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Weber, Max

Born: 1864 AD
Died: 1920 AD
Nationality: German
Categories: Economist, Sociologist

1864 – He was born on the 21st day of April this year in Erfurt, Germany. He began his career at the University of Berlin, and later worked at Freiburg University, University of Heidelberg, University of Vienna and University of Munich. He was influential in contemporary German politics, being an advisor to Germany’s negotiators at the Treaty of Versailles and to the commission charged with drafting the Weimar Constitution.


1882 – He enrolled in the University of Heidelberg as a law student. He joined his father’s duelling fraternity, and chose as his major study Weber Sr.’s field of law. Intermittently, he served with the German army in Strasbourg.


1884 – In the fall of this year, he returned to his parents’ home to study at the University of Berlin. For the next eight years of his life, interrupted only by a term at the University of Goettingen and short periods of further military training, Weber stayed at his parents’ house; first as a student, later as a junior barrister, and finally as a Dozent at the University of Berlin.


1886 – He passed the examination for "Referendar", comparable to the bar association examination in the British and American legal systems.


1889 – Throughout the late 1880s, Weber continued his study of history. He earned his law doctorate in this year by writing a doctoral dissertation on legal history entitled The History of Medieval Business Organisations.


1890 – The "Verein" established a research program to examine "the Polish question" or Ostflucht, meaning the influx of foreign farm workers into eastern Germany as local labourers migrated to Germany’s rapidly industrialising cities. Weber was put in charge of the study, and wrote a large part of its results


1893 – He married his distant cousin Marianne Schnitger, later a feminist and author in her own right, who was instrumental in collecting and publishing Weber’s journal articles as books after his death.


1899 – His condition forced him to reduce his teaching, and leave his last course in the fall of this year unfinished. After spending months in a sanatorium during the summer and fall of 1900, Weber and his wife traveled to Italy at the end of the year, and did not return to Heidelberg until April 1902.


1903 –   After Weber’s immense productivity in the early 1890s, he did not publish a single paper between early 1898 and late 1902, finally resigning his professorship in fall of this year.


1904 – He began to publish some of his most seminal papers in this journal, notably his essay The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. It became his most famous work.


1907 – Despite his successes, Weber felt that he was unable to resume regular teaching at that time, and continued as a private scholar, helped by an inheritance in this year.


1912 – He tried to organise a left-wing political party to combine social-democrats and liberals. This attempt was unsuccessful, presumably because many liberals feared social-democratic revolutionary ideals at the time.


1915 – From this year until 1916, he sat on commissions that tried to retain German supremacy in Belgium and Poland after the war. Weber’s views on war, as well as on expansion of the German empire, changed throughout the war.


1918 – He became a member of the worker and soldier council of Heidelberg in this year. In the same year, Weber became a consultant to the German Armistice Commission at the Treaty of Versailles and to the commission charged with drafting the Weimar Constitution.


1919 – Weber resumed teaching during this time, first at the University of Vienna, then in this year at the University of Munich. In Munich, he headed the first German university institute of sociology, but ultimately never held a personal sociology appointment. Weber left politics due to right-wing agitation in this year, and until the year, he died.


1920 – He passed away on the 14th day of June this year in Munich, Germany.