Why did Protestant Christianity and Protestant women emerge as forces for social change?

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This is a broad question, but there's no doubt Protestantism has been associated with various kinds of social change, though people naturally argue about this topic.

In 1905, sociologist Max Weber published an influential book called The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, in which he argued that the Protestant—particularly the Calvinist—work ethic led to the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution brought massive social change to the world, upending traditional relationships between the once powerful landed aristocracy and the rest of society. Protestants also tended to be frugal, Weber argued, and this allowed them to amass capital to invest in business, also leading to economic growth and hence, social change. Because they had the wealth to found charitable institutions, they left their mark on society. For example, Quakers instituted reforms in how the insane were treated, focusing more on cure and less on restraint.

Early on, dissident groups such as the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1023 words.)

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