Chapter

The Renaissance, 1300–1600

in Castles, Battles, & Bombs

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780226071633
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226071657 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226071657.003.0003
The Renaissance, 1300–1600

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Military contractors, or condottieri, and their men were not welcome anywhere. No one in Europe enjoyed the presence of these mercenary forces, and all were desperate to make them go away, fast and by whatever means. This chapter begins with an overview of some of the types of problems one may expect with regard to the labor contracts signed by the city-states and their mercenaries during the Renaissance (1300–1600). It then discusses issues of supply, demand, and recruitment; contracts and pay; contract enforcement issues; and the development of permanent armies in partial response to the difficulties the military labor contracts posed. Finally, the chapter examines ways in which the principles of economics (opportunity cost, expected marginal costs and benefits, diminishing marginal returns, asymmetric information, hidden action) might apply to the condottieri period.

Keywords: Renaissance; condottieri; military contractors; Europe; labor contracts; mercenaries; armies; asymmetric information; recruitment; opportunity cost

Chapter.  17094 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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