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COMMERCIAL REVOLUTION. (16th century: approx. 1500-1700). Significance: brought about age of discovery and exploration. Causes . population growth: 60 million in 1400; 75 million in 1500; 100 million in 1600

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commercial revolution

COMMERCIAL REVOLUTION

(16th century: approx. 1500-1700)

causes
Causes
  • population growth: 60 million in 1400; 75 million in 1500; 100 million in 1600
  • “price revolution”: (long slow upward trend); increased food prices, increased volume of money, influx of gold & silver from the New World.
  • rise of capitalism (laissez-faire):entrepreneurs; bourgeoisie at the forefront
capitalism
Capitalism
  • Capitalism had existed in some forms in antiquity, but faded away with manorial system of the Middle Ages.
  • Investment and money lending (usury) limited by Church laws.
  • Revived in the late Middle Ages through trade (Hanseatic League) and population growth.
  • Entrpenuers ignore church laws banning usury, leading to growth in banking.
banking
Banking
  • First major banking firms being in northern Italy (Medici)
  • Northern Europe:
    • Fugger family of Augsburg
    • Jakob Fugger (1459-1525)
    • Financed Charles V.
new kinds of business
New Kinds of Business
  • Banking expanded to Antwerp in 16th c., Amsterdam in 17th c.
  • chartered companies: state provided monopolies in certain area (BEIC, DEIC), governments profited from ventures.
  • joint-stock companies: investors pooled resources for common purpose (forerunner of modern corporation), reduced risk.
other causes
Other Causes
  • stock markets: e.g., Bourse in Germany
  • “Putting-out” Industry –cottage industries grow.
  • new industries: cloth production, mining, printing, book trade, shipbuilding, cannons & muskets
  • consumer goods: rice, sugar, tea, spices
  • mercantilism: nations sought self-sufficient economy; “bullionism”
results
Results
  • Imports of silver from the New World and population growth led to inflation – effected the poor and peasants the most.
  • Landowners, merchants, artisans grow rich – reinvest money in exploration ventures.
  • Population growth and enclosure pushed people of the land into cities
  • Establishment of poor relief