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Italian city-states and financial evolution

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  • FRATIANNI, MICHELE
  • SPINELLI, FRANCO

Abstract

The term financial revolution has been abused in the literature. Revolution connotes a sharp and unique break from the past that should stand up to careful historical scrutiny, but in fact it does not. Evolution describes financial history better than revolutions. We compare the classic financial revolutions with the financial innovations of Genoa, Venice and Florence in the Quattrocento and Cinquecento and the upshot is that these Italian city-states the two maritime cities more than Florence had developed many of the features that were to be found later on in the Netherlands, England and the United States. The importance of the early financial innovators has been eclipsed by the fact that these city-states did not survive politically. Instead, the innovations were absorbed in the long chain of financial evolution and, in the process, lost the identity of their creators.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal European Review of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 10 (2006)
Issue (Month): 03 (December)
Pages: 257-278

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:10:y:2006:i:03:p:257-278_00

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Cited by:
  1. Jaco Zuijderduijn & Tine De Moor & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2011. "Small is beautiful. On the efficiency of credit markets in late medieval Holland," Working Papers 0011, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  2. Diego Puga & Daniel Trefler, 2012. "International Trade and Institutional Change: Medieval Venice's Response to Globalization," NBER Working Papers 18288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrianova, Svetlana & Demetriades, Panicos & Xu, Chenggang, 2011. "Political Economy Origins of Financial Markets in Europe and Asia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 686-699, May.
  4. Michele Fratianni, 2008. "The Evolutionary Chain of International Financial Centers," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 6, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  5. Mark Koyama, 2008. "Evading the 'Taint of Usury' Complex Contracts and Segmented Capital Markets," Economics Series Working Papers 412, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. David Chilosi, 2013. "Risky institutions: political regimes and the cost of public borrowing in early modern Italy," Economic History Working Papers 50815, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  7. Stephen Quinn, 2008. "Securitization of Sovereign Debt: Corporations as a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism in Britain, 1694-1750," Working Papers 200701, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.

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