Connecting Markets: The impact of trade with the Iberian Atlantic on economic development in Habsburg Central Europe during the 18th century
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
XXXIX ENCONTRO da APHES, Circulations: from local to global
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
The Habsburg Monarchy has been traditionally considered a peripheral economy with scarce access to global markets in the early modern period. This perception is still persistently shaping research and narratives concerning the Central European territories governed by the Habsburg dynasty. although both recent and older research results question this stance.
The paper starts from a critical revision of the conceptual framework and presents results of a research project conducted during the last years that analyses Habsburg Central Europe?s trade connections with Spain and Spanish American markets during the 18th century. Hereby, it will be focused on three dimensions: First, it will be shown how the economic and trade geography structured Habsburg Central Europe?s access to world markets in general, which geographical and institutional trade barriers existed at the start of the century and how these were affected by government-induced institutional change. Here, it will be focused on the mercantilist trade policy regarding the free port declaration of the Habsburg Adriatic port cities with Trieste as the leading commercial centre, the declaration of free shipping in the Adriatic, and the foundation of privileged companies. Also other measures such as reduction and abolition of custom and road tariffs, the codification of commercial and maritime law, the creation of commercial courts, the construction of roads and canals and the standardization of weights, measures and currency reform will be addressed.
In a second step, the institutional framework will be followed on the international level concerning mainly security for shipping in the Mediterranean by both the creation of a navy and the conclusion of peace and trade treaties, the creation of consulates and the negotiation of secure settlement and trading rights in Spain.
And in a third step, the material commodity flows organized by trading firms and merchant networks will be addressed.