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By Edwin S. Hunt, James Murray

A background of industrial in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550, demolishes the commonly held view that the word "medieval business" is an oxymoron. The authors overview the whole variety of industrial in medieval western Europe, probing its Roman and Christian history to find the industrial and political forces that formed the association of agriculture, production, development, mining, transportation, and advertising and marketing. Then they care for the responses of businessmen to the devastating plagues, famines, and conflict that beset Europe within the past due heart a while. Medieval businessmen's striking good fortune in dealing with this adverse new surroundings ready the best way for the industrial growth of the 16th century.

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Extra resources for A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550 (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks)

Sample text

Markets were the key: they made possible the beginnings of agricultural and along with it artisanal specialization and the closely related return of cities to the European landscape. A market at its most basic is simply a meeting place of buyer and seller where the needs of one are satisfied by the surplus of another. In early medieval Europe, the move to a grain economy created regions of surplus production near or adjacent to regions of underproduction of grain which had potential surpluses in other commodities or manufactures.

Such rights could be granted by the sovereign in a foundation charter ceded in most cases after prolonged struggle and negotiation. 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.

Champagne, at that time a semiautonomous region in north central France, lay across the most impor- Economics, culture, and geography  tant overland routes connecting the Flanders/England axis in the north with the Italian/Mediterranean trading network of the south. These became the venues for fairs, which were originally religious festivals, but through the assiduous attentions of the counts of Champagne, who granted special privileges and safe conducts to foreign merchants, the Champagne fairs became the favored meeting place of southern and northern merchants and merchandise.

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