The historical origin of tolerance
Isabela Mares, Yale University
Ahmed Mohammed, Columbia University
This paper analyzes the long-term historical consequences of religious conflict that occurred during the period between the Augsburg Treaty (1555) and the Westphalian Peace (1648). We show that religiously divided communities that experienced the Catholic counter-reformation faced relatively stronger demand for legal mechanisms of conflict resolution and developed distinct institutions of inter-religious mediation. Using fine-grained evidence from over 2000 localities of the Holy Roman Empire, we demonstrate that the creation of these institutions and the legalization of the religious conflict has a persistent effect to the present: citizens in localities that experienced the Catholic counter-reformation have a higher level of trust in political and legal institutions today, exhibit higher levels of tolerance and display lower levels of violence against migrants.
Interested participants are encouraged to RSVP by emailing Alexander Kuo email@example.com with the email header “Mares talk”.