1st Edition

Family Firms and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe The Business, Bankruptcy and Resilience of the Höchstetters of Augsburg

By Thomas Max Safley Copyright 2020
    300 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    300 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This fascinating study follows the fortunes of the Höchstetter family, merchant-manufacturers and financiers of Augsburg, Germany, in the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries, and sheds light on the economic and social history of failure and resilience in early modern Europe. Carefully tracing the chronology of the family’s rise, fall and transformation, it moves from the micro- to the macro-level, making comparisons with other mercantile families of the time to draw conclusions and suggest insights into such issues as social mobility, capitalist organization, business techniques, market practices and economic institutions. The result is a microhistory that offers macro-conclusions about the lived experience of early capitalism and capitalistic practices.

    This book will be valuable reading for advanced students and researchers of economic, financial and business history, legal history and early modern European history.

    List of Figures
    List of Maps
    Note on Money
    Note on Translations


    Chapter 1.  Family Firms Considered: “Ambrosius and Hans, the Brothers Höchstetter and Associates”  
    Chapter 2.  Capitalistic Practices: The Höchstetter Brassworks at Pflach  
    Chapter 3.  Crisis and Insolvency: Information Management by and about
    the Höchstetters        
    Chapter 4.  Bankruptcy: Local Institutions and their Consequences   
    Chapter 5.  Bankruptcy: Financial Markets and Credit Networks   
    Chapter 6.  Ruin and Recovery: The Question of Resilience and the
    Höchstetter “Family Firm”      
    Appendix 1: Rising Höchstetter Fortunes
    Appendix 2: Höchstetter Family Tree
    Appendix 3: Höchstetter Creditors



    Thomas Max Safley is Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.