The Antecedents Of Familism
The example of the familists. A Christian group who lived in small communities in sixteenth-century England could be considered to be one of the oldest antecedents for familism. They defended the spiritual unification of Christianity, giving up some of their more basic beliefs to accomplish this aim. The familists first appeared in 1540 in a small German town, where the political ideas of Johannes Althaus were widely accepted. In the book Systematic Analysis of the Politics, published in 1603, Althaus defends a new conception of the state as a federal entity composed of small basic units (family, economic associations, villages). A benevolent conception of an absolute monarchy was looked for in the intellectual atmosphere of this period. The existence of small communities, as those of the familists, helped with this renovated vision of the monarchy. The familists found great social acceptance in England. These communities spread between 1550 and 1650, but were accused of inspiring Puritanism. Their disappearance coincided with the restoration of English monarchy (1660).