Must-Read: Robert Brenner (2001): The Low Countries in the Transition to Capitalism

Must-Read: Robert P. Brenner (2001): The Low Countries in the Transition to Capitalism: “The medieval and early modern Northern and Southern Netherlands…

…[were] the most highly urbanized and commercialized regions in Europe…. [They] show that the rise of towns and the expansion of exchange cannot in themselves bring about economic development, because they cannot bring about the requisite transformation of agrarian social-property relations. In the non-maritime Southern Netherlands, a peasant-based economy led to economic involution. In the maritime Northern Netherlands, the transformation of peasants into market-dependent farmers created the basis for economic development.

December 17, 2015


Brad DeLong
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