July 7, 2009
Hancock, David J. (2003) “L’émergence d’une économie de réseau (1640-1815). Le vin de Madère”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 58/3, 649-672.
English version available here (pdf).
The Atlantic during the early modern period became a coherent “functional unit” integrating three continents; as such it is an essential concept for historians (p.649). In the 18th century in particular the economic linkage intensified (p.650). The rise of the Madeira wine is part of this decentralized and self-organized growth of an integrated Atlantic space. Read the rest of this entry »
September 14, 2008
Barros Amândio Jorge Morais (2005) “Oporto: The Building of a Maritime Space in the Early Modern Period”, e-Journal of Portuguese History, 3/1, 13 p.
The article is available online
This article distances itself from the usual macroeconomic approach of the Iberian trade focused on the colonial circuits, which concentrate its attention on the ports of Seville and Lisbon. Exogenous events are also usually favoured in the interpretation of the Iberian sea trade’s successes and failures. On the contrary, the author aims at providing a micro-analysis of the activity of the port of Oporto during the 16th century (1). Read the rest of this entry »
September 7, 2008
Polónia Amélia (2006) “Northwest Portuguese seaport system in the early modern age. Results of a research project”, paper given at the XIV International Economic History Congress, Helsinki, Session 58, 27p.
The images presented in the following post have been shamelessly stolen from a paper available on line. For more information please visit the Hisportos website.
This paper adopts a micro-analysis approach of the question, while most other recent researches on seaport were seeing the issue at a global scale (1). The author stresses the importance of integrating the port towns in their regional background; the ports’ hinterlands take in this approach a crucial importance. The concept of ‘seaport system’ is meant to reflect the extreme complexity of the ports’ social, cultural, political, and economic spheres. Away from the issues of hierarchy, the author is interested by small ports (2) and how they complement each other when integrated in a network. Major port themselves often rely on these networks to reach and retain their standing. Read the rest of this entry »
August 31, 2008
Durand Robert (2004) “L’or musulman et la formation du Royaume du Portugal” in Michaud Françoise (ed.) Les Relations des pays d’Islam avec le monde latin du milieu du Xe siècle au milieu du XIIIe siècle, Paris, Vuibert, 250-261.
In the early 20th century, M. Lombard proposed the following thesis: the Muslim expansion triggered a major de-hoarding movement of the Sassanid and Byzantine gold reserve held in the newly conquered territories. According to R. Durand, a rather similar event may have followed the Almoravid and Almohad conquests of Spain. And it may have had a significant impact upon the formation of the Portuguese kingdom (p.250). Read the rest of this entry »
August 24, 2008
Subrahmayam Sanjay and F. R. Thomaz Luis Felipe (1991) “Evolution of empire: The Portuguese in the Indian Ocean during the sixteenth century” in The Political Economy of Merchant Empire. State Power and World Trade 1350-1750, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 298-331.
This book is available on google for every one to read!!!
Models of expansion
Before Da Gama‘s voyage (1498), the Portuguese were already involved in overseas colonisation. Their expansion followed three main models:
- In North Africa, a network of fortresses involved in endemic warfare with their neighbouring hinterland.
- In the Atlantic Islands, an agrarian and territorial settlement by Portuguese colons.
- In Guinea, a network of commercial coastal emporium involved in peaceful relationships with their surrounding. Read the rest of this entry »
August 17, 2008
Reis Mourão Paulo (2007) “Uma visao integrada sobre a Companhia das Vinhas do Alto Douro”, Fênix. Revista de História e Estudos Culturais, 4/3, 11p.
This article is available on line
The creation of the Company of the Wines of the High Douro took place at a time when many of these companies were created by the state. By the 1740s when the talks about the creation of the company started, Port wines (or Oporto wines as they were then called) had already a thousands years history and had met international success on the western European markets since the 1600s. Read the rest of this entry »
August 10, 2008
O’Rourke Kevin H. and Williamson Jeffrey G. (2006) “Did Vasco da Gama matter for European markets? Testing Frederick Lanes hypotheses fifty years later”, IIIS Discussion Paper, 118, 53p.
This paper is available on line.
Summary: In this article, the authors argue against F. C. Lanes’ traditional thesis which considered that the Portuguese discoveries had little long-lasting effect on the European spices markets. They show that the Portuguese route did decrease the spices prices in 16th-century Europe. Moreover they contributed to the creation of an integrated European market for luxury goods that did not exist before 1500. They conclude by saying that the European consumers were ultimately the main beneficiaries ofda Gama’s voyage. Read the rest of this entry »
July 27, 2008
Janin-Thivos Michelle (2007) “Entre développement des affaires et convictions personnelles: la conversion ds marchands étrangers devant l’Inquisition portugaise a l’époque moderne”, in Burkardt Albreht ed., Commerce , voyage et expérience religieuse XVIe-XVIIIe siecles, Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 275-286.
Merchant traveled less often with their merchandize during the 17th and 18th century then before. But their business still required them to move regularly within a network of partners and parents. Despite the rise of an intolerant catholicism in Portugal in the second half of the 17th, foreign merchants kept moving in the kingdom, chiefly looking for colonial products. In 1647, the English had obtained the right to practice freely their religion in Portugal (275). Read the rest of this entry »
July 20, 2008
De Sousa Fernando (2005) “The silk industry in Trás-os-Montes during the Ancient Regime”, e-Journal of Portuguese History, 3/2, 14 p.
This article is available on line.
Trás-os-Montes is located in the North East of Portugal, it is a land-locked region close to the Spanish border. The silk industry started there in the 15th century but silkworms had been reared in the region since the 1200s. Although a significant part of the activity was located in Bragança, lesser towns and the countryside also enjoyed a share of it (Vinhais, Freixo de Espadaà Cinta, Chacim) (1). Read the rest of this entry »
June 15, 2008
Pearson Michael N. (1991) “Merchants and states”, in Tracy James D. (ed.), The Political Economy of Merchant Empires. State Power and World Trade 1350-1750, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p.41-116.
What is the general role of governments in economic development?
Policies can impede or induce growth. Political elites can also have a significant influence on development. Governments support the class that provide the most important share of their revenue (fiscalism). Besides, the poorest the sate, the strongest the non-state players.
“The crucial variable is sizes of state, class structure, and revenue resources. Controllers of small political units typically have to take much more interest, for better or worse, in overseas trade than do rulers with large peasant population that can be taxed relatively easily” (69). Large entities preserved an “indifferent neutrality” towards merchants community. The author takes the example of the early modern long-distance trade and distinguishes between two types of polities: the territorial empires and the merchant empires.
Read the rest of this entry »