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It’s very nice to be here tonight.

0:13 So I’ve been working on the history of income and wealth distribution for the past 15 years, and one of the interesting lessons coming from this historical evidence is indeed that, in the long run, there is a tendency for the rate of return of capital to exceed the economy’s growth rate, and this tends to lead to high concentration of wealth. Not infinite concentration of wealth, but the higher the gap between r and g, the higher the level of inequality of wealth towards which society tends to converge.

0:48 So this is a key force that I’m going to talk about today, but let me say right away that this is not the only important force in the dynamics of income and wealth distribution, and there are many other forces that play an important role in the long-run dynamics of income and wealth distribution. Also there is a lot of data that still needs to be collected. We know a little bit more today than we used to know, but we still know too little, and certainly there are many different processes — economic, social, political — that need to be studied more. And so I’m going to focus today on this simple force, but that doesn’t mean that other important forces do not exist.

1:27 So most of the data I’m going to present comes from this database that’s available online: the World Top Incomes Database. So this is the largest existing historical database on inequality, and this comes from the effort of over 30 scholars from several dozen countries. So let me show you a couple of facts coming from this database, and then we’ll return to r bigger than g. So fact number one is that there has been a big reversal in the ordering of income inequality between the United States and Europe over the past century. So back in 1900, 1910, income inequality was actually much higher in Europe than in the United States, whereas today, it is a lot higher in the United States. So let me be very clear: The main explanation for this is not r bigger than g. It has more to do with changing supply and demand for skill, the race between education and technology, globalization, probably more unequal access to skills in the U.S., where you have very good, very top universities but where the bottom part of the educational system is not as good, so very unequal access to skills, and also an unprecedented rise of top managerial compensation of the United States, which is difficult to account for just on the basis of education. So there is more going on here, but I’m not going to talk too much about this today, because I want to focus on wealth inequality.

2:47 So let me just show you a very simple indicator about the income inequality part. So this is the share of total income going to the top 10 percent. So you can see that one century ago, it was between 45 and 50 percent in Europe and a little bit above 40 percent in the U.S., so there was more inequality in Europe. Then there was a sharp decline during the first half of the 20th century, and in the recent decade, you can see that the U.S. has become more unequal than Europe, and this is the first fact I just talked about. Now, the second fact is more about wealth inequality, and here the central fact is that wealth inequality is always a lot higher than income inequality, and also that wealth inequality, although it has also increased in recent decades, is still less extreme today than what it was a century ago, although the total quantity of wealth relative to income has now recovered from the very large shocks caused by World War I, the Great Depression, World War II.

3:49 So let me show you two graphs illustrating fact number two and fact number three. So first, if you look at the level of wealth inequality, this is the share of total wealth going to the top 10 percent of wealth holders, so you can see the same kind of reversal between the U.S. and Europe that we had before for income inequality. So wealth concentration was higher in Europe than in the U.S. a century ago, and now it is the opposite. But you can also show two things: First, the general level of wealth inequality is always higher than income inequality. So remember, for income inequality, the share going to the top 10 percent was between 30 and 50 percent of total income, whereas for wealth, the share is always between 60 and 90 percent. Okay, so that’s fact number one, and that’s very important for what follows. Wealth concentration is always a lot higher than income concentration.

4:47 Fact number two is that the rise in wealth inequality in recent decades is still not enough to get us back to 1910. So the big difference today, wealth inequality is still very large, with 60, 70 percent of total wealth for the top 10, but the good news is that it’s actually better than one century ago, where you had 90 percent in Europe going to the top 10. So today what you have is what I call the middle 40 percent, the people who are not in the top 10 and who are not in the bottom 50, and what you can view as the wealth middle class that owns 20 to 30 percent of total wealth, national wealth, whereas they used to be poor, a century ago, when there was basically no wealth middle class. So this is an important change, and it’s interesting to see that wealth inequality has not fully recovered to pre-World War I levels, although the total quantity of wealth has recovered. Okay? So this is the total value of wealth relative to income, and you can see that in particular in Europe, we are almost back to the pre-World War I level. So there are really two different parts of the story here. One has to do with the total quantity of wealth that we accumulate, and there is nothing bad per se, of course, in accumulating a lot of wealth, and in particular if it is more diffuse and less concentrated. So what we really want to focus on is the long-run evolution of wealth inequality, and what’s going to happen in the future. How can we account for the fact that until World War I, wealth inequality was so high and, if anything, was rising to even higher levels, and how can we think about the future?

