the usury doctrine and urban public finances in late medieval flanders 1220 1550 n.
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  1. The Usury Doctrine and Urban Public Finances in Late-Medieval Flanders (1220-1550): Rentes, Excise Taxes, and Income Transfers from the Poor to the Rich John H. Munro University of Toronto May 2007

  2. The Usury Doctrine and Urban Public Finances in Late-Medieval Flanders (1220-1550): Rentes, Excise Taxes, and Income Transfers from the Poor to the Rich • I. The medieval origins of the ‘financial revolution’ in government borrowing: usury and rentes • II. The thirteenth-century anti-usury campaigns: usury as a mortal sin against Natural Law • III. The Role of Aristotle: Natural Law and the ‘sterility of money’ • IV. The core of the Scholastic usury doctrine: the Roman law concept of the loan as a mutuum • V. The anti-usury campaign: the role of Lateran Councils and the mendicant preaching orders • VI. The origins and evolution of the rente contracts • VII. The relationship between the issue of urban rentes and the anti-usury campaign • VIII. The thirteenth-century ecclesiastical debate about the rente contracts

  3. IX. Financing rentes with excise taxes on food consumption, drink, and other household necessities X. Rentes in the public finances of later-medieval Flemish towns: the case of Ghent XI. Later medieval and sixteenth-century Flanders: the role of renten Aalst’s civic finances XII. The burden of taxation in Aalst: 1396 - 1550: a new look at the ‘standard of living’ controversy XIII. The late-medieval ‘standard of living’ debate: the role of demographic and monetary factors XIV. Demography and the burden of taxation

  4. The Usury Doctrine and Urban Public Finances in Late-Medieval Flanders (1220-1550): Rentes, Excise Taxes, and Income Transfers from the Poor to the Rich • APPENDICES • A. The differences in the rates of return or yields on perpetual rents and life-rents and loans • B. The impact of the usury doctrine for the late-medieval, early-modern European economy and its significance for the origins of the modern ‘financial revolution’ • Was the late-medieval usury doctrine and anti-usury legislation easily evaded? • The moral burden of legal interest payments on the public debts of Italian city republics • Some other late-medieval evidence for the impact of the usury doctrine on merchants • The continuing hostility against usury in early-modern Protestant England and Holland

  5. Figure 1: Sales of Renten (Erfelijk Renten and Lijfrenten) and Total Civic Revenues in Aalst 1396-1400 to 1546-50, in quinquennial means Values in Livres Parisis: £12 parisis = £1 groot Flemish: Source: Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532.

  6. Figure 2: Expenditures on Renten (Erfelijk Renten and Lijfrenten) and Total Civic Expenditures in Aalst, 1396-1400 to 1546-1550, in quinquennial means Values in Livres Parisis: £12 parisis = £1 groot Flemish: Source: Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532.

  7. Figure 3: Total Civic Revenues and Civic Expenditures, in Aalst 1396-1400 to 1546-1550 , in quinquennial means Values in Livres Parisis: £12 parisis = £1 groot Flemish Source: Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532.

  8. Figure 4: Total Excise Tax Farm Revenues and Total Expenditures on Renten (Erfelijk Renten and Lijfrenten) in Aalst: 1396-1400 to 1546-50, in quinquennial means Values in Livres Parisis: £12 parisis = £1 groot Flemish Source: Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532.

  9. Figure 5: Revenues from the Sale of Excise Tax Farms in Aalst: on beer, wine, and total consumer products taxes, 1396-1400 to 1546-50, in quinquennial means Values in Livres Parisis: £12 parisis = £1 groot Flemish Source: Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532.

  10. Figure 6: Total Excise Taxes on Alcohol, Total Excise Tax Farms, and Total Civic Revenues, in Aalst 1396-1400 to 1546-50, in quinquennial means Values in Livres Parisis: £12 parisis = £1 groot Flemish Source: Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532.

  11. Figure 7: Values of the Sale of Renten (Erfelijk and Lijfrenten), Total Values of the Tax Farms, and Total Civic Revenues in Aalst, 1396 – 1400 to 1546-1550 1396-1400 to 1546-50, in quinquennial means Values in Livres Parisis: £12 parisis = £1 groot Flemish Source: Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532.

  12. Figure 8: Mean Values of Excise Tax Farms, expressed in Pounds Groot Flemish and in the Number of Consumer Baskets, with the Flemish Price Index (1451-75 = 100) and Indexes for the Excise Tax Farms as valued in Flemish Consumer Baskets, in Aalst 1396-1400 to 1546-50, in quinquennial means Sources: Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532;

  13. Figure 9: Excise Tax Farm Revenues and Masons’ Wages in Aalst: Nominal and Real Wages Excise Tax Farm Revenues expressed in pounds groot Flemish and in masons’ wage incomes The Excise Tax Burden Expressed as the equivalent number of years of masons’ wages in Aalst Aalst nominal and real wage indexes: mean of 1451-75 = 100 with annual wage incomes expressed as the equivalent number of baskets of consumable (purchasable by that wage income) 1396-1400 to 1546-50, in quinquennial means Sources: Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532.

  14. SOURCES: • Algemeen Rijksarchief België (Archives Générales du Royaume), Rekenkamer/Chambre de Comptes, reg. nos. 31,412 - 31,532; • Herman Van der Wee, ‘Prijzen en lonen als ontwikkelingsvariabelen: Een vergelijkend onderzoek tussen Engeland en de Zuidelijke Nederlanden, 1400-1700’, in Album aangeboden aan Charles Verlinden ter gelegenheid van zijn dertig jaar professoraat (Wetteren: Universum, 1975), pp. 413-47; reissued in English translation (without the tables) as ‘Prices and Wages as Development Variables: A Comparison Between England and the Southern Netherlands, 1400-1700’, Acta Historiae Neerlandicae, 10 (1978), 58-78; republished in Herman Van der Wee, The Low Countries in the Early Modern World , trans. by Lizabeth Fackelman (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press and Variorum, 1993), pp. 223-41. • Charles Verlinden and E. Scholliers, et al, eds., Documents pour l'histoire des prix et des salaires en Flandre et en Brabant/Dokumenten voor de geschiedenis van prijzen en lonen in Vlaanderen en Brabant, 4 vols. Rijksuniversiteit te Gent: Werken Uitgegeven door de Faculteit van de Letteren en Wijsbegeerte nos. 125 [vol. I], 136 [vol. II.i], 137 [Vol.II.ii] (Bruges, 1959 - 65).