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Trade, money, and the grievances of the commonwealth : economic debates in the English public sphere during the commercial crisis of the early 1620’s

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  • Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak

    (Cedeplar-UFMG)

Abstract

The turbulent, crisis-ridden first half of the 1620’s was a rich period for economic pamphleteering in England, as has been long recognized in the specialist literature. What is less commonly appreciated is that economic reasoning was not, at that time, exclusively confined to the musings of merchants who sought to influence the course of public policy according to their own practical wisdom or corporate interests. In fact, economic distress was then a central topic for public debate throughout English society at large; it figured prominently both in parliament and at court, thus mobilizing most of the kingdom’s economic and political groups. Using a wide array of primary sources – parliamentary debates, Privy Council records, papers and correspondence by public officials – this paper aims to uncover the place occupied by economic reasoning and discourse within the English public sphere during the early 17th century. When seen against this background, it becomes apparent that the pamphlet literature actually came about as a response to a debate which was already well under way – a rather late chapter of which was the famous controversy among Malynes, Misselden and Mun, played out simultaneously in the political arena and in London’s printing houses.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak, 2011. "Trade, money, and the grievances of the commonwealth : economic debates in the English public sphere during the commercial crisis of the early 1620’s," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td427, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdp:texdis:td427
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    File URL: https://www.cedeplar.ufmg.br/pesquisas/td/TD%20427.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. J. D. Gould, 1952. "The Royal Mint In The Early Seventeenth Century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 5(2), pages 240-248, December.
    2. Jacob Viner, 1930. "English Theories of Foreign Trade Before Adam Smith (Concluded)," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(4), pages 404-404.
    3. Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak, 2011. "The role of experts in the public assessment of England´s trade crisis of the early 1620´s," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td421, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    4. Kindleberger, Charles P., 1991. "The Economic Crisis of 1619 to 1623," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 149-175, March.
    5. MacCaffrey, Wallace T., 1959. "The Eastland Trade and the Common Weal in the Seventeenth Century. By R. W. K. Hinton. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1959. Pp. xi, 230. $6.00," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 449-450, September.
    6. Jacob Viner, 1930. "English Theories of Foreign Trade Before Adam Smith," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 249-249.
    7. Lawrence Stone, 1949. "Elizabethan Overseas Trade," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 2(1), pages 30-58, August.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. HPE no Cedeplar
      by Hugo da Gama Cerqueira in Meu gabinete de curiosidades on 2011-07-16 18:45:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Deirdre McCloskey, 2015. "It was ideas and ideologies, not interests or institutions, which changed in Northwestern Europe, 1600–1848," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 57-68, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    pre-classical economics; mercantilism; 17th century; Stuart England; Thomas Mun.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B11 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Preclassical (Ancient, Medieval, Mercantilist, Physiocratic)
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-

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