By Fernand Braudel
"In this concise book... Braudel summarizes the extensive topics of his three-volume Civilisation materielle et capitalisme, 1400-1800 and provides his reflections at the historian's craft and at the nature of the ancient imagination... Taken as a complete, the publication is provocative and stimulating. infrequently, it rises to revelation whilst or 3 sentences of compressed yet superb prose strength us to reassess the occasions of a complete century or the background of a continent." -- American historic evaluation.
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Additional info for Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History)
For example, in 1619 at Bantam, long the island of Java's most active city, even after the founding of Batavia, wholesale merchants met daily in one of the city squares as the market drew to a close. India offers the best example of a country of fairs, which in its case were religious and commercial meetings combined, since they were generally held at places of pilgrimage. The entire peninsula was set in "-(nsulinde was variously called Malaysia, the Malay Archipelago, the Indian Archipelago, the East Indies, or Indonesia.
Who could doubt that these capitalisrs had monopolies at their disposal or that they simply had the power needed to eliminate competition nine times out of ten? " Finally, the sheer size of their capital enabled capitalists to preserve their privileged position and to reserve for themselves the big international transactions of the day. On the one hand, this was possible because, during that period of extremely slow transportation, wide-scale trade involved long delays in the turnover of capital; it took months and sometimes years for the money invested to return swollen with its profits.
It is obvious that here we are dealing with unequal exchanges in which competition-the basic law of the so-called market economy-had little place and in which the dealer had two trump cards: he had broken off relations between the producer and the person who eventually received the merchandise (only the dealer knew the market conditions at both ends of the chain and hence the profit to be expected); and he had ready cash, which served as his chief ally. Thus, long chains of merchants took position between production and consumption, and it is surely their effectiveness that caused them to win acceptance, especially in supplying large cities, and that prompted the authorities to close their eyes or at least to relax controls.
Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History) by Fernand Braudel
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