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Same As It Ever Was

by ATinNM Sun Oct 7th, 2007 at 06:10:30 AM EST

Responding to a public outcry against the big merchant-banking firms who had monopolies on key commodities and good the goverment convenged a council to investigate.  Specifically they wanted public feedback regarding:

  1.  Were large commercial companies prejudicial to the public interest?

  2.  Should all the commercial companies be disbanded, or their activities merely limited?

  3.  How could this limitation be achieved and the abuses by the commerical companies suppressed?

Diary rescue by Migeru

The companies responded by defending unlimited commercial activity nd rejecting any intervention by the state.  First, there was a trickle down affect as all of the population profited not just the companies ... even the farmers in their fields who sold their crops locally.  Second, the state benefited by the taxes due to increased economic activity.  Third, if the state intervened "it is the man in the street who complains most loudly."  Fourth, economic power underlied and supported international political power.  

Although inflation, over the past 6 years, had doubled the cost of goods the companies discounted that by saying their overseas suppliers were the cause and restricting business activity would not improve the situation.  And if the state intervened those overseas markets could very well be lost due to international competition.

The companies ended with, "business cannot operate properly under any constraints whatsoever."

In the end the Head of State decided any restriction was against the national interest as it was these companies who lent money to the state for strategic, diplomatic, military, and other political purposes.

The investigatory body, of course, was the Diet of Nurenberg constituted by, and under, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1522.

[Source: Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance by Lisa Jardine.]

Let the snark-fest begin!

The international trade was conducted, primarily, between the Houses of Fugger adn Welser in the city of Augsberg and the entrepot of Lisbon, Portugal; the commodities were spices.  Internally, the Emperor had granted the major German trading firms monopolies such as: silver, copper, alum, lead, leather, wax, cereal crops, and wine.  The monopoly on copper was particularly important, to the Portuguese, as it was used to pay for the spices in India and the Kingdom of Gujarat.

Another relation of our times to the Renaissance is the equally rise of importance of a new mass information and communication channel: the Internet (now) and Printing (then.)  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Apr 7th, 2006 at 09:43:51 PM EST

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