Make a Donation to the NBN

The NBN is run by volunteers, but the network has expenses. If you like what we do, consider making a contribution

Martha HowellCommerce Before Capitalism in Europe, 1300-1600

Cambridge University Press, 2010

by marshall poe on July 17, 2013

Martha Howell

View on Amazon

When I was an undergraduate, I was taught that merchants in early modern Western Europe were “proto-capitalists.” I was never quite sure what that meant. If it meant they traded property for money, yes. But that would make everyone who traded things for money over the past, say, 5,000 years, a “proto-capitalist.” If it meant that they thought of their property as capital to be used for maximizing profit, then no. As Martha C. Howell points out in her excellent Commerce Before Capitalism in Europe, 1300-1600 (Cambridge UP, 2010), early modern merchants–at least in the Low Countries–didn’t really think of their property as “capital” at all, and they certainly didn’t use it exclusively for the maximization of profit. Their idea of property was, according to Howell, as much medieval as modern. Essentially, they adapted received (medieval) categories of property to novel commercial conditions. The result was a unique hybrid of the old and new. In hindsight, their understanding of property might seem “proto-capitalist.” But really it was just the way they conceived of property.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

monsieur glisse January 4, 2015 at 11:59 am

My brother recommended I may like this web site.
He was once entirely right. This submit truly made my day.
You can not believe just how so much time I had spent for this info!
Thank you!

Tabatha January 15, 2015 at 4:43 am

It is now time to use everything you’ve learned here so that
you can find out the right carpet cleaning service for your needs.
When you clean carpets for a living, your reputation is only
as good as the equipment on the back of your truck.
It is more hard to get out a soapy water from
the carpet fibres.

hydroxycut weight loss January 20, 2015 at 7:49 pm

Very good blog post. I definitely love this site.
Stick with it!

Windows XP Product Key, Activator January 22, 2015 at 9:29 am

I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a
remarkable post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t
have time to read through it all at the minute

xxx fist-fucking January 23, 2015 at 6:12 pm

L’intégralité ɗe ces articles sont franchement captivants

cochonne black January 23, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Je vaiѕ terminer de voir tout cela dans la semaine

poufiasse sexy January 25, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Sսblime post, j’espère een parler apгès аvec mes amis

vieille nympho January 25, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Јe suis tombé sur tοn ѕite par mégarde :
je ne le regrette pas !

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: