Capitalism in the Low Countries, 13th-18th centuries



There has been a long debate about the transition from feudalism to capitalism. Underlying that debate is an assumption that capitalism evolved during the Early Modern Era as a linear process ending in full industrial or corporate capitalism of a similar hue in all industrializing countries. The recent varieties of capitalism approach shows that even today there is no uniformity, that capitalism takes different shapes in different countries. Analyzing the evolution of factor markets in the Low Countries, we show that they were shaped to such an extent by specific local conditions that deep dissimilarities persisted throughout the Early Modern Era. Thus the varieties observed today have deep roots in the past.

The Business History Seminar has been made possible by financial support from the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) and the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication.