Cover image for The early modern European economy
The early modern European economy
Musgrave, Peter, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
vii, 236 pages ; 23 cm
ch. 1. Development and change -- ch. 2. Strategems and spoils -- ch. 3. Rise of a consumer society -- ch. 4. Role of the state -- ch. 5. Prosperity of the South -- ch. 6. Prosperity of the North -- ch. 7. Europe's place in the world.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HC240 .M793 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Until recently, study of the early modern economy in Europe has tended to have heroes and villains, the former being the progressive and modern economies of the Netherlands and England, and the latter being doomed, backward and Catholic Italy and Spain. This picture has now changed quite drastically, and there is far more emphasis on the general growth of the European economy during this period. This book provides the most up-to-date research and thorough discussion of how the progressive removal of the neighboring threats to European prosperity created an environment which benefited all societies.

Author Notes

Peter Musgrave is Lecturer in Economic and Social History at the University of Leicester.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Musgrave's provocative work urges a rethinking of the European economy from 1450 to 1800. Orthodoxy has been created by both Marxist and liberal historians who look back through the lens of modern industrialism and see only obsolete structures that inevitably were abandoned to guarantee growth and transform the world. Musgrave (Univ. of Leicester), however, synthesizes the work of recent historians who have found the early modern economy more than a quaint antechamber. It was attractive for the stability gained from varied choices of work and investment; for a more equitable distribution of wealth than was once assumed; for a state apparatus more socially integrating and economically stimulating than has been imagined; and for an approach to the outside world in which Europeans sought partnership as often as domination. So successful were domestic economic strategies, developed especially in southern Europe, that they were to dominate most of the continent to 1870 and returned in significant ways only a century later as Europeans faced persistent insecurity from modern industrialism. Readers will learn not only from Musgrave's substantive thesis but from his sense of how historical revision occurs and how inherited language can obstruct understanding. The argument warrants a more comprehensive bibliography, but this remarkable piece of historical revisionism belongs in all libraries. G. F. Steckley Knox College

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgementsp. vi
Introductionp. 1
1 Development and Changep. 13
2 Stratagems and Spoilsp. 33
3 The Rise of a Consumer Societyp. 59
4 The Role of the Statep. 86
5 The Prosperity of the Southp. 112
6 The Prosperity of the Northp. 138
7 Europe's Place in the Worldp. 162
Conclusionp. 197
Notesp. 207
Select Bibliographyp. 219
Indexp. 227