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Spinning the Commercial Web

International Trade, Merchants, and Commercial Cities, c. 1640-1939

Margrit Schulte Beerbühl and Jörg Vögele

The central issues in recent economic and historical research and debates on the emergence of a global economy are: How and when did the development of an economic world system start? What were the essential economic, social or cultural factors which contributed to the emergence of a world-encompassing commercial network? The book examines the expansion of commercial activities since the seventeenth century by analysing the various facets of commercial networking and their linkages at three different operational levels and for various countries and regions. The first part focuses on the emergence, decline and reconstruction of whole networks. The second part provides an actor-centered approach highlighting the role of actors, agencies and institutions in the networking process, while the third one explores the role of commercial cities as merger of global and local functions. The essays provide an innovative approach as they elaborate the interplay between different levels of the emerging world economy. The contributions to this book were originally delivered at a conference organized in Düsseldorf, 07-09 March 2002. The selected essays in this volume offer an international and interdisciplinary approach to the complex and multi-layered process of the expansion of the economic world system.
Contents: Margrit Schulte Beerbühl/Jörg Vögele: Spinning the Commercial Web. International Trade, Merchants, and Commercial Cities, c. 1640-1939 Centuries. An Introduction – Alexander Nützenadel: Coping with Decline. Commercial Networks, Merchants and the Regionalization of Trade in Eighteenth Century Venice – Sakis Gekas: The Merchants of the Ionian Islands between East and West: Forming international and local networks – Cátia Alexandra Pereira Antunes: Urban Links, Trade Networks and Globalisation in the Early Modern Period: Amsterdam and Lisbon, 1640-1705 - a Case Study – Marcel Boldorf: The Rise and Fall of Silesian Merchant Guilds in the International Trade Net (1700-1850) – Christiane Reves: Italian Merchants of the Eighteenth Century in Frankfurt and Mainz: circumstances contributing to their socio-economic ascent – Laurence Fontaine: The Organisation and Evolutions of Traders’ and Pedlars’ Networks in Europe – Jari Ojala: The Principal Agent Problem Revisited: Entrepreneurial networks between Finland and «world markets» during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – Silvia Marzagalli: French Merchants and Atlantic Networks: The organisation of shipping and trade between Bordeaux and the United States, 1793-1815 – Adrian Jarvis: The Members of the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board re-visited: 1895-1936 – Peter Edwards: International Arms Traders and the British Civil Wars of the Mid Seventeenth Century – Asa Eklund/Chris Evans/Göran Rydén: From the Baltic to the Atlantic: British merchants and the development of trade networks in the northern seas during the eighteenth century – Jon Stobart: Webs of Information, Bonds of Trust: The networks of early eighteenth-century Chester merchants – Dittmar Dahlmann: The Knoop-Family and its International Network – Jürgen G. Nagel: The Company and the Port City: Trading centres of the Malay Archipelago and their role in commercial networks during the seventeenth and eighteenth Centuries – Graeme J. Milne: Port-City Regions in Context: The North East of England and Europe’s northern seas in the late nineteenth Century – W. Robert Lee: The Growth of Maritime Trade and the Determinants of Port-Hinterland Relations in Nineteenth-Century Germany: the case of Bremen – Henk van Dijk: Steam and Coal: A forgotten chapter in the history of port cities – Eva-Maria Stolberg: St. Petersburg, Russia’s Gateway to the West: Trade capitalism and its impact on urban change, 1860-1914 – Sharon Rodgers: Colonial Boston and the Commercial Web: One city’s dilemma – Sam A. Mustafa: Americans, Germans, or Simply Capitalists? Independent Merchants and the Atlantic Port Cities: 1770-1830.