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Prehistory of sovereign debt, 1350-1700

"The evolution of public credit in general and of sovereign debt in particular from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the XNUMXth century."

On May 17th we celebrated in Fide, within the framework of the History Lessons Forum: Men, facts and stories; the session on Prehistory of sovereign debt, 1350-1700

The History Lessons Forum hosted last Tuesday the intervention of the John E. Gelabert, Professor of Modern History at the University of Cantabria and co-director of this forum. Professor Gelabert's intervention presented an overview of the evolution of public credit in general and of sovereign debt in particular from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the XNUMXth century. He did so by taking examples from France, England, Spain and the United Provinces, pointing out the evolutionary sequence of each one of the cases and the common factor in the appearance of all of them, that is, the challenge caused by the successive armed conflicts in the struggle for supremacy within the European state system. The conference tried to show to what extent the relays in this struggle for supremacy were guided by the financial conditions in which the states faced these conflicts, and specifically their ability to dispose of abundant and cheap credit.

The attached bibliography should serve to expand the information on the subject.

Recommended reading:

  • Brewer, John. The Sinews of Power. War, Money and the English State, 1688-1783, New York, 1989.
  • Epstein, S.R. Freedom and growth. The development of states and markets in Europe, 1300-1750, Valencia, 2009.
  • Murphy, Ann L. Demanding 'credible commitment': public reactions to the failures of the early financial revolution, The Economic History Review, 66, 2013, pp. 178-197.
  • Roseverare, Henry. The Financial Revolution, 1660-1760, London-New York, 1991.
  • Rowlands, Guy. The Financial Decline of a Great Power. War, Influence, and Money in Louis XIV's France, Oxford, 2012.

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