By Fernand Braudel
"In this concise book... Braudel summarizes the vast issues of his three-volume Civilisation materielle et capitalisme, 1400-1800 and provides his reflections at the historian's craft and at the nature of the old imagination... Taken as a complete, the ebook is provocative and stimulating. sometimes, it rises to revelation whilst or 3 sentences of compressed yet extraordinary prose strength us to think again the occasions of a whole century or the background of a continent." -- American historic evaluation.
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Extra resources for Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History)
Indeed, this vertical ranking will permit my analysis to bear fruit. Above the enormous mass of daily life, the market economy cast out its nets and kept the network alive. And it was usually above the market economy itself that capitalism prospered. One might say that the economy of the entire world is a succession of different altitudes, as in a relief map. 35 The Market Economy and Capitalism I n the first chapter I charted a vast economic sector. Characterized by self-sufficiency from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, this sector remained essentially outside the exchange economy.
In the works of economists it has been given the more specific meaning of capital goods; it denotes not only accumulations of money but also the usable and used results of all previously 47 AFrERTHOUGHTS accomplished work. A house is capital; stored wheat is capital; a ship or a road is capital. But capital goods only deserve that name if they are a part of the renewed process of production; the money in an unused treasure is no longer capital, nor is an unworked forest. This being so, can we name a single society that does not accumulate things, does not accumulate capital goods, does not regularly employ them in its work, and does not rebuild them through work and make them bear fruit?
With its narrow streets and squares. There the client could find fresh bread. a limited amount of merchandise. and. contrary to the European custom. a large number of cooked dishes -meatballs. grilled sheeps' heads. fritters. and cakes. The main commercial centers-which were a combination of markets. shops. and covered markets like those 30 AFTERTHOUGHTS ON MATERIAL LIFE found in Europe-were the fonduks or bazaars, such as the Bezestan of Istanbul. There was one peculiarity about Indian markets: every single village had its market, owing to the necessity of using the banyan trader as an intermediary to transform payments in kind received within the village community into money to pay either the Great Mogul or the lords of his court.
Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History) by Fernand Braudel