Market Ethics and Practices, c. 1300–1850 analyses the nature, development, and operation of market ethics in the context of social practices, ranging from rituals of exchange and unofficial expectations to law, institutions, and formal regulations from the late medieval through to the modern era.
Divided into two parts, the first explores the principles and regulations of market ethics, such as the relations between professed norms and economic behaviour across a range of geographies and chronologies. The chapters consider key subjects such as medieval attitudes towards merchant activities across Europe, North Africa, and Asia; market regulations and the notion of the "common good"; Adam Smith’s conception of moral capitalism; and the combining of religious and capitalist ethics in Nat Turner’s "Confession." The second part provides microstudies that offer insights into topics such as household and market relations in colonial New England; the harsher side of the consumer economy experienced by a family of parasol sellers from Lyon; informal Jewish networks in the early modern Caribbean and slave trade; merchant networks and commercial litigation in eighteenth-century France; and early encounters and the informal norms of fur trading between Europeans and Native Americans.
This book provides an understanding of the key pre-modern economic historiography, whilst pointing students towards new debates and the historical significance for our collective economic future. It is ideal for students and postgraduates of late medieval and early modern economic history.
Table of Contents
Part I: Principles and regulations
James Davis, "The ethics of arbitrage and forestalling across the late medieval world"
Martha Howell, "Whose ‘common good’? Parisian market regulation, c. 1300–1800"
Craig Muldrew, "Self-control and savings: Adam Smith and the creation of modern capital"
Christopher Tomlins, "Demonic ambiguities: Enchantment and disenchantment in Nat Turner’s Virginia"
Part II: Practices and microhistories
Daniel Vickers, "Neighbours and hedges: Shopkeeping in early New England"
Julie Hardwick, "Parasols and poverty: Conjugal marriage, global economy, and rethinking the consumer revolution"
Nuala Zahedieh, "Trust in illicit markets: The role of Jewish merchants in Jamaica’s Spanish American trade"
Pierre Gervais, "In union there was strength: The legal protection of eighteenth-century merchant partnerships in England and France"
Robert S. DuPlessis, "Commercial practices at the margins of the merchant economy"
David Harris Sacks, "‘To winne them by fayre meanes’: The ethics of exchange in the making of the early English Atlantic"
Simon Middleton (College of William and Mary) is author of From Privileges to Rights: Work and Politics in Colonial New York (2006) and co-editer of Class Matters (2008). He is working on a book investigating the introduction of paper money to colonial America.
James E. Shaw (University of Sheffield) is a historian who focuses on the relationship of legal structures (laws, practices, institutions) to the daily practices of economic life. His books include The Justice of Venice (2006) and Making and Marketing Medicines in Renaissance Florence (2011).