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Political Economies of Change in Preindustrial Europe

‘Commerce and manufactures gradually introduced order and good government,’ wrote Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations, ‘and with them, the liberty and security of individuals.’ However, Philipp Rössner shows how, when looked at in the face of history, it has usually been the other way around.

This book follows the development of capitalism from the Middle Ages through the industrial revolution to modern day, casting new light on the areas where pre-modern political economies of growth and development made a difference. It shows how order and governance provided the foundation for prosperity, growth and the wealth of nations.

Written for scholars and students of economic history, this is a pioneering new study that debunks the neoliberal origin myth of how capitalism came into the world.

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This chapter studies money as a fundamental tool in the market process. Money was an agent of social power, but also a tool empowering economic life. Beginning with medieval models of money’s political, social and economic functions, dating back to Oresme’s De Moneta: texts that represent the ‘origins of political economy’, the chapter studies policies and writings on monetary management in the preindustrial world. From the Middle Ages until the 1870s, monetary theories shared common features only given up when the concept of money’s purchasing power was decoupled from its metallic value (since this happened fairly late, during the 20th century, it won’t concern us much). Currency stability and inflation management were known to preindustrial authors and rulers as tools promoting economic development.

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, adminis- trated prices, tariffs, exchange rate management - whose effectiveness is crucially dependent on the existence of market interactions. The optimal value of (linear) policy instruments can be determined residually as the deviations between, respectively, the equilibrium price (p) and allocation (q) prevailing with and without public intervention. In particular, defining the controls as c = [g 11], q* - q = g* and p* - p = t* denote optimal levels of, respectively, direct and indirect policy instruments8. This circumstance can be conveniently used in the

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», in Barriers to Full Employment, MacMillan Press. SALIN, P., [1984], «Which Monetary Integration?)), in Currency Competition and Mone- tary Union, Salin P. (ed.), Martinus Nijhoff. SARCINELLI, M., [1986], «The EMS and the International Monetary System: Towards Greater Stability*, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, March, pp. 57-84. SCHINASI, G., [1989], «European Integration, Exchange Rate Management, and Mone- tary Reform: a Review of the Major Issues», International Finance Discussions Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, n

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control, midwifery, apothecaries and medicinal policey , 154 staple rights, brokers and brokerage, 155 transport and shipping on local or regional rivers, 156 ceremonies and festivities, fires and firefighting, the prohibitions of duels, regulation of building and or sales of landed property. Public health was important. 157 Often monitored and enforced at the local level or by semi-autonomous cities, many such functions would later on become key remits of modern welfare states. ‘Modern’ forms of economic interventionism such as exchange rate management, anti

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