‘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.
lower rank. Specializing in salt- and teapots, ink stands, vases and plates, often in the shape of lions and other animals, motifs were copied from Chinese blueprints. 11 Stamped WR (for Wrisberg) as a trademark sign they subsequently attained a proverbial reputation representing faience of the highest quality. This faience moment thus represents a brief, intermittent and, seemingly, transitory period in the history of manufacturing capitalism. But during this process, artisans and entrepreneurs frenetically raced to imitate the ‘real stuff’ and cameralist craving
ubiquitous in human history (for millennia), and capitalist enterprise was known in medieval and early modern India and South-East Asia, and the Arab-speaking worlds, too. 2 In the German-speaking lands and most other parts of Europe (bar England) ‘medieval’ monetary theories – based on a metallic or commodity standard of money – survived unscathed into the 19th century. 3 The shared culture of markets and deep history of manufacturing empowered later catch-up transitions to modern industrial capitalism swiftly after the UK had set the course. The 14th to 19th centuries
more systematically through a formal genre known as Kameralwissenschaften or ‘cameralist’ political economy sporting a transformative drive towards ‘Schumpeterian’ development, creativity and a ‘culture of growth’. Artisanal and technological skill levels were particularly high in urban industry. There had been a long history of manufacturing matching the Smithian manufactory model since the Middle Ages. 84 Timber and coal abounded. Since the Thirty Years War German princes and rulers had become ever-more aware of the virtues of ‘liberal’ institutions
capitalism, which was much more varied than usually claimed ( Chapter 3 ); the deep history of market governance, where ‘medieval’ features survived way into modern industrial capitalism, somewhat underlining how inherently anachronistic modern capitalism really was ( Chapter 4 ); monetary management and money’s velocity, key areas where states could make a productive difference to economic lives ( Chapters 5 and 6 ); and the conceptual and intellectual history of manufacturing ( Chapter 7 ) through industrial policies ( Chapter 8 ), which modern histories of growth