Reading, Writing, and Reform

Ian F. Mcneely

in The Emancipation of Writing

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780520233300
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928527 | DOI:
Reading, Writing, and Reform

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter turns to the institutional reforms undertaken by the Württemberg government in response to the campaign against the scribes, and to the very different ways civil society was conceptualized in the bureaucratic arena Friedrich List had left behind. It tries to track reformers' evolution from edict to enforcement, for their sociographic efforts provide the best account possible of why the Schreiberei had become such a detested institution. Moreover, the methods by which the state met the scribes' material needs are evaluated. The chapter picks up where many administrative histories leave off: after the promulgation of edicts and the reorganization of official powers. It also illustrates how entrepreneurial rivals to the scribes cut into the scribes' former monopolies to pursue their own career paths—and did so independently. Despite their limited practical impact, the commission bureaus point to a deeper fascination with administrative knowledge as a vehicle of influence.

Keywords: institutional reforms; Württemberg government; scribes; civil society; Friedrich List; Schreiberei; official powers; commission bureaus; reading; writing

Chapter.  12402 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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