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The Early Modern Economy

| Discussion Topics | Documents | Reading |

Discussion Topics and Essay Questions

· How should we describe the economic system at the end of the Middle Ages?
· What was the role of the state in the development of the early modern economy?
· What were the most significant changes in the European economy, 1500-1750?


**NOTE: Some eresources are accessible only on-campus or via off-campus proxies or the athens service**





·Bernardo Davanzati, A discourse upon coins (trans.1696)
·Letters patent (1578)
·Accounts of the Sidney family
·Dudley North, Discourses upon Trade (1691)
·Primary sources for the History of Economic Thought

·Costumes of the Ottoman Empire
·Coin and Conscience images
·Trade card collection, Waddesdon Manor
·A nation of shopkeepers: trade ephemera

Lecture Materials (Maps, Graphs, Tables)

  Secondary Literature


T.H. Aston and C.H.E. Philipin (eds), The Brenner Debate (1985)

M. Berg (ed.), Markets and Manufacture in Early Industrial Europe (1991)

R. Bonney (ed.), Economic Systems and State Finance (1995)

“ (ed.), The Rise of the Fiscal State in Europe (1999)

J. Brewer and R. Porter, Consumption and the World of Goods (1993)

C. Cipolla, Before the Industrial Revolution (1993 edn)

C. Cipolla (ed.), Fontana Economic History of Europe, Vol. 2 (1974)

Di Vittorio, Antonio , ed., An Economic History of Europe: From Expansion to Development (London and New York, 2006), Parts 1-4.

J. De Vries, The Economy of Europe in an Age of Crisis, 1600-1750 (1976)

R.S. Duplessis, Transitions to Capitalism in Early Modern Europe (1997)

S.R. Epstein, Freedom and Growth: The Rise of States and Markets in Europe, 1300-1750 (2000)

Epstein, S. R., and M. Prak, eds, Guilds, Innovation and the European Economy, 1400-1800 (Cambridge, 2008).

K. Honeyman and J. Goodman, 'Women's Work, Gender Conflict, and Labour Markets in Europe, 1500-1900', EconHR, 2nd ser. 44 (1991), 608-28

H. Kamen, The Iron Century (1971)

P. Kriedte, Peasants, Landlords & Merchant Capitalists, 1500-1800 (1983)

H.A. Miskimin, The Economy of Later Renaissance Europe (1977)

P. Musgrave, The Early Modern European Economy (1999)

Persson, K. G., An Economic History of Europe: Knowledge, Institutions and Growth, 600 to the Present (Cambridge; New York, 2010).

M. Prak (ed.), Early Modern Capitalism: Economic and Social Change in Europe 1400-1800 (2000)

B. Slicher van Bath, The Agrarian History of Western Europe (1963)

J. Thirsk, Economic Policy and Projects: The Birth of a Consumer Society in Early Modern England (1978)

Van Cauwenberghe, H. G., ed., Money, Coins and Commerce: Essays in the Monetary History of Asia and Europe (from Antiquity to Modern Times) (Leuven, 1991).


European Economies

C. Clay, Economic Expansion and Social Change: England 1500-1700 (1984)

D.C. Coleman, The Economy of England, 1450-1750 (1977)

N.Z. Davis, 'Strikes and Salvation at Lyon', in her Society and Culture in Early Modern France (1975)

De Vries, J., and A. Van Der Woude, The First Modern Economy: Success, Failure and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy, 1500-1815 (Cambridge and New York, 1997).

M. Howell, Commerce Before Capitalism in Europe 1300-1600 (2010)

R. Hoyle, 'Tenure and the Land Market in Early Modern England: Or, a Late Contribution to the Brenner Debate', EconHR, 2nd ser. 43 (1990), 1-20

D. Levine and K. Wrightson, The Making of an Industrial Society: Whickham, 1560-1765 (Oxford, 1991).

Overton, Mark, Agricultural Revolution in England: The Transformation of the Agrarian Economy, 1500-1850 (Cambridge, 1996).

M. Wiesner, Working Women in Renaissance Germany (1986)

K. Wrightson, Earthly Necessities: Economic Lives in Early Modern Britain (2000)


The Extra-European World and the Global Economy

Atwell, W. S., ‘Ming China and the Emerging World Economy’, in D. Twitchett and F.W. Mote, eds, The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 8: The Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 (Cambridge 1998), pp. 376-416.

D. Birmingham, Trade and Empire in the Atlantic 1400-1600 (2000)

F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean world in the age of Philip II, vol. I (1973)

Broadberry, S., and B. Gupta, ‘The Early Modern Great Divergence: Wages, Prices and Economic Development in Europe and Asia, 1550-1800’, Economic History Review 59 (2006), 2-31.

Chauduri, K. N., Asia Before Europe: Economy and Civilisation of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (Cambridge, 1990)

Findlay, R., and K. H. O'Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton, 2007).

Gunder Frank, Andre, ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age (Berkeley, 1998).

J. McCusker and K. Morgan (eds), The Early Modern Atlantic Economy (2000)

Pomeranz, K., and S. Topik (eds.), The World the Trade Created: Society, Culture and theWorld Economy, 1400 to Present (Armonk, N.Y., 2006).

Topik, S., C. Marichal and Z. Frank (eds.), From Silver to Cocaine: Latin American Commodity Chains and the Building of the World Economy, 1500-2000 (Durham, N.C., 2006).

I. Wallerstein, The Modern World-System, vol. 1: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth century (1974)


Mercantilism and Political Economy

L. Magnusson (ed.), Mercantilism (1995)

K. Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (1867-94)

W. Minchinton (ed.), Mercantilism: System or Expediency? (1969)

A. Smith, Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776; 1937)

C.H. Wilson, Mercantilism (1958)



P. Kriedte et al, Industrialization before Industrialization (1981)

F. Mendels, 'Proto-industrialisation: the First Phase of the Industrialisation Process', JEconH, 32 (1972)

S. Ogilvie and M. Cerman (eds), European Proto-Industrialization (1996 edn)