Cities of Commerce: The Institutional Foundations of International Trade in the Low Countries, 1250-1650 [NOOK Book]

Overview

Cities of Commerce develops a model of institutional change in European commerce based on urban rivalry. Cities continuously competed with each other by adapting commercial, legal, and financial institutions to the evolving needs of merchants. Oscar Gelderblom traces the successive rise of Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam to commercial primacy between 1250 and 1650, showing how dominant cities feared being displaced by challengers while lesser cities sought to keep up by cultivating policies favorable to trade. He ...

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Cities of Commerce: The Institutional Foundations of International Trade in the Low Countries, 1250-1650

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Overview

Cities of Commerce develops a model of institutional change in European commerce based on urban rivalry. Cities continuously competed with each other by adapting commercial, legal, and financial institutions to the evolving needs of merchants. Oscar Gelderblom traces the successive rise of Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam to commercial primacy between 1250 and 1650, showing how dominant cities feared being displaced by challengers while lesser cities sought to keep up by cultivating policies favorable to trade. He argues that it was this competitive urban network that promoted open-access institutions in the Low Countries, and emphasizes the central role played by the urban power holders--the magistrates--in fostering these inclusive institutional arrangements. Gelderblom describes how the city fathers resisted the predatory or reckless actions of their territorial rulers, and how their nonrestrictive approach to commercial life succeeded in attracting merchants from all over Europe.

Cities of Commerce intervenes in an important debate on the growth of trade in Europe before the Industrial Revolution. Challenging influential theories that attribute this commercial expansion to the political strength of merchants, this book demonstrates how urban rivalry fostered the creation of open-access institutions in international trade.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] rich, nuanced, and convincing account of how adaptively efficient commercial institutions emerged from interactions between merchants and city officials in early modern Europe."—Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400848591
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/8/2013
  • Series: Princeton Economic History of the Western World
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 312
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Oscar Gelderblom is associate professor of economic history at Utrecht University. He is the editor of "The Political Economy of the Dutch Republic".
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Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
Chapter 2 Commercial Cities 19
Chapter 3 The Organization of Exchange 42
Chapter 4 Crossing Borders 76
Chapter 5 Conflict Resolution 102
Chapter 6 The Protection of Trade 141
Chapter 7 Dealing with Losses 169
Chapter 8 Conclusion 198
Appendix A: The Incidence of Violence against Foreign Merchants in the Low Countries, 1250-1650 211
Appendix B: The Motivation, Organization, and Outcome of Collective Action by Merchants of the German Hanse in Bruges, 1250-1500 227
Abbreviations 233
Bibliography 235
Index 277
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