6:31 So let me come to some of the explanations and speculations about the future. Let me first say that probably the best model to explain why wealth is so much more concentrated than income is a dynamic, dynastic model where individuals have a long horizon and accumulate wealth for all sorts of reasons. If people were accumulating wealth only for life cycle reasons, you know, to be able to consume when they are old, then the level of wealth inequality should be more or less in line with the level of income inequality. But it will be very difficult to explain why you have so much more wealth inequality than income inequality with a pure life cycle model, so you need a story where people also care about wealth accumulation for other reasons. So typically, they want to transmit wealth to the next generation, to their children, or sometimes they want to accumulate wealth because of the prestige, the power that goes with wealth. So there must be other reasons for accumulating wealth than just life cycle to explain what we see in the data. Now, in a large class of dynamic models of wealth accumulation with such dynastic motive for accumulating wealth, you will have all sorts of random, multiplicative shocks. So for instance, some families have a very large number of children, so the wealth will be divided. Some families have fewer children. You also have shocks to rates of return. Some families make huge capital gains. Some made bad investments. So you will always have some mobility in the wealth process. Some people will move up, some people will move down. The important point is that, in any such model, for a given variance of such shocks, the equilibrium level of wealth inequality will be a steeply rising function of r minus g. And intuitively, the reason why the difference between the rate of return to wealth and the growth rate is important is that initial wealth inequalities will be amplified at a faster pace with a bigger r minus g. So take a simple example, with r equals five percent and g equals one percent, wealth holders only need to reinvest one fifth of their capital income to ensure that their wealth rises as fast as the size of the economy. So this makes it easier to build and perpetuate large fortunes because you can consume four fifths, assuming zero tax, and you can just reinvest one fifth. So of course some families will consume more than that, some will consume less, so there will be some mobility in the distribution, but on average, they only need to reinvest one fifth, so this allows high wealth inequalities to be sustained.

9:11 Now, you should not be surprised by the statement that r can be bigger than g forever, because, in fact, this is what happened during most of the history of mankind. And this was in a way very obvious to everybody for a simple reason, which is that growth was close to zero percent during most of the history of mankind. Growth was maybe 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 percent, but very slow growth of population and output per capita, whereas the rate of return on capital of course was not zero percent. It was, for land assets, which was the traditional form of assets in preindustrial societies, it was typically five percent. Any reader of Jane Austen would know that. If you want an annual income of 1,000 pounds, you should have a capital value of 20,000 pounds so that five percent of 20,000 is 1,000. And in a way, this was the very foundation of society, because r bigger than g was what allowed holders of wealth and assets to live off their capital income and to do something else in life than just to care about their own survival.

10:21 Now, one important conclusion of my historical research is that modern industrial growth did not change this basic fact as much as one might have expected. Of course, the growth rate following the Industrial Revolution rose, typically from zero to one to two percent, but at the same time, the rate of return to capital also rose so that the gap between the two did not really change. So during the 20th century, you had a very unique combination of events. First, a very low rate of return due to the 1914 and 1945 war shocks, destruction of wealth, inflation, bankruptcy during the Great Depression, and all of this reduced the private rate of return to wealth to unusually low levels between 1914 and 1945. And then, in the postwar period, you had unusually high growth rate, partly due to the reconstruction. You know, in Germany, in France, in Japan, you had five percent growth rate between 1950 and 1980 largely due to reconstruction, and also due to very large demographic growth, the Baby Boom Cohort effect. Now, apparently that’s not going to last for very long, or at least the population growth is supposed to decline in the future, and the best projections we have is that the long-run growth is going to be closer to one to two percent rather than four to five percent. So if you look at this, these are the best estimates we have of world GDP growth and rate of return on capital, average rates of return on capital, so you can see that during most of the history of mankind, the growth rate was very small, much lower than the rate of return, and then during the 20th century, it is really the population growth, very high in the postwar period, and the reconstruction process that brought growth to a smaller gap with the rate of return. Here I use the United Nations population projections, so of course they are uncertain. It could be that we all start having a lot of children in the future, and the growth rates are going to be higher, but from now on, these are the best projections we have, and this will make global growth decline and the gap between the rate of return go up.

12:37 Now, the other unusual event during the 20th century was, as I said, destruction, taxation of capital, so this is the pre-tax rate of return. This is the after-tax rate of return, and after destruction, and this is what brought the average rate of return after tax, after destruction, below the growth rate during a long time period. But without the destruction, without the taxation, this would not have happened. So let me say that the balance between returns on capital and growth depends on many different factors that are very difficult to predict: technology and the development of capital-intensive techniques. So right now, the most capital-intensive sectors in the economy are the real estate sector, housing, the energy sector, but it could be in the future that we have a lot more robots in a number of sectors and that this would be a bigger share of the total capital stock that it is today. Well, we are very far from this, and from now, what’s going on in the real estate sector, the energy sector, is much more important for the total capital stock and capital share.

13:44 The other important issue is that there are scale effects in portfolio management, together with financial complexity, financial deregulation, that make it easier to get higher rates of return for a large portfolio, and this seems to be particularly strong for billionaires, large capital endowments. Just to give you one example, this comes from the Forbes billionaire rankings over the 1987-2013 period, and you can see the very top wealth holders have been going up at six, seven percent per year in real terms above inflation, whereas average income in the world, average wealth in the world, have increased at only two percent per year. And you find the same for large university endowments — the bigger the initial endowments, the bigger the rate of return.

14:33 Now, what could be done? The first thing is that I think we need more financial transparency. We know too little about global wealth dynamics, so we need international transmission of bank information. We need a global registry of financial assets, more coordination on wealth taxation, and even wealth tax with a small tax rate will be a way to produce information so that then we can adapt our policies to whatever we observe. And to some extent, the fight against tax havens and automatic transmission of information is pushing us in this direction. Now, there are other ways to redistribute wealth, which it can be tempting to use. Inflation: it’s much easier to print money than to write a tax code, so that’s very tempting, but sometimes you don’t know what you do with the money. This is a problem. Expropriation is very tempting. Just when you feel some people get too wealthy, you just expropriate them. But this is not a very efficient way to organize a regulation of wealth dynamics. So war is an even less efficient way, so I tend to prefer progressive taxation, but of course, history — (Laughter) — history will invent its own best ways, and it will probably involve a combination of all of these.

15:45 Thank you.

15:47 (Applause)

15:49 Bruno Giussani: Thomas Piketty. Thank you.

15:54 Thomas, I want to ask you two or three questions, because it’s impressive how you’re in command of your data, of course, but basically what you suggest is growing wealth concentration is kind of a natural tendency of capitalism, and if we leave it to its own devices, it may threaten the system itself, so you’re suggesting that we need to act to implement policies that redistribute wealth, including the ones we just saw: progressive taxation, etc. In the current political context, how realistic are those? How likely do you think that it is that they will be implemented?

16:29 Thomas Piketty: Well, you know, I think if you look back through time, the history of income, wealth and taxation is full of surprise. So I am not terribly impressed by those who know in advance what will or will not happen. I think one century ago, many people would have said that progressive income taxation would never happen and then it happened. And even five years ago, many people would have said that bank secrecy will be with us forever in Switzerland, that Switzerland was too powerful for the rest of the world, and then suddenly it took a few U.S. sanctions against Swiss banks for a big change to happen, and now we are moving toward more financial transparency. So I think it’s not that difficult to better coordinate politically. We are going to have a treaty with half of the world GDP around the table with the U.S. and the European Union, so if half of the world GDP is not enough to make progress on financial transparency and minimal tax for multinational corporate profits, what does it take? So I think these are not technical difficulties. I think we can make progress if we have a more pragmatic approach to these questions and we have the proper sanctions on those who benefit from financial opacity.

17:45 BG: One of the arguments against your point of view is that economic inequality is not only a feature of capitalism but is actually one of its engines. So we take measures to lower inequality, and at the same time we lower growth, potentially. What do you answer to that?

18:00 TP: Yeah, I think inequality is not a problem per se. I think inequality up to a point can actually be useful for innovation and growth. The problem is, it’s a question of degree. When inequality gets too extreme, then it becomes useless for growth and it can even become bad because it tends to lead to high perpetuation of inequality over time and low mobility. And for instance, the kind of wealth concentrations that we had in the 19th century and pretty much until World War I in every European country was, I think, not useful for growth. This was destroyed by a combination of tragic events and policy changes, and this did not prevent growth from happening. And also, extreme inequality can be bad for our democratic institutions if it creates very unequal access to political voice, and the influence of private money in U.S. politics, I think, is a matter of concern right now. So we don’t want to return to that kind of extreme, pre-World War I inequality. Having a decent share of the national wealth for the middle class is not bad for growth. It is actually useful both for equity and efficiency reasons.

19:13 BG: I said at the beginning that your book has been criticized. Some of your data has been criticized. Some of your choice of data sets has been criticized. You have been accused of cherry-picking data to make your case. What do you answer to that?

19:25 TP: Well, I answer that I am very happy that this book is stimulating debate. This is part of what it is intended for. Look, the reason why I put all the data online with all of the detailed computation is so that we can have an open and transparent debate about this. So I have responded point by point to every concern. Let me say that if I was to rewrite the book today, I would actually conclude that the rise in wealth inequality, particularly in the United States, has been actually higher than what I report in my book. There is a recent study by Saez and Zucman showing, with new data which I didn’t have at the time of the book, that wealth concentration in the U.S. has risen even more than what I report. And there will be other data in the future. Some of it will go in different directions. Look, we put online almost every week new, updated series on the World Top Income Database and we will keep doing so in the future, in particular in emerging countries, and I welcome all of those who want to contribute to this data collection process. In fact, I certainly agree that there is not enough transparency about wealth dynamics, and a good way to have better data would be to have a wealth tax with a small tax rate to begin with so that we can all agree about this important evolution and adapt our policies to whatever we observe. So taxation is a source of knowledge, and that’s what we need the most right now.

20:52 BG: Thomas Piketty, merci beaucoup.

20:54 Thank you. TP: Thank you. (Applause)


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Laurie Penny, Unspeakable Things. Sex, Lies and Revolution. London 2014.

„Gender determines the shape of our fantasies. Good little boys are supposed to dream about changing the world, but good little girls are supposed to dream about changing ourselves. […] There comes a time when you have to decide whether to change yourself to fit the story, or to change the story itself. The decision gets a little easier if you understand that refusing to shape your life and personality to the contours of an unjust world is the best way to start creating a new one.“ (p. 21 & p. 38)

Laurie Penny was born in London in 1986 and grew up on the Internet. She studied English Literature at Wadham College, Oxford. In 2010 her blog Penny Red was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing. She is the Contributing Editor at New Statesman magazine and is konwn for reporting on protest and social movements. She currently has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter.


1.) Beauty Work

Men experience body policing too, of course. [But] Men’s physicality is not assumed to be everything they have to contribute. „Beauty“ for men, despite the best efforts of the cosmetics industry to persuade them otherwise, still involves little more than a shave, a slick of hair-gel and a clean T-shirt.

A recent survey by shopping channel QVC claimed that the average British woman spends £ 2,055 per year, or 11 per cent of the median full-time female salary, on maintaining and updating the way she looks. Men, by contrast, spend just 4 per cent of their salary on their appearance, most of which goes on shaving and the gym. („Beauty Bill of a Lifetime“, Daily Mail, 21 February 2011)

Maintaining order on the surface is important [for women]. We are supposed to be objects of desire, not desiring beings. […] Looking „good“, for a woman, involves sacrifice, hard work, illness, even death [in the case of eating disorders]. „Beauty“ for women involves hours of pain and expenses. Our bodies are the most important things about us, and left to themselves, they will betray us, become fat and unmanageable: they must be controlled.

Where once feminists complained of women’s „second shift“ of housework and childcare outside the workplace, the obligation to be highly achieving now infects every part of life: we must be academically successful, socially graceful, physically attractive, sexually alluring but not too „slutty“.

Feminist writer Naomi Wolf refers to „Beauty Work“ – the time, money and effort women have to put into „maintaining“ their appearance and cramming their physical selves into the narrow stereotype of conventional beauty standards – as a new third shift of labour, alongside women’s traditional „second shift“ of domestic and caring work [with the „first shift“ being working on their jobs earning money]

Glossy women’s magazines are manuals of self-transformation: change your body for summer, change your wardrobe for winter […]

Women’s fear of not being considered beautiful is well founded. Recent studies have proven what most of us have grown up knowing on a deep and painful level: that there is a cost, for every woman and girl, to departing from the norm of what society considers „beautiful“. (p. 34) Women and girls who deviate from current beauty norms in physical appearance, weight, style, race or gender presentation face discrimination at work and quantifiable obstacles in terms of pay and promotion.

Femininity, docility and prettiness, by which we mean the lifelong effort to look as much like an even-featured, underweight Caucasian girl in her early twenties as possible, are the entry tickets to a wider variety of jobs in which a few will make it big and most won’t make it out.

A report published in a recent issue of the „Journal of Applied Psychology“ revealed that the pay and influence of test groups of women in America and Germany consistently rose as their weight dropped below the healthy average, even when controlling factors that affect both weight and pay.  By contrast, weight gain was an indicator of financial success for males up to the point of extreme obesity, when men too begin to pay a professional penalty.

(T.A. Judge and D.M. Cable, “ When it comes to pay, do the thin win? The effect of weight on pay for men and women.“ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20853946)

2.) „Ugly feminists“

A great deal of what used to call itself „new feminism“ used to devote itself to reassuring women and girls that they could be empowered, independent political women and still be beautiful… Can I be a feminist if I love to wear lipstick and twirly dresses? Is it all right for empowered women to shave their legs? Feminism is not about telling women what (not) to wear or whether to shave their legs or not. The fall of patriarchy is unlike ly to begin or end with one woman’s decision to wear fishnets or grow out her armpit.politik_frauenstimmrecht_2

A lot of this nonsense is a response to the tired old stereotype of feminism as unbeautiful, and being unbeautiful – being ugly – is the worst thing a woman can ever be. That stereotype is harking back to the „Second-Wave feminists“ of the [1960s], 1970s and 1980s, some of whom did wear trousers and go unshaved. [But there also] was Gloria Steinem, whose classic bombshell looks allowed her to go undercover as a Playboy Bunny in Hugh Hefner’s original club to write an excoriating exposé of how women were treated in that weird world.What the stereotype of the bra-burning, hairy-legged feminist is really supposed to suggest is that feminism, that politics itself, makes a woman ugly. That women’s liberation is a threat to traditional ideas of femininity, of a woman’s social role. Which of course, it is, and always has been.

It’s interesting that „ugly“ is still the insult most commonly thrown at women to dismiss their power, to get them to shut up. Female politicians are called ugly by men who can’t quite bring themselves to say directly that they don’t deserve their power, that their primary purpose as women should be to please and arouse the opposite sex. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been  told, on the Internet or in person, to „shut up, ugly bitch“, when men – or, occasionally women – were uncomfortable with something I was saying. At first I started turning up to talks and debates in my best clothes, in leather, in lipstick – but no amount of lipstick is ever going to make patriarchy comfortable with the words coming out of your mouth, if you have an ounce of ambition or anger.

„Fat“ is even more obvious. You’re gross, you take up too much space, get out of my sight. Men who occupy positions of power, of course, are allowed to run fat, lose interest in their appearance […]: their places at the top table will still be reserved.


3.) Women at work

Perhaps the cruelest trick played on my mother’s generation was the way they were duped into believing that the right to work in every low-paid, back-breaking job men do was the only and ultimate achievement of the women’s movement. Yes, in most Western countries, women now have the legal right to be paid equally for any job a man can do, although they have to get the job first. In practice, women are not working at the top of the pay and employment scale in large numbers. We are instead over-represented in low-paid, underpaid and unpaid work, just as we always have been, in domestic and care-sector work and other professions that remain at the bottom of the social heap in terms of pay and social status precisely because that work is traditionally done by women.

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Die gesellschaftliche Stellung von Frauen und Männern – Erklärungsmodelle für die Hexenverfolgung


  1. Rekonstruiere mit Hilfe der Materialien 1 bis 9 sowie den Bildquellen im Buch GO!6, Seite 40 und Seite 42, die Tatbestände, die den Angeklagten bei Hexenprozessen vorgeworfen wurden
  • Welche Tätigkeiten sind abgebildet?
  • Welche Zeitpunkte, Orte usw. sind abgebildet?


