Trade Networks

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online August 2012 | | DOI:
Trade Networks

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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The discovery of America and, more broadly, the European expansion to other continents are the major events characterizing the trade networks of the Renaissance. Several scholars have discussed the impact of these factors on European development as well as on the world’s steps toward capitalism and globalization. Circa the mid-17th century (the chronological limit of this bibliography), however, inter-European trade still made up the majority of overall trade. By and large, trade was not badly affected by the otherwise disastrous consequences of the Black Death of the mid-14th century. The demands of those who survived, constantly fueled by a wider range of products available on the market, along with a much-improved transport system, led to an increase in the volume of trade. International merchants were able to set up extensive commercial networks or broaden existing ones, which extended into a number of prominent towns. Beginning in the 16th century, following the exploration of the African coast by the Portuguese, their arrival in India, and, in particular, the discovery of America, trade expanded globally. Commercial empires sprang up—first in the countries of the Iberian Peninsula, then in the northwestern European countries (notably England and Holland and, to a lesser extent, France). In the seventeenth century, merchants from these areas began to strengthen their influence in the Mediterranean, thus reversing what formerly had been the scenario in the late Middle Ages, when southern European and German merchants dominated in the North Sea.

Article.  8312 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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