Kindleberger C. (1991) An early manic episod

December 25, 2009

Kindleberger, Charles P. (1991) The economic Crisis of 1619 and 1623. The Journal of Economic History, 51/1 : 149-175.


The early European 17th century has commonly been described as the troublesome transition from a medieval to a modern economy (p.149). The multi-layered crisis of 1619-23 is a perfect embodiment of the woes of the time. However, the author’s “interest in that crisis does not concern its potential role as a catalyst of modern economies, but rather its function in the mechanism for the spread of a primarily financial crisis from one part of Europe to another” (p.150). Read the rest of this entry »

Richards J. (1990) One century late: the 17th century crisis in India

July 28, 2009

Richards, John F. (1990) “The Seventeenth-Century Crisis in South Asia”, Modern Asian Studies, 24/4, 625-638.

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Evidence of the 17th-century ‘General Crisis’ have been found all over Eurasia. However in India those years represent the golden age of the Mughal dynasty (p.625). The subcontinent enjoyed a long period of relative peace after the violence of the conquest (p.626). Read the rest of this entry »

Pamuk Ş. (1997) In Absence of Domestic Currency

March 3, 2009

Pamuk, Şevket (1997) “In the Absence of Domestic Currency: Debased European Coinage in the Seventeenth-Century Ottoman Empire”, The Journal of Economic History, 57/2, 345-366.



“For almost two decades during the middle of the seventeenth century, French, Italian, and Dutch merchants minted in southern France, northern Italy, and elsewhere in Europe large amounts of European coinage whose specie content had been reduced to mostly copper with a thin silver coating. These coins were then transported across the Mediterranean and used as payment for Ottoman goods or even sold wholesale to local merchants and moneychangers. Initially they fetched prices far above their metal content, but these premiums declined over time with the increasing volume of trade that eventually involved hundreds of ships and close to 200 million pieces of coin. The gross revenues of the European merchants have been estimated […] somewhere between six to eight million Venetian gold ducats” (p.345). Read the rest of this entry »