By Edwin S. Hunt, James Murray
A heritage of commercial in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550, demolishes the generally held view that the word "medieval business" is an oxymoron. The authors evaluation the whole diversity of commercial in medieval western Europe, probing its Roman and Christian historical past to find the industrial and political forces that formed the association of agriculture, production, building, mining, transportation, and advertising. Then they take care of the responses of businessmen to the devastating plagues, famines, and struggle that beset Europe within the past due heart a while. Medieval businessmen's extraordinary good fortune in dealing with this opposed new setting ready the best way for the commercial enlargement of the 16th century.
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Additional resources for A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550 (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks)
We have departed from this approach by examining, however briefly, a very broad range of business activities, along with a representative sample of the tools of business, all in the historical context out of which they emerged. By so doing, we are able to reveal that medieval business was more unstable, more complex, and more foreign than modern historians have led us to believe. Paradoxically, however, medieval and modern business are similar in their reliance on the family as the basic business unit.
As usual, there was great variety in the ranking and potency of guilds from town to town. In London, for example, the most influential guilds became those involved in the local distribution trade, whereas in Florence those engaged in the textile industry and long-distance trade and finance predominated. But in Paris, the monarchy kept a firm grip on the guilds, forcing them to deal subserviently with its bureaucracy. 6 Part I. Before the Black Death At the end of the twelfth century, most textile production in western Europe was still accomplished by rural or urban family-based crafts for domestic or local consumption.
In Bruges and many other Flemish cities, for example, the first urban charters were granted in in the midst of a civil war between two rival claimants to the comital throne. ” Typically, the charter contained clauses guaranteeing freedom from comital tolls, security of urban property, and election of members to a governing council for the city. It is obvious in the chronicle description, however, that Bruges already possessed the character and functions of a city well before the granting of urban privileges.