  1. Untersuche die folgenden Materialien 1 bis 9 (inklusve der schriftlichen Anmerkungen) und rekonstruierte die darin enthaltenen Hexen- und Frauenbilder.
  • Welches Geschlecht, welches Alter, welche soziale Stellung, welche ethnische Zugehörigkeit haben die abgebildeten Menschen?


  1. Beschreibe mit Hilfe der Informationen aus dem Liniendiagramm (Material 10) die Dynamik (= Wann stieg die Zahl der Prozesse stark an? Wann war der Höhepunkt?) der Hexenverfolgung in Frankreich! Vergleiche diese Informationen mit der Information über die Hexenprozesse im deutschsprachigen Raum (= „Heiliges Römisches Reich“) auf Seite 43 im Buch GO!6!


  1. Erstelle mit Hilfe der Informationen aus der Material 11 eine hypothetische Erklärung (= mögliche Faktoren, die das Phänomen erklären können) für die Dynamik der Hexenverfolgung in Europa!


  1. Erörtere, welche der Materialien 1 bis 13 Belege für die von feministisch orientierten Historikerinnen vertretene Erklärung(en) für die Hexenverfolgung (= Materialien 15 & 16) liefern können!


  1. Diskussion: Ursachen und Hintergründe der Hexenverfolgung
  • Nimm Stellung zu den folgenden Aussagen begründe deine Ansicht mit Hilfe der zur Verfügung gestellten Quellen und Darstellungen.


  I agree totally I have minor objections I have major objections I totally disagree
1.       Die wichtigste Erklärung für die Hexenverfolgung ist die von den politisch Verantwortlichen (= Herrschenden) seit dem 16. Jahrhundert betriebene Bevölkerungspolitik mit dem Ziel der Erhöhung der Bevölkerungszahl.


2.       Durch die irrationale Stimmung gegenüber Hexen in der Bevölkerung wurden die politisch Verantwortlichen praktisch gezwungen, Hexenprozesse abzuhalten (siehe GO!6, Seite 43).


3.  Die Hexenverfolgung und die damit einhergehende „Abwertung von Frauen“ sowie die Durchsetzung des bürgerlichen Frauenbildes um 1800 (Kompetenz: Deutsch, Seite 65) hat große Nachwirkungen auf die gegenwärtigen Gender-Zuschreibungen und die gesellschaftlich vorherrschenden Geschlechterrollen.


4.       Die Darstellung im Buch The History of Psychiatry (= Material 14) gibt den von der Hexenverfolgung betroffenen Personen eine Mitverantwortung dafür, dass sie Opfer der Hexenverfolgung wurden.



Material 1

Neuzeit_Hexensabbat_1510Witches Sabbath. The most famous of a series of engravings the German artist Hans Baldung produced, starting 1510.


Material 2


The witch’s herbary. Engraving by Hans Weidlitz (1532) As the starry globe suggests, the „virtue“ of the herbs was strengthened by the proper astral conjunction.


Material 3


Witches cooking children. From Francesco Maria Cuazzo’s „Compendarium Maleficarum“, 1608


Material 4             


Women fly on their brooms to the Sabbat after applying unguents (Salben) to their bodies. 16th century French print from Thomas Erastus‘ „Dialogues touchant le pouvoir des sorcières“ (1570).


Material 5


Jan Luyken, The execution of Anne Hendricks for witchcraft in Amsterdam in 1571.


Material 6


Darstellung eines feierlichen Hexensabbats als Festessen – Ausschnitt aus einer Illustration von Jan Ziarnko (1612)




Material 7


The execution of witches in Chelmsford (Essex, England) in 1589. Joan Prentice, one of the victims, is shown with her familiars.


Material 8


A classic image of the English witch: old, decrepit, surroundes by her animals and her cronies, and yet maintaining a defiant posture. From: The Wonderful Discoveries of the Witchcrafts of Margaret and Philipp Flowers, 1619.


Material 9


Amerigo Vespucci landing on the South American coast in 1497. Before him, lying on a hammock, is „America“. Behind her some cannibals are roasting human remains. Engraving by Théodore Galle (1589)

Material 10


This graph, indicating the dynamics of the witch trials between 1505 and 1650, refers specifically to the area of Namur and Lorraine in France.


Material 11

The wages of an English carpenter,  expressed in kilograms of  grain:


YEARS                             KILOGRAMS OF GRAIN


1351 – 1400                        121,8

1401 – 1450                      155,1

1451 – 1500                      143,5

1501 – 1550                        122,4

1551 – 1600                          83,0

1601 – 1650                          48,3



Material 12 (Bild rechts): A dispute between a witch and an Inquisitor (before 1514)


Many women accused of witchcraft were old and poor. Often they depended on public charity for their survival. Traditionally considered a wise woman, old women were the ones who embodied the community’s knowledge and memory. The witch-hunts turned the image of the old woman upside down. The old woman became a symbol of sterility and hostility to life.

„Witchcraft is the weapon of the powerless“ – Old women were those in a community most likely to resist the transformation and often the destruction of the old, communal relations when they were replaced by modern, capitalist economic and social relations.


Material 13: Walter Charleton, „Ephesian Matron“, 1659


You are the true Hyenas, that allure us with the fairness of your skins and when folly has brought us within your reach. You leap upon us. You are the traitors of Wisdom, the impediment to Industry … the clogs to Virtue and the goads that drive us to all vices, impiety and ruin. You are the Fool’s Paradise, the wise man’s Plague and the Grand Error of Nature.

zitiert nach Federici, Caliban and the Witch, S. 162


Material 14: G. Alexander and S.T. Selesnick in „The History of Psychiatry“ (1978):


„The accused witches oftentimes played into the hands of the persecutors. A witch relieved her guilt by confessing her sexual fantasies in open court; at the same time, she achieved some erotic gratification by dwelling on all the details before her male accusers. These severely emotionally disturbed women were particularly susceptible to the suggestion that they harbored demon and devils and would confess to cohabiting with evil spirits, much as disturbed individuals today, influenced by newspaper headlines, fantasy themselves as sought-after murderers.“

zitiert nach Federici, Caliban and the Witch, S. 163


Material 15: John Riddle, Eve’s Herbs. A History of Contraception in the West (1999)

Middle Ages (Mittelalter

Frauen verfügen über Wissen zur Herstellung von Verhütungsmitteln – Kräuter, Tränke etc. – mit denen…

·         … Unfruchtbarkeit hergestellt werden konnte

·         … ein Schwangerschaftsabbruch eingeleitet werden konnte


Modern Period (Neuzeit)

·         Frauen wird die Kontrolle über Fortpflanzung genommen: Kriminalisierung der Verhütung und Abtreibung

·         Frauen werden in bisher nicht dagewesenem Ausmaß  auf Reproduktionsarbeit festgelegt (= Kinder und Haushalt)

·         Frauen werden aus Zünften (Berufsvereinigungen) hinausgedrängt



Material 16: Feministisch orientierte Historikerinnen erklären die Geschichte der Hexenverfolgungen

Die Untersuchung des Geschlechts (überwiegend weiblich) und der sozialen Klasse (ärmere Schichten) der „Hexen“ lässt für feministisch orientierte HistorikerInnen den Schluss zu, dass die Hexenverfolgungen …

  • … deshalb stattfanden, weil Hexen bzw. Frauen eine Bedrohung für die sich neu entwickelnden Machtstrukturen darstellten
  • … deshalb stattfanden, weil Hexen bzw. Frauen der ungehinderten Entfaltung neuer wirtschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Verhältnisse (= Frühkapitalismus) im Weg standen
  • … ein über zwei Jahrhunderte dauernder Krieg gegen die Frauen in Europa ebenso wie gegen die indigenen Frauen in Amerika war
  • … ein zentraler Teil des Prozesses der Abwertung der Frauen(-arbeit) und der Unterordnung der Frauen unter die Hoheit des Familienvaters waren
  • … ein Angriff auf die weibliche Kontrolle über die Reproduktion (= Kinderproduktion) waren. Diese war ein Hindernis für das – von den Machthabern seit dem 16. Jahrhundert verfolgte – Ziel einer Anhebung der Bevölkerungszahl. Der französische Jurist und „Politikberater“ Jean Bodin schrieb: „Man sollte sich nie davor fürchten, zu viele Untertanen oder Bürger zu haben, denn die Macht eines Gemeinwesens liegt in seinen Menschen.“
  • … das Ziel hatten, die Macht der Frauen zu brechen, welche sie durch ihre Sexualität, durch ihre Kontrolle über die Reproduktion und durch ihre Heilfähigkeit erlangt hatten

Geschichte der Hexenverfolgung

Das Wort „Hexerei“ wurde erstmals in einem Inquisitionsprozess in Luzern 1420 verwendet, und zwar für weibliche Häretikerinnen (Ketzerinnen) ebenso wie für Juden. Es besteht in gewissem Ausmaß eine Kontinuität von Judenverfolgung und Hexenverfolgung. Juden wurden im (Spät-)Mittelalter unter anderem auch als Giftmischer, Zauberer und Teufelsverehrer dargestellt. Weit verbreitet war auch die Vorstellung, dass Juden Ritualmorde an christlichen Kindern durchführten. Noch bis ins späte 20. Jahrhundert fanden in Tirol kirchliche Prozessionen zu Ehren des „Anderle von Rinn“ statt, das von Juden rituell ermordet worden sein soll.

Tatbestände, wegen denen Hexen angeklagt  wurden:

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>>> Kompetenzorientierte Aufgaben zu Expansion Migration Flucht Asyl 8.Klasse

>>> Kompetenzorienterte Aufgaben zu Expansion Migration_Flucht Asyl 5. & 6. Klasse


Untersuche die Ausschnitte aus der Satire-Sendung „Die Anstalt“ (= Material 1) daraufhin, welche Perspektive(n) zu den Themen Migration, Flucht & Asyl eingenommen wird (werden).
• Achte dabei auf die verwendeten Begrifflichkeiten und erkläre ihre Bedeutung für die Gesamtaussage, z.B. „Festung Europa“

2. Fasse die wichtigsten Einschätzungen und Beurteilungen zu den Themen Migration, Flucht und Asylpolitik zusammen!
• LERNZIEL: Ich kann den Aufbau von Darstellungen analysieren (inhaltliche Gewichtung, Argumentationslinien sowie Bewertungen)
• LERNZIEL: Ich kann einige tiefere Ursachen für Flucht von Menschen aus der Dritten Welt nennen
• LERNZIEL: Ich kenne einige wichtige Kritikpunkte am Grenzregime der EU sowie an der Flüchtlings- und Asylpolitik (Handhabung des Asylrechts) der EU und der deutschen Regierung

3. Erkläre, wie sich die Materialien 3 und 4 aus der Perspektive der Satiriker beurteilen lassen.
• LERNZIEL: Ich kann die Interessens- und Standortgebundenheit politischer Urteile feststellen

4. Erörtere und beurteile die Stichhaltigkeit und Plausibiltät der vorgenommenen Wertungen und Einschätzungen!
• LERNZIEL: Ich kann politische Meinungen und Beurteilungen [zur Flüchtlings- und Asylpolitik der EU] reflektieren und hinsichtlich ihrer Qualität, Relevanz und Argumentation beurteilen.

• LERNZIEL: Ich kann eine eigene Meinung zur aktuellen Flüchtlingspolitik formulieren und begründen.

Mögliche Bezugspunkte für die Beurteilung der Stichhaltigkeit sind z.B. die Informationen aus dem Aufsatz „Europa und seine Zuwanderer“ (= Material 2) oder „EU Grenzregime made in Germany“ (= Material 5)

Ab Minute 45:00


>> Europa und seine Zuwanderer – Le Monde Diplomatique als PDF
• Fasse die wichtigsten Maßnahmen und Strategien der EU zur Abwehr von „illegaler“ Einwanderung zusammen!
• Erkläre, was unter „Quasi (= sozusagen) Privatisierung“ der Einwanderungskontrolle verstanden wird! Nenne ein Beispiel dafür!
• Erkläre, wie die Befolgung der Bestimmungen des internationalen Seerechts dazu führen kann, dass man wegen Beihilfe zu illegaler Einwanderung vor Gericht angeklagt wird!
• Erkläre die Aufgaben der Agentur „Frontex“!
• Erkläre, wie von der „Festung Europa“ die Wahrnehmung des Asylrechts erschwert bzw. verunmöglicht wird!

























>> Unterschiedliche Darstellungen vergleichen – Die Französische Revolution und die Jakobinerregierung als PDF

>> Different Representations of the Same Topic – The American Revolution als PDF

>> Conflicting Interpretations of the American Revolution als PDF

>> Link zu Prezi „Französische Revolution“



  1. REPRO Schildere knapp den Verlauf der Französischen Revolution seit 1789.
  2. TRANS Vergleiche die Schulbuchdarstellung der Jakobinerregierung in Material 5 mit derjenigen in Material 6.
  3. REPRO Fasse die in den Materialien 7, 8 & 9 getroffenen Einschätzungen der Französischen Revolution zusammen und berücksichtige dabei  insbesondere die Einschätzung der Jakobinerherrschaft.
  4. ** REFLEX Erörtere mögliche ideologische oder weltanschauliche Hintergründe, die für die unterschiedlichen Darstellungen verantwortlich sein könnten.
  5. **REFLEX Beurteile die unterschiedlichen Darstellungen der Französischen Revolution (Materialien 5 bis 9) aus der Perspektive der ersten beiden Strophen des Gedichts „Checking Out Me History“ (= Material 10) des aus Jamaica stammenden Schriftstellers John Agard.
  6. *** REFLEX Erörtere, wie – deiner Ansicht nach – eine adäquate Darstellung der Jakobinerherrschaft in einem Schulbuch aussehen sollte. Beurteile in diesem Zusammenhang, ob eine Darstellung der Französischen Revolution und der Herrschaft der Jakobiner ohne Bezugnahme auf die Revolution auf Haiti sinnvoll ist.
  7. *** REFLEX A politician from Indo-China (now Vietnam) – who had fought against the French colonial power in order to gain independence in the 1950s – was asked what he thought of the French Revolution. His answer was: “It is too soon to tell.” Give an explanation for his answer.


Material 1: Gemälde – Touissant Louverture












  1. REPRO Schildere knapp den Verlauf der Französischen Revolution seit 1789.
  2. TRANS Vergleiche die Schulbuchdarstellung der Jakobinerregierung in Material 5 mit derjenigen in Material 6.
  3. REPRO Fasse die in den Materialien 7, 8 & 9 getroffenen Einschätzungen der Französischen Revolution zusammen und berücksichtige dabei  insbesondere die Einschätzung der Jakobinerherrschaft.
  4. ** REFLEX Erörtere mögliche ideologische oder weltanschauliche Hintergründe, die für die unterschiedlichen Darstellungen verantwortlich sein könnten.
  5. **REFLEX Beurteile die unterschiedlichen Darstellungen der Französischen Revolution (Materialien 5 bis 9) aus der Perspektive der ersten beiden Strophen des Gedichts „Checking Out Me History“ (= Material 10) des aus Jamaica stammenden Schriftstellers John Agard.
  6. *** REFLEX Erörtere, wie – deiner Ansicht nach – eine adäquate Darstellung der Jakobinerherrschaft in einem Schulbuch aussehen sollte. Beurteile in diesem Zusammenhang, ob eine Darstellung der Französischen Revolution und der Herrschaft der Jakobiner ohne Bezugnahme auf die Revolution auf Haiti sinnvoll ist.
  7. *** REFLEX A politician from Indo-China (now Vietnam) – who had fought against the French colonial power in order to gain independence in the 1950s – was asked what he thought of the French Revolution. His answer was: “It is too soon to tell.” Give an explanation for his answer.


