Sessions of the Second Latin American Economic History Congress

September 21, 2009

Wordle: CLADHE-II: List of sessions

Here is the list of preapproved sessions  of the Second Latin American Economic History Congress (CLADHE-II), to be held in Mexico City on February 3-5, 2010. To submit a paper to any of the sessions, you have to go here.

Wordle: CLADHE-II: Lista de simposios

Epstein S. (2000) States and fairs

March 6, 2009

Epstein, Stephan R. (2000) “States and fair”, in Freedom and Growth. The rise of states and markets in Europe, 1300-1750, Idem, Abingdon: Routeledge, 73-88.


New fairs everywhere

During the second half of the 14th century and the 15th century a great number of fairs were created around Europe. Testimony to their success, most of them lasted until the 1500s and beyond. They responded to the problems posed by the lack of “cheap and flexible system of distribution” over the continent, specially between the depopulated cattle-grazing uplands and the meat-, wool- and dairy-consuming towns (p.75). Livestock fairs where thus “often set up at the foot of major mountain passes”, Besançon for instance (p.76). Read the rest of this entry »

Epstein S. R. (2000) The origins of protoindustry

February 22, 2009

Epstein Stephen R. (2000) “The origins of protoindustry, c.1300-c.1550”, in idem Freedom and Growth. The rise of states and markets in Europe, 1300-1750, New York/London: Routledge/LSE, p.106-146.



“The growth of rural and small town textile manufactures for regional and supra-regional markets was among the most significant features of the late medieval economy” (p.106). It is usually assumed that this phenomenon arose due to the diseconomies caused by the inflexibility of the urban craft guilds, using the available underemployed rural workforce, and to respond to the increased popular demand for consumer goods following the shift in terms of trade between capital and labour which followed the Black Death. Read the rest of this entry »

Greene, M. (2000) Beyond the Northern invasion

February 12, 2009

Greene, Molly (2000) Beyond the Northern invasion: the Mediterranean in the seventeenth century, Past and Present, 174, 41-70


At least since Fernand Braudel, the 17th century is supposed to be the moment the moment the Northern Europeans (English, Dutch and later French) ‘invaded’ the Mediterranean pushing aside effortlessly the old regional powers Spain, Venice and the Ottoman Empire. In this article, Molly Greene shows that it was not that simple, nor one-sided (p.42). Read the rest of this entry »

Durand R. (2004) Muslim Gold and the Rise of Portugal

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 »

Pearson M. N. (1991) Merchants and states

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.

Fiscal policies
“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 »

Epstein S. R. (2000) The late medieval integration crisis

April 6, 2008

Epstein Stephen R. (2000) “The late medieval crisis as “integration crisis’” in idem Freedom and Growth. The rise of states and markets in Europe, 1300-1750, New York/London: Routledge/LSE, 38-72.


The post-war historians thought ‘traditional societies’ did not experienced growth in per caput income due to the lack of technological innovation. But recent research has shown they could be much more productive then formerly thought, so pre-modern societies operated well below their potential: technology was not a fundamental constraint. In agriculture, only a handful of regions were reaching their technological frontier: Essex, Flanders, Lombardy, etc. Elsewhere, the bulk of the medieval innovations was still to be introduced (38). Commercial progress also allowed specialisation to take place, but warfare regularly reversed these improvements (39). Read the rest of this entry »