Family Firms and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe: The Business, Bankruptcy and Resilience of the Höchstetters of Augsburg, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Family Firms and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe

The Business, Bankruptcy and Resilience of the Höchstetters of Augsburg, 1st Edition

By Thomas Max Safley


256 pages

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Hardback: 9780367137106
pub: 2019-10-14
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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.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Family Firms and Early Capitalism

2. Early Foundations, Early Fortunes

3. Firm Charters, Firm Organizations

4. Business Practices

5. Crisis and Insolvency

6. Bankruptcy: Local Institutions and Their Consequences

7. Bankruptcy: Imperial Influence and Financial Markets

8. Recovery, Resilience and Rise

9. Conclusion: Family Firms and Economic Life

About the Author


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

About the Series

Routledge Explorations in Economic History

This long established series provides a platform for books which break new ground in the understanding of the development of the modern world economy. Equally rooted in economics and history, the series is not limited to any particular period or region. Individual titles focus on particular countries, key industries, themes, or international economic relations.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Banks & Banking
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
HISTORY / Europe / Germany
HISTORY / Modern / 16th Century