Material 2: Verlauf der Französischen Revolution seit 1789

Die Vertreter des „dritten Stands“ erklären sich zur Nationalversammlung


Der König will die Nationalversammlung auflösen. Er befiehlt der Armee, gegen die Abgeordneten der Nationalversammlung vorzugehen.

Am 14. Juli 1789 kommt es zum „Sturm auf die Bastille“. Die Bastille war ein Gefängnis und ein Waffenarsenal. Teile der Pariser Bevölkerung bewaffneten sich. Sie stellen sich der Armee des Königs entgegen. Deshalb konnte der König sein Ziel nicht erreichen.

Die Nationalversammlung trat weiterhin zusammen und beschloss im August 1789 die -> „Erklärung der Menschen- und Staatsbürgerrechte“


Nationalversammlung beschließt eine Verfassung 


In der Verfassung werden die Grundrechte der StaatsbürgerInnen festgelgt. Die Grundrechte der Staatsbürger müssen von der Regierung respektiert werden. Ein Staat, der nach diesem Prinzip „funktioniert“, wird als -> Rechtsstaat bezeichnet.


Die Verfassung bestimmt auch, dass die folgenden „Gewalten“ voneinander getrennt sein sollen.

·       Legislative (Gesetzgebung = Parlament)

·       Exekutive (Regierung)

·       Rechtsprechung (unabhängige Gerichte)

Frankreich wird eine Republik


Die Machthaber in Preußen und in Österreich rechneten damit, dass auch in Berlin und in Wien eine demokratische Revolution wie in Frankreich beginnen könnte.

Sie wollten dem König von Frankreich dabei helfen, sich gegen die demokratischen Kräfte durchzusetzen.

Im Jahr 1792 begann ein Krieg zwischen Frankreich auf der einen Seite, und Österreich und Preußen auf der anderen Seite. Die französische Armee hatte anfangs wenig Erfolg in diesem Krieg. König Ludwig XVI. wurde von vielen dafür verantwortlich gemacht.

Im September 1792 rief die Nationalversammlung die Republik aus. Der König war damit entmachtet. Er wurde vor Gericht gestellt, zum Tode verurteilt und im Jänner 1793 hingerichtet.


Regierung der Jakobiner


Diese Phase der Französischen Revolution wird von HistorikerInnen sehr verschieden beurteilt.

Neben dem Rechtsanwalt Robespierre spielte der im Juni 1793 ermordete Marat (-> Bild von David),  der Herausgeber des „Ami du peuple“, eine wichtige Rolle bei den Jakobinern. Während ihrer Regierung  wird die Sklaverei in den französischen Kolonien abgeschafft.

Ende der Jakobinerregierung („Thermidor“)


Im Juli wird die Regierung der Jakobiner gestürzt und Robespierre zum Tod verurteilt. Der Sturz der Jakobiner wird von manchen auch einfach als „Thermidor“ bezeichnet. „Thermidor“ war eigentlich der neue Name für den Monat Juli im neuen Revolutionskalender.

Der „Wohlfahrtsausschuss“ der Jakobiner wird ersetzt durch ein Direktorium, das in Frankreich regiert. Die Girondisten übernehmen die führende Rolle in der Regierung. Viele Girondisten waren Vertreter des wohlhabenden Großbürgertums (Händler, Manufakturbesitzer, Bankiers etc.).

Napoleon übernimmt die Macht


Napoleon war als Artilleriehauptmann im Krieg gegen Österreich und Preußen bekannt geworden, weil er in einigen Schlachten erfolgreich gewesen war.

1799 übernimmt Napoleon die Macht in Frankreich. Er stellte sich gegen die Kräfte, welche die Königsherrschaft wieder einführen wollten.

1804 führt Napoleon eine Volksabstimmung durch und lässt sich als Kaiser der Franzosen bestätigen.  Im „Code Napoleon“ werden wichtige „allgemein bürgerliche“ Gesetze gesammelt.

Material 3: The Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution, was a successful anti-slavery and anti-colonial insurrection that took place in the former French colony of Saint Domingue that lasted from 1791 until 1804. It affected the institution of slavery throughout the Americas.

In 1789, there were half a million slaves working on plantations owned by French colonists and every year an average of 30,000 slaves were imported from Africa to Haiti alone. The slave-owners made huge profits by exporting sugar, coffee and tobacco produced by slave labour. Inspired by the French Revolution of 1789 and the declaration of the rights of men, slaves in French colonies in the West Indies demanded freedom.

By 1791, the most important development was the Haitian slave revolution led by Toussaint Louverture, a former slave. In 1793 the National Convention in Paris, led by Robespierre and the Jacobins (Jakobiner), endorsed the abolition of slavery in all the French colonies.

After the end of the Jacobins’ rule in France in 1794, Louverture declared Haiti’s independence. Thereafter, in 1802 Napoléon Bonaparte sent an expedition of more than 20,000 soldiers to regain control of the island and to re-establish slavery as well as the status of Haiti as a colony of France. The Haitians defeated the French troops in 1803, thus accomplishing the first ever successful slave revolution. France then withdrew its remaining troops from the island and Napoleon gave up his idea of re-establishing a North American empire. Haiti’s independence was proclaimed in 1804.

Material 4: The Declaration of the Rights of Man













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