Ancient Trade Connections between West Africa and the Wider World

The archaeological evidence is clear, but the mechanisms of diffusion are still not entirely understood. By Dr. Sonja Magnavita Research Associate Commission for the Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK), Bonn, Germany Abstract The long-standing, more mythical than fact-based assumptions about ancient trade contacts between West Africa and the wider world prior to the Arab conquest[…]

Trade in the Ancient Phoenician World

A Phoenician-Punic ship from a relief carving on a 2nd century CE sarcophagus / Photo by NMB, Wikimedia Commons The Phoenicians established themselves as one of the greatest trading powers in the ancient world. By Mark Cartwright / 04.01.2016 Historian Introduction The Phoenicians, based on a narrow coastal strip of the Levant, put their excellent seafaring skills to good[…]

Anti-Commerce and Quietism in Ancient Rome

This painting by Roberto Bompiani captures a common 19th-century association of Roman dining and excess. A Roman Feast, late 1800s. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 72.PA.4 While Roman law was laying the foundation for a society of contract and exchange, Roman philosophers were listening to the Greek philosopher Epicurus, who said, “If you wish to make[…]

The Role of Guilds in the Middle Ages

A medieval baker with his apprentice (scanned from The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black). As both business and social organizations, guilds were prolific throughout Europe  between the eleventh and sixteenth centuries.   By Dr. William Bosshardt and Dr. Jane S. Lopus Bosshardt: Professor of Economics, Florida Atlantic University Lopus: Professor Emerita of Economics, California State[…]

The Feudal Model in Social Analysis: From Medieval Europe to Contemporary America

Night of August 4th, abolition of feudality and fiscal privileges, by Léopold Morice / Photo by Teofilo, Wikimedia Commons Feudalism can be found in a range of societies across different time periods.   By Dr. Vladimir Shlapentokh (left) and Dr. Joshua Woods (right) Shlapentokh: Professor of Sociology, Michigan State University Woods: Associate Professor of Sociology,[…]

Bayesian Analysis and Free Market Trade within the Roman Empire

Mosaic of amphorae being unloaded from a ship, Ostia / Southampton University, Creative Commons The trade networks of the Roman Empire are among the most intensively researched large-scale market systems in antiquity,       By (left-to-right) Dr. Xavier Rubio-Campillo, María Coto-Sarmiento, Jordi Pérez-Gonzalez, and Dr. José Remesal Rodríguez Rubio-Campillo: Lecturer in Archaeology; Computational Archaeology, The[…]

Economic Thought in Ancient Greece

The Greeks failed miserably to see the need for the development of a discipline, economic science, devoted to the study of the spontaneous processes of social cooperation that comprise the market. By Dr. Jesús Huerta de Soto / 09.15.2010 Professor of Political Economy Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid Introduction The intellectual odyssey that laid the[…]

How Medieval Towns Paved the Way for Capitalism

Economic, legal, and social institutions emerged that were essential to the development of an extensive and complex market economy. By LTC Richard M. Ebeling, PhD / 10.12.2016 BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership The Citadel Introduction While the manors, to a great extent, survived through a rather comprehensive system of self-sufficiency, the[…]

Unimagined Lows: The Depths of the Great Depression

The country’s most vulnerable populations were the hardest hit. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.27.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction From industrial strongholds to the rural Great Plains, from factory workers to farmers, the Great Depression affected millions. In cities, as industry slowed, then sometimes stopped altogether, workers lost jobs and joined breadlines, or sought[…]

When the Dam Breaks: The Stock Market Crash of 1929

While it is misleading to view the stock market crash of 1929 as the sole cause of the Great Depression, the dramatic events of that October did play a role in the downward spiral of the American economy. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.28.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Herbert Hoover became president at a[…]

The Economic Costs of the Civil War

A One Hundred Dollar Confederate States of America banknote dated December 22, 1862. Issued during the American Civil War (1861–1865) / Wikimedia Commons What was the economic impact of the Civil War on American life? By Dr. Burton W. Folsom / 03.23.2011 Senior Fellow in Economic Education Mackinac Center for Public Policy Even after 150[…]

Ancient Economic Thought

Mysia Islands off Troas, Tenedos. Circa 100-70 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 16.27 g 12). / Photo by Exekias, Wikimedia Commons The earliest discussions of economics date back to ancient times, such as Chanakya’s Arthashastra or Xenophon’s Oeconomicus Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.19.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction In the history of economic thought, early economic[…]

Ancient Human Activity and the Necessary Conditions for Indirect Exchange

The historical emergence and use of money is an important question. By Dr. Alexander W. Salter / 12.07.2017 Comparative Economics Research Fellow Assistant Professor of Economics Texas Tech University The historical emergence and use of money is an important question. It is important in its own right as academic history and because it highlights the[…]

An Overview of the History, Theory, and Practice of Socialism

Socialists in Union Square, New York City, May 1, 1912 / Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons Socialism has a very long history. The earliest recorded socialist society is described in the Book of Acts in the Bible. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.10.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Socialism has a very long history. The[…]

The American Market Revolution, 1815-1840

William James Bennett, “View of South Street, from Maiden Lane, New York City,” ca. 1827 / Metropolitan Museum of Art Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.10.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The Market Revolution 1.1 – Introduction The Market Revolution of the nineteenth century radically shifted commerce as well as the way of life for[…]

An Introduction to the Agriculture Economics

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.24.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The Agriculture Market Landscape Introduction The agricultural market landscape is the economic system that produces, distributes, