiner Person. Zusätzlich erzeugte das Nichtvorhandensein von originalen Manuskripten und genauen biographischen Fakten ein Verlangen nach solchen Dokumenten und Informationen.

Aufgrund der sich entwickelnden Konsumgesellschaft wurde Shakespeare zusätzlich zur Ware gemacht. All das bildete selbstverständlich den Nährboden für Fälscher, die angebliche Originalmanuskripte und autobiographische Dokumente in Umlauf brachten. Ferner wurde Shakespeare mit dem Aufkommen der modernen Industriegesellschaft speziell als Autor gesehen. Man koppelte ihn also zunehmend von der Gestalt des Dramatikers bzw. der Theaterwelt ab.

Im Laufe der Zeit entdeckten Gelehrte nicht nur in ein paar Texten Spuren, die auf Kollaborationsarbeiten mit anderen Autoren hindeuten, sondern fanden in allen Werken zahlreiche aus einheimischen, fremden und klassischen Quellen übernommene Passagen und Themen. Deshalb konnte das Bild vom reinen oder unbeeinflussten Naturtalent nicht aufrechterhalten werden.

Weil biographische Informationen über ihn weiterhin spärlich waren und der Mann aus dem ländlichen Stratford-upon-Avon als Autor der literarischen Meisterwerke nicht in Frage zu kommen schien, zogen einige Kritiker die traditionelle Sicht auf die Autorschaft in Zweifel. Dies begann ab dem 19. Jahrhundert.

Anti-Stratfordians vs. Stratfordians

Die Kritiker sind nicht davon überzeugt, dass der im ländlichen Gebiet aufgewachsene William Shakespeare die nötige Bildung besaß, um die Theaterstücke und Gedichte zu schreiben. Laut diesen Skeptikern fehlte ihm auch der Einblick in das in den Werken häufig dargestellte Leben am Königshof. Der wahre Autor musste demzufolge ein hoch gebildeter Adeliger oder zumindest ein sehr belesener Zeitgenosse sein.

Hingegen ist der Shakespeare aus Stratford als ein dem Schreiben unkundiger Mann vom Lande dargestellt worden. Darum werden in der Autorschaftsfrage die Zweifler „Anti-Stratfordians“ genannt.

Ihre Kandidaten für die Verfasserschaft reichen von dem berühmten Renaissancephilosophen Francis Bacon bis zu dem Dramatiker und Poeten Christopher Marlowe. Dazu sind weitere wilde Verschwörungstheorien entstanden. Neben dem Politiker Henry Neville ist selbst Königen Elizabeth I. (!) zur Verfasserin erklärt worden. Der aussichtsreichste Kandidat vieler Anti-Stratfordians ist der „17th Earl of Oxford“ Edward de Vere.

Besagter Earl of Oxford hat zahlreichen Anti-Stratfordians zufolge das Pseudonym William Shakespeare verwendet bzw. eine andere Identität angenommen, da er am königlichen Hof nicht in Ungnade fallen und sich dort nicht lächerlich machen wollte. Das Publizieren von Gedichten sowie Dramen verstieß nämlich angeblich gegen den höfischen Kodex.

Von den meisten Akademikern auf diesem Gebiet werden aber die Theorien der Anti-Stratfordians abgelehnt. Sie glauben an die Autorschaft von Shakespeare aus Stratford und werden deswegen als „Stratfordians“ bezeichnet.

‚Autor oder nicht, das ist hier die Frage’

Es existierte in Stratford-upon-Avon eine Schule, obwohl es keine Dokumente über ihre Schüler mehr gibt. Der Vater von Shakespeare war auch Mitglied des Dorfrates. Aus diesem Grund wurde ihm das Recht eingeräumt seine Kinder zur Schule zu schicken, welches er höchstwahrscheinlich für seinen Sohn nicht ausgeschlagen hat.

Daneben konnte der am Anfang seiner Karriere reisende Schauspieler William Shakespeare – aus Sicht der Stratfordians – seinen Horizont erweitern. Gemäß vieler Experten sei jedoch das Besondere an Shakespeare seine unglaubliche Vorstellungskraft gewesen.

Außerdem lassen einige andere Sachverhalte die Thesen der Anti-Stratfordians äußerst problematisch erscheinen. Zum Beispiel wurde Marlowe im Jahre 1593 getötet, während Edward de Vere im Jahre 1604 starb. So waren die vermeintlich aussichtsreichen anderen Kandidaten schon tot, bevor der Autor von Shakespeares Werken nach der üblichen Datierung seine letzten Stücke (d.h. 1605-1614) geschrieben hat.

Man darf darüber hinaus Skepsis anmelden, ob zum Beispiel Francis Bacon die nötigen Fähigkeiten zum Verfassen der Dramen hatte, auch wenn man konstatiert, dass er ein hochgebildeter Mann war. Aufgrund des Mangels an Realien aus der Zeit wird man die Frage nach der Autorschaft aber wohl nie hundertprozentig lösen können.

Quellen:

Bate, Jonathan: The Genius of Shakespeare. Basingstoke u. Oxford: Picador 1997.

Dobson, Michael: Authorship Controversy. In: The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. Hg. v. Michael Dobson u. Stanley Wells. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2005. S. 30-31.

Kreiler, Kurt: Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. Frankfurt a. M. u. Leipzig: Insel Verlag 2009.

McCrea, Scott: The Case for Shakespeare. The End of the Authorship Question. Westport u. London: Praeger 2005. 

Das Gründerväter-Erbe: Die U.S.A. sind eine Republik, keine reine Demokratie

Die berühmten ‚founding fathers’ der U.S.A. schufen eine Republik. Dabei wollten sie eine direkte Demokratie in Amerika vermeiden.

Häufig werden die Gründerväter der U.S.A. als Befürworter demokratischer Grundsätze gesehen. Diese Behauptung ist dann oft mit der Annahme verbunden, dass die Gründerväter an die Gleichheit aller Menschen glaubten. Sicherlich findet man in der Unabhängigkeitserklärung und den Artikeln der amerikanischen Verfassung zur Schaffung einer Republik (oder, genau genommen, einer konstitutionellen bzw. an eine Verfassung gebundene Bundesrepublik) ein Bekenntnis zu demokratischen Prinzipien.

Dennoch benötigt man zum genauen Verständnis, was die Gründergeneration wirklich von einer reinen Demokratie hielt, Hintergrundwissen über die Repräsentanten der Gründergeneration allgemein sowie deren Ansichten. Am Anfang ist es hilfreich, auf einige der prägenden Traditionen dieser Leute einzugehen.

Der Besitz zählt: Das Konzept der ‚freien Männer’

Die meisten der Gründerväter waren zwar Einheimische der dritten oder vierten Generation, waren aber immer noch durch bestimmte kulturelle Eigenheiten ihrer Vorfahren geprägt. Wie viele ihrer Landsleute hatten sie eine britische oder englische Herkunft und besaßen daher eine Vorstellung über die traditionellen englischen Konzepte des ‚freien Mannes’ (eng. freeman) und des Grundbesitzers (eng. freeholder).

Zu diesen Personengruppen gehörten im damaligen, sehr vom Standes- oder Klassenbewusstsein durchdrungenen England nicht nur Besitzer von Boden und Land, sondern auch Leute, die im Jahr einen Besitz im Wert von mindestens 40 Shilling aufweisen konnten. Nur solchen ‚Männern’ war es dann gestattet, als unabhängige Wähler ihre Stimme in Grafschaftswahlen abzugeben, um Personen im unteren Adelsstand (eng. Knights of the Shire) ins Unterhaus des Parlaments zu senden.

Die freemen oder freeholders besaßen also ein Wahlrecht aufgrund ihres finanziellen Vermögens. Folglich steht das Konzept des freeman / freeholder mehr mit Aristokratie als mit Demokratie in Verbindung. Die Gründerväter der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika hingen diesem Konzept jedoch an und glaubten an eine natürliche Aristokratie. Hierbei ist ein Blick in bestimmte wichtige Dokumente der Gründergeneration lohnenswert.

Die ursprünglich begrenzte Zahl der Wahlberechtigten in Amerika

Zwar lehnte die Gründergeneration eine erbliche Monarchie ab. Allerdings erhob sie deutliche Einwände gegen eine pure oder direkte Demokratie.

Zunächst ist, unter Berücksichtigung des Wissens über die freeholders, die Betrachtung einer berühmten Passage aus der vom Gründervater Thomas Jefferson verfassten Unabhängigkeitserklärung angebracht:

„Wir halten diese Wahrheiten für ausgemacht, daß alle Menschen gleich erschaffen worden, daß sie von ihrem Schöpfer mit gewissen unveräusserlichen Rechten begabt worden, worunter sind Leben, Freiheit und das Bestreben nach Glückseligkeit. Daß zur Versicherung dieser Rechte Regierungen unter den Menschen eingeführt worden sind, welche ihre gerechte Gewalt von der Einwilligung der Regierten herleiten…”

Jefferson erklärt im ersten Teil des Satzes die Gleichheit aller Menschen vor Gott und die Rechte, welchen allen Menschen zustehen, wohingegen er sich bei den ‚Regierten’ im letzten Teil in erster Linie auf die freemen bezieht.

Die Klasse der freemen setzte sich im damaligen Amerika hauptsächlich aus Großgrundbesitzern zusammen. Somit war vor allem eine Gruppe von wohlhabenden Menschen rechtmäßig befähigt, Repräsentanten auszuwählen und der Regierung Macht zu gewähren.

Interessanterweise besaß jeder Bundesstaat Kriterien zur Ermittlung der Wahlberechtigten, die ähnlich wie im früheren England einen bestimmten Wert an Eigentum nachweisen mussten. Demnach konnte nur eine begrenzte Anzahl von Bürgern das Recht zu wählen wahrnehmen, während dagegen viele andere Menschen (u. a. Sklaven, Schwarze und Frauen) ausgeschlossen wurden.

Erst mit der Ausdehnung des Wahlrechts im Laufe des 19. bzw. am Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts wurde allen weißen Männern, Schwarzen (mit z. T. erheblichen Einschränkungen in manchen Staaten) und Frauen die Berechtigung dazu zuteil. Die Vereinigten Staaten kamen damit insgesamt in ihren ersten Jahren oder Jahrzehnten der Definition von einer Republik im engeren Sinne nahe, nämlich ein Zusammenschluss aus einer Reihe von Bundesstaaten mit gemeinschaftlich gewähltem / bestimmtem Oberhaupt und Delegierten ohne direktes Wahlrecht.

Das wird dadurch bestätigt, wie die Wahl in Bezug auf die drei Gewalten Legislative, Exekutive sowie Judikative ursprünglich angelegt war. Zum Beispiel wählten bis zur Ratifizierung des 17. Zusatzes zur Verfassung (1913) nur die entsprechenden Gesetzgeber der einzelnen Staaten die Senatoren. Darüber hinaus sind die U.S. Präsidenten schon immer indirekt von so genannten Wahlmännern / Wahlfrauen aus den einzelnen Bundesstaaten ins Amt gewählt worden.

Eigentlich etablierten die Gründerväter das Wahlmännersystem (Electoral College), um u. a. eine direkte Demokratie zu verhindern und die einzelnen Bundesstaaten zu stärken. Anfangs bevorzugten die meisten Vertreter der Gründergeneration sogar die alleinige Ernennung des Präsidenten durch den Kongress.

Die Tyrannei der ‚Faktionen’

Seit jeher werden die Richter des hohen Bundesgerichtes (Supreme Court) vom amtierenden Präsidenten mit Zustimmung des Senates ernannt. Man kann an diesem Punkt bereits erkennen, dass die Gründerväter ein System der indirekten Ernennung intendierten. Ausschließlich die Mitglieder des Repräsentantenhauses wählte das Volk von Beginn an direkt.

Die anderen beschriebenen Regierungsebenen waren allerdings Kontrollinstanzen für das Repräsentantenhaus zur Verhinderung der Tyrannei der Mehrheit. Davor warnte ein weiterer berühmter Gründervater, James Madison, in der bekannten Abhandlung The Federalist No. 10.

Dieses Dokument rät von einer reinen Demokratie ab, da eine solche Form gefährliche ‚Faktionen’ bzw. Gruppen schaffen würde, welche, Madisons Meinung nach, durch bestimmte Allianzen sowie Unehrlichkeit die Gelegenheit hätten, andere gesellschaftliche Gruppen oder Minderheiten zu missbrauchen. Als Vorbeugemaßnahme gegen die Tyrannei der Faktionen plädierte Madison für die von den founding fathers intendierte repräsentative Republik sowie eine Stärkung der einzelnen Bundesstaaten.

Unterschiedliche Talente und Fähigkeiten

Im Großen und Ganzen glaubte die Mehrheit der Gründervätergeneration überhaupt nicht an eine direkte oder reine Demokratie. Selbstverständlich waren alle Bürger der Vereinigten Staaten zu einem Leben in Freiheit und dem Streben nach Glück berechtigt. Nichtsdestotrotz sollten in der neuen Republik die Regierungsverantwortlichen ursprünglich größtenteils von Gesetzgebern der einzelnen Bundesstaaten sowie dafür vorgesehenen Personen ernannt werden.

Dabei orientierten die Gründerväter sich an dem ihnen vertrauten traditionellen (englischen) Konzept des freeholder. Ihnen zufolge hatte jeder Mensch bestimmte Rechte vor Gott, aber auch unterschiedliche Talente und Fähigkeiten. Aus diesem Grund war es aus ihrer Sicht zum großen Teil nur dazu befähigten Leuten gestattet, die Regierungsmitglieder zu ernennen.

Quellen:

Addison, Joseph: The Freeholder. Oxford: Clarendon Press 1979.

Bosso, Christopher J., John H. Portz u. Michael C. Tolley: American Government. Conflict, Compromise, and Citizenship. Boulder: Westview Press 2000.      

Cannon, John (Hg.): Dictionary of British History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Überarb.  Aufl. 2009. 

McClanahan, Brion: The Politically Incorrect Guide to The Founding Fathers. Washington D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc. 2009.

 

‘Quite Franklin’ – Stereotypical Views and Benjamin Franklin’s Vicious Comments about Germans

During the 18th century, one of the U.S.A.’s most famous Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, expressed his contempt for immigrants from German states to colonial America. In general, there have been stereotypical views about Germans in the U.S.A.  

Mass immigration has always represented a contested issue in North America as in almost every country of the Western world. On the one hand, a huge number of people nowadays demand stricter immigration laws. On the other hand, many people support a liberal immigration policy.

The U.S.A. is commonly referred to as ‘a nation of immigrants’, though colonial North America was predominantly settled by migrants from England or Britain during the 17th and 18th centuries. After the U.S.A. was founded, the Congress of the new American republic passed several federal legislation including the Naturalization Acts in 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802. These acts only addressed immigration indirectly. Instead, as the name makes clear, they focused on the process of naturalization.

During this period (i.e. between the 18th and 19th centuries) these naturalization laws were comparatively generous. Broadly speaking, they allowed foreign residents in America to gain relatively easy access to citizenship as long as these persons fulfilled specific criteria.

Besides an oath of loyalty and the completion of the period of legal residence, the criteria included the renouncement of former and / or other allegiances and of all foreign titles. Moreover, the candidates for naturalization had to convince a court to have a “good moral character” and to believe in “the principles of the Constitution of the United States.” However, only “free-born white persons” could be naturalized.

Correspondingly, notwithstanding that free blacks were given citizenship in some states of the U.S.A., these Naturalization Acts particularly excluded slaves, a lot of free blacks, American Indians and indentured servants until the naturalization laws were changed in the 19th century. Today, the exclusion of certain ethnic or foreign groups is usually conceived of as ‘racism’ or ‘xenophobia’.

But the white people of colonial British America and the early American republic also viewed other groups of British migrants (as well as their descendants) and non-British immigrants with suspicion or contempt. At this point, we can, for example, point to the aversion to 18th-century immigrants from German states. One of the people who expressed dislike for them was Benjamin Franklin.

This illustrious figure among the U.S.A.’s Founding Fathers worried about large German communities in Pennsylvania. Before turning to Franklin’s vicious comments about Germans, we should elaborate on how Americans in the past perceived people from Germany.

Beer, Sauerkraut and ‘the Adipose Society’ – American (Stereotypical) Views and Images of Germans

From the late 17th century to the mid-19th century, masses of people came to North America from the German states, which formed a German nation state in 1871. Germans were generally associated with beer and such an association is still common. Not by chance. Well-known American beer brands have a German origin. In this context, it is worth mentioning the founder of the Miller Brewing Company, Frederick Miller (1824-1888), and Adolphus Busch (1839-1913), the co-founder of the brewing company Anheuser-Busch.

Scan
‘Germans and Their Beer’ – A 19th-century lithograph that is taken from page 49 of the anthology From Melting Pot to Multiculturalism: E pluribus unum ? (Ed. Peter Freese, 2005).

Apart from this, Germans have been regarded as embodiments of gluttony, overindulgence or obesity. Appropriately enough, a 19th-century American lithograph depicts stereotypical Germans. We see, for example, an obese couple, transporting beer barrels. The girl sits on one barrel, while the boy appears to drink beer.

As far as the overindulgence or obesity issue is concerned, it is remarkable that in 1963 the American TIME Magazine published an article about (West) Germany with the title “West Germany: The Adipose Society.” A few passages of this article read as follows:

“Following the early ’50s, when the postwar boom set off what Germans call the Edelfresswelle, the gorgeous gobbling wave, buttocks and bosoms have expanded even more rapidly than the economy, and doctors have recognized two universal ailments: Doppelkinnepidemie, double-chin epidemic, and Hängebauch, or bellyhang.”

Parts of the article are certainly based on some stereotypical views.

Needless to say, more threatening images or views of Germans emerged in the U.S.A., when the two World Wars broke out. Then, the German word Sauerkraut was also replaced by the English term ‘liberty cabbage’. Long before the 20th century, Germans had made themselves unpopular among Americans with a British background by, for instance, going to the park on Sundays to play loud brass music and do exercise, which the Germans called ‘Turnen’.

During the colonial period many of the people from German states moved to Pennsylvania. Eventually, in the mid-18th century the colony of Pennsylvania was one-third German. Because of this fact, Benjamin Franklin reacted sharply.

‘These Palatine Boors’ – Franklin’s Malicious Comments about Germans in Pennsylvania

Franklin expressed his contempt for the immigrants from German states. He stated the following in one letter to Peter Collinson (1694-1768), a Fellow of the Royal Society in Britain, on 9 May 1753:

“I am perfectly of your mind, that measures of great Temper are necessary with the Germans: and am not without Apprehensions, that thro’ their indiscretion or Ours, or both, great disorders and inconveniences may one day arise among us; Those who come hither are generally of the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation, and as Ignorance is often attended with Credulity when Knavery would mislead it, and with Suspicion when Honesty would set it right; and as few of the English understand the German Language, and so cannot address them either from the Press or Pulpit, ’tis almost impossible to remove any prejudices they once entertain. Their own Clergy have very little influence over the people; who seem to take an uncommon pleasure in abusing and discharging the Minister on every trivial occasion. Not being used to Liberty, they know not how to make a modest use of it;…”

His writings contain more malicious comments about Germans, as a part of his essay “Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind” (1751) demonstrates:

“And since Detachments of English from Britain sent to America, will have their Places at Home so soon supply’d and increase so largely here; why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.”

He clearly feared the dominance of the German language in Pennsylvania.

His main concern was that the Germans would not adopt the English language and English customs. On 12 August 1753, Collinson suggested some remedies in a letter to him:

“Hints Humbly proposed to Incorporate the Germans more with the English and Check the Increase of their Power

1st To Establish More English Schools amongst the Germans.

2dly To Encourge them to Learn English Lett an Act of Parliament pass in Great Britain to disquallifie every German from accepting any Place of Trust or Profit Civil or Military Unless both He and His Children can speake English inteligibly.

3d To prohibit any Deeds, Bonds, or writeings &c. to be Made in the German Language.

4 To Suppress all German Printing Houses that print only German. Half German half English in a Page of Books or publick News papers To be Tolerated.

5th To prohibit all Importation of German books.

6 To Encourage the Marriages of Germans with English and Contra by some Priviledge or Donation from the Publick.

7ly To Discourage the sending More Germans to the Province of Pensilvania When Inhabitans are so much Wanted in Georgia, North Carolina and Nova Scotia &c.”

Franklin later responded in another letter in 1753, giving answers regarding the proposals.

At the beginning of the letter, he advised careful measures: “With regard to the Germans, I think Methods of great tenderness should be used, and nothing that looks like a hardship be imposed.” What is especially noteworthy is his answer to the sixth proposal:

“The sixth Proposal of Encouraging Intermarriages between the English and Germans, by Donations, &c. I think would either cost too much, or have no Effect. The German Women are generally so disagreable to an English Eye, that it wou’d require great Portions to induce Englishmen to marry them. Nor would the German Ideas of Beauty generally agree with our Women; dick und starcke, that is, thick and strong, always enters into their Description of a pretty Girl: for the value of a Wife with them consists much in the Work she is able to do. So that it would require a round Sum with an English Wife to make up to a Dutch Man the difference in Labour and Frugality. This Matter therefore I think had better be left to itself.”

To put it mildly, from today’s point of view, his statements were extremely politically incorrect.

Sources:

Freese, Peter (Ed.). From Melting Pot to Multiculturalism: E pluribus unum ?. Berlin et al.: Langenscheidt, 2005.

Gerber, David A. American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. 

 

 

When Colonial America Rose from ‘Albion’s Seed’ – The British Roots of the U.S.A.

During the colonial period in the 17th and 18th centuries, North America was predominantly shaped by four major waves of migration from England or Britain.

The United States of America is commonly considered ‘a nation of immigrants’. For a few centuries countless people from various different countries have been streaming into the U.S.A. to leave their old lives behind and to live the American dream. Indeed, from the point of view of many immigrants, this ‘land of opportunity’ has always been an object of desire.

Because of the coexistence of several groups from different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, some famous concepts or ideas have emerged over time. One of them, in particular, stands out – namely the idea of ‘the melting pot‘. With respect to this notion, the U.S.A. is – in the words of the online dictionary Merriam Webster – “a place where a variety of races, cultures, or individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole.”

But both this idea (or myth) of the melting pot and the aforementioned commonly used phrase ‘nation of immigrants’ may distort that in the 17th and 18th centuries North America was predominantly settled by people from Britain (mostly from England) as well as their descendants. Their traditions and views, to a high extent, proved influential in shaping colonial American culture.

The historical impact of the British or English on America is described in detail by the American historian David Hackett Fischer in his book Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989). According to Fischer, the first of the four waves of British migration roughly started in 1629.

Prior to that, some people from England, needless to say, had already come to the Americas. By, in metaphorical terms, slowly planting ‘Albion’s Seed’ in the New World, they laid the foundations for the four major migration waves from Britain.

‘Albion’s Seed’ Was Slowly Planted – The Early English Ventures and Attempts at Settlement in the New World

After Christopher Columbus had ‘discovered’ America in 1492, English ships occasionally embarked on voyages to the New World. Despite these early voyages of explorations, there was apparently not so much enthusiasm for oversea expeditions to the Americas in the first years of the 16th century. However, during the second half of the 16th century England decided to venture into the New World, where the Spanish and Portuguese colonialists had found gold and silver.

Especially English merchants were interested in breaking the Spanish overseas monopoly since the vast land of America provided important resources and goods like sugar, tobacco, timber or tropical fruits. The merchants’ efforts received support from the English crown under Queen Elizabeth I (b.1533, 1558-1603).

Moreover, Queen Elizabeth I commissioned the famous English sea captain and privateer Sir Francis Drake (c.1540-1596) to attack Spanish ships and Spanish settlements at America’s Pacific coast. It should be added here that Drake as well as the English naval commander Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595) engaged in the slave trade in this period.

The queen also granted the explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert (c.1539-1583) a patent to plant overseas colonies. Eventually, in 1583 he claimed Newfoundland for England. Therefore, Newfoundland became the first English possession in North America. Nevertheless, his attempt at colonization finally failed because he and his ships were lost at sea on the return journey.

Later, another famous Englishman, the explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (c.1554-1618), Gilbert’s half-brother, established an English settlement on Roanoke Island in 1585, which is today part of the U.S. state of North Carolina. Historical sources point out that this new area was named ‘Virginia‘ in honour of Elizabeth I, the ‘Virgin Queen’. Ultimately, the settlement only lasted a few years.

Although England’s early attempts to colonize parts of the New World failed, thirty English settlements were set up from 1580 to 1630. Among them was the first permanent English or British colony in North America at Jamestown (in present-day Virginia), which was founded in 1607.

Notwithstanding that the English population in the New World constituted only one of several groups there, the English people there paved the way for England’s future settlements and the migration waves from Britain. Metaphorically speaking, these English people slowly planted ‘Albion’s Seed’.

‘Albion’s Seed’ Began to Grow and Developed into ‘A City upon a Hill’ – The English Pilgrim Fathers and the Puritans

Quite a few textbooks about American history usually emphasize the Puritans, Reformed English Protestants. As their name ‘Puritans’ indicates, they intended to ‘purify’ the Church of England from – in their view – ‘Catholic’ practices. Their migration from the eastern counties of England took place between about 1629 and 1640. Subsequently, the Puritans settled Massachusetts Bay.

We should not equate these Puritans with the Pilgrim Fathers, as they were called, even though they also held Puritan beliefs. In general, the Pilgrim Fathers were religious ‘Separatists’ who broke away from the English state church, the Church of England. Hence, their main aim was to gain religious freedom.

Roughly speaking, they had exiled themselves to the Netherlands, before they sailed on the famous ship Mayflower to America. Finally, they arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620 – that is, prior to the start of the above mentioned Puritan migration wave. By the way, the ‘first Thanksgiving‘ can be traced back to the feast or harvest meal, which was given by the Plymouth settlers in 1621. Yet, in regards to this event, myths, legends and facts blur.

At any rate, the Puritans, by contrast, were still members of the Church of England. Only during the reign of King Charles I did they leave England in masses. From their viewpoint, the king felt attracted to the Catholic rites they hated. Alongside social and economic issues, the king’s attitude towards religion certainly was a contributing factor for the Puritan migration to America.

Adhering to the doctrines of Reformed Protestant Calvinist Orthodoxy and the belief in predestination, the Puritans were determined to establish a deeply religious and God-fearing community without interferences by outsiders. Furthermore, they strove to create a new Zion. To achieve their goal, the people in Massachusetts (or other parts of New England) followed strict religious rules as well as codes of law and order. Within the community,  the law was supposed to reflect biblical principles.

One of the leading figures of the English Puritan community, John Winthrop (1588-1649), alluded to the determination to establish a new Zion in Massachusetts by mentioning for the first time the well-known phrase “city upon a hill” in his sermon ‘A Model of Christian Charity’:

“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us…” (This quotation is derived from a few passages from the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew 5. 14-15.)

Winthrop, a longterm governor of Massachusetts Bay, wanted the Christian colony to serve as a model of order and morality for humanity.

Ever since, the phrase has been referred to the U.S.A. as a whole. It is an example of expressions concerning American exceptionalism. Unsurprisingly, several US politicians / Presidents have employed this phrase in their speeches.

If we use our metaphor again, through the migrations of the Pilgrim Fathers and the Puritans ‘Albion’s Seed’ began to grow. Until the end of the 18th century it continued to grow because of three other waves of British migrants.

‘Albion’s Seed’ Kept Growing, or the Other Major Migration Waves from Britain – the Aristocrats, the Quakers and the Immigrants from the British Borderlands

On the one hand, when the English Civil War(s) commenced in 1642, a number of  Puritans retuned to England to support the Parliamentarians in the fight against Charles I and the Royalists. On the other hand, a second major migration wave to America occurred from roughly 1642 to 1675. This wave carried royalist aristocrats and gentlemen mainly from England’s south and west. Most of them were younger sons of English aristocratic families.

Their American destination was Virginia. Here the aristocrats and gentlemen formed an elitist and hierarchically organized society. They also had particular ideas of liberty and government such as the concept of freedom as a condition of independence and the conceptions of minimal government and self-government. After all, during the founding period of the U.S.A. at the end of the 18th century, several descendants of these gentlemen or, more precisely, their ideas exerted a huge influence on the U.S. Constitution.

Other characteristics of this society encompassed an allegiance to the Anglican faith and a strong sense of honour. Interestingly enough, the majority of the white population in Virginia consisted of indentured servants as well as landless or poor whites.

Afterwards, two additional major migration waves from Britain brought many English Quakers and a high number of immigrants from the Northern British borderlands to America. From about 1675 to 1715 the Quakers – who had lived in England’s North Midlands before their migration – resided in the Delaware Valley (around Philadelphia), while later, from roughly 1717 to 1775, the people from the borderlands of northern Britain moved to the Appalachian backcountry.

Fischer Albion's Seed
Statistics regarding the four major migration waves from Britain to America. This table is taken from page 787 of David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed (1989).

For instance, the Quaker community was founded on a remarkable work ethic, a Christian notion of spiritual equality and a pluralistic idea of reciprocal liberty. The latter  represented a Christian concept, embracing all humanity.

It entailed religious freedom or “liberty of conscience”, as the Quaker’s most prominent member, William Penn (1644-1718), worded it. Notably, for the Quakers, liberty of conscience even applied to ideas they believed to be false. Suffice it to say, in this context, that these conceptions were or have been influential in American society.

As a result of the other migration waves from Britain to America, ‘Albion’s Seed’, so to speak, kept growing besides, for example, other migrants from Britain, German Pietists in today’s state of Pennsylvania, Dutch settlers in ‘New Netherland’ (i.e. areas of the present-day states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware as well as outposts on Rhode Island and in Pennsylvania), French Huguenots and African slaves. Yet, trouble loomed among the British colonists.

Big Trouble among the British (Regions) in Colonial America

Undeniably, these groups of colonists shared striking characteristics. That is, they migrated from Britain, spoke English and were Christians. In spite of these shared characteristics and their familiarity with traditional British or English rights like trial by jury, the protection of property rights and the right of representative government, the British groups of migrants were culturally different from one another. Each of them highly influenced the cultural identity of the respective settlement region.

Nonetheless, even within the settlement regions internal crises arose occasionally. Apart from these internal crises, the major cultures in British America did not get on with each other from the beginning. We may infer the early British colonists’ hostile attitude towards one another from the following statements:

In 1651, a Puritan judged Virginians: “I think they are the farthest from conscience and moral honesty of any such number together in the world.”

Many years later, in 1736, a Virginian, William Byrd II, viewed Puritans with contempt, as some passages in one of his letters show: “They have a great dexterity in palliating a perjury so as to leave no taste of it in the mouth, nor can any people like them slip through a penal statute…A watchful eye must be kept on these foul traders.”

Judging from the Puritans’ and the Virginians’ stated opinions, they hated the Quakers who were said to “pray for their fellow men one day a week, and on them the other six.”

The Quakers, in turn, despised the Puritans in New England. At the end of the 18th century, a Pennsylvanian Quaker labled them as “the flock of Cain.”

Additionally, the Quakers, Puritans and Virginians alike expressed their dislike of the borderers from the north of Britain by calling them savages, barbarians, ‘Vandals of America’, an “unlearned and uncivilized part of the human race” and “a spurious race of mortals.”

The settlers of the backcountry equally disdained the aforementioned groups. (These statements can be found in Fischer’s Albion’s Seed on pages 821 and 822.)

All in all, there was high potential for big trouble.

On many occasions, their mutual antagonism deteriorated into violent regional conflicts. Correspondingly, as far as the regional cultures of British America were concerned, during the colonial period America neither resembled ‘a cultural melting pot’ nor ‘a United States’, even though the migrants came from the same part of the world and had striking characteristics in common. Regardless of these conflicts, the British roots of what became the U.S.A. are indisputable.

Sources and Further Reading:

Cannon, John. Ed. Dictionary of British History. Rev. ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. 

Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. New York, and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hannan, Daniel. How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters. London: Head of Zeus, 2013.

McDonald, Forrest. Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1985.

Unger, Irwin. These United States: The Questions of Our Past. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2007.

Popular history books by freelance editor Emma Marriott and the libertarian historians Thomas E. Woods and Brion McClanahan can also be very helpful.    

 

 

The Impact of Digital Transformation on the National and Local Economy

Digital Transformation significantly affects our market economies in the West – on a national and local level. The resulting changes have an impact on the media and communication sectors, the industry and business models.

Digital Technologies, digital devices and digital infrastructure have transformed our lives at the end of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century. High-performance computers, the Internet, numerous apps, intelligent machines, 3D printing and other innovations, in a way, enable us to transcend physical and geographical boundaries. Correspondingly, digital transformation proceeds inexorably. The resulting changes open the door to innovation opportunities.

Alongside the term digital transformation, we (or you ;)) frequently employ the word digitization in English. However, as some sources point out, we may distinguish between (digital transformation,) digitization and the similarly sounding word digitalization, even though they are often used interchangeably.

Digitization basically means the process of converting analog information or signals of any form (i.e. texts, sounds, voices, images etc.) into a digital form or format. Here information is encoded in bits or binary digits. A bit contains only one of two single binary values. Accordingly, it can either have the “binary value 1” or the “binary value 0”. These values, in turn, represent two distinct states (e.g. on / off, right / wrong, yes / no).

Ones and zeroes can be regarded as the ‘native language’ of computers and related devices. Simply put, computers operate or perform calculations on the basis of binary codes, in which information is processed by sequences of the two binary digits 0 and 1.

In contrast to digitizationdigitalization, at least judging from sources like Gartner IT Glossary, refers to “the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.” Similar to digitalization, according to i-SCOOP and Techopedia, the term digital transformation is predominantly associated with the business world:

“Digital transformation is the profound transformation of business and organizational activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of a mix of digital technologies and their accelerating impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way, with present and future shifts in mind.” (This quotation is taken from i-SCOOP.)

Yet, digital transformation additionally entails changes in society as a whole.

Appropriately enough, the aforementioned ‘IT education website’ Techopedia comes up with this basic definition:

“Digital transformation is the changes associated with digital technology application and integration into all aspects of human life and society.

It is the move from the physical to digital.”

To a certain extent, digital transformation affects every group in society on a national and local level. Likewise, it has, of course, a huge impact on the national and regional economy.  This is due to ‘unique’ economic properties that are linked to digitization or digital information.

Other Laws Apply to Digitization

While our lives and all physical objects are subject to natural laws, ‘normal’ or ‘classical’ laws do not really apply to digitization. As opposed to everyday commodities or goods, digital information is, so to speak, “not used up” and can be reproduced very cheaply.

The economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee illustrate these as well as other properties or aspects of “the digitization of just about everything” in their acclaimed book The Second Machine Age (2014). In this context, they rely on Gordon Moore’s Law. With respect to this law, the amount of computing power doubles every two years.

If we follow the two authors, computing power has increased exponentially (or incredibly fast). For the last decades, Computer devices, thus, have been having a higher processing speed, storage capacity, download speed and energy efficiency. Simultaneously, they have become smaller, lighter, denser, cheaper and, ultimately, affordable to the general public.

Considering the prospect that in the future the limits of miniaturization will be reached, experts (including Moore himself) have been expecting the end of Moore’s Law. Moreover, a drying up of computing capacity has been predicted. However, Brynjolfsson and McAfee make us aware of particular “engineering detours”. That is, people in the computer industry have found ways to circumvent possible physical limitations or boundaries.

At any rate, the exponential growth of computing power results in far-reaching consequences for our market economies in the West. Already now the effects are more than evident, when we look especially at the communication, media and service sectors.

New Ways of Economic Transactions – The Effects of Digital Transformation for Our Market Economy

We can infer from the previous part and other statements by scholars that because of digital transformation ‘economic transactions accelerate’, while, at the same time, ‘the transaction costs drop‘. Since today’s mobile or digital communication also provides the opportunity to retrieve information at any place within seconds, supply and demand meet each other in digital media with increasing frequency.

Broadly speaking, many of us nowadays not only read the news on the Internet but also carry out banking and purchase transactions online. As a result, at present, new markets emerge that, in a sense, transcend traditional geographical boundaries. These emerging markets lead to a continuous ‘displacement’ of work. Apart from these markets, modern forms of work develop besides new business models and ways of transactions.

Through file-sharing sites, services via app, a variety of online offers and, for example, the possibility to produce an item with the help of a 3D printer, certain social and economic boundaries are currently blurring. Among them are the boundaries between consumers and producers, dependent work and self-employment as well as between public and private goods. All these issues emphasize the ongoing changes in the economic world, which, needless to say, also encompasses manufacturing or the industry.

Another Industrial Revolution ?

The manufacturing sector is now adapting to a combination of production methods with highly modern information and communication technologies. Precisely this fusion of production with state-of-the-art technologies and the computerization of manufacturing take centre stage, for example, in connection to the project and platform Industrie 4.0, which is part of the high-tech strategy of the German government.

With reference to the name Industrie (or, in English, Industry) 4.0, what is forecast is nothing less than a fourth Industrial Revolution. But is another revolution in the industry imaginable in the very near future ? Answers to this question may give promising ideas concerning modern industrial manufacturing and concepts of a smart factory, as it is called.

Such concepts particularly play a significant role for the traditional industrial locations in the West. According to IFS – a multinational provider of enterprise software -, main features of a digitalized factory of the future will include a changed culture of manufacturers, a more flexible adaptation to shifts in the market and growing collaborations with universities.

Interestingly enough, future factories will distinguish themselves by increasing localization. Hence, they will divide into more and smaller facilities, so that local resources can be accessed faster.

The Chances of Regional or Local Areas in a Digitalized World

Despite a continuous displacement of work and a shift of economic activities into digital networks and digital media, regional areas including municipalities remain important in a digitalized world. A few studies, for instance, indicate the still existing significance of the distance between places and the importance of local or regional locations in online trade.

Furthermore, some economists and reports suggest that, as far as economic activities are concerned, there are opposite trends to an ever-growing globalization – regionalization and urbanization. These processes pose great logistical challenges.

To increase their attractiveness, regional or local areas require flexible, future-oriented framework conditions for the development of new job opportunities, services, and business models as well as for the founding of startups. Other determining factors are the willingness to new collaborations of companies and cooperations between economic organizations and specific social groups.

Means to foster such cooperations are digital platforms. Such digital platforms – in addition to network activities on and offline – allow for exchanges of ideas, further education and self-improvement.

In general, regional or local companies should lay the foundations of good working conditions for employees. At this point, it is worth mentioning, for example, possibilities to reconcile work and family responsibilities and to work from home. Regional or local companies should also aim to create a productive working atmosphere / environment (e.g. coworking spaces). Prerequisites are creative strategies, digital literacy, an adequate physical / technical infrastructure and an easy access to high-speed internet.

Sources and Further Reading:

Bell, David R. Location Is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One. Boston, New York: New Harvest, 2014.

Brynjolfsson, Erik, and Andrew McAfee. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2014. 

German Sources: 

Cole, Tim. Digitale Transformation: Warum die deutsche Wirtschaft gerade die digitale Zukunft verschläft und was jetzt getan werden muss!. Munich: Verlag Franz Vahlen, 2015.

Kaczorowski, Willi. Die smarte Stadt: Den digitalen Wandel intelligent gestalten. Stuttgart (et al.): Richard Boorberg Verlag, 2014. 

Oermann, Nils Ole. Wirtschaftsethik: Vom freien Markt bis zur Share Economy. Munich: Verlag C.H. Beck, 2015.

Ritter, Helge. “Möglichkeitenräume der Oberflächenwelt.” Interview. Wachstum im Wandel: Chancen und Risiken für die Zukunft der Sozialen Marktwirtschaft. Ed. Bertelsmann Stiftung. Gütersloh: Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2016. 116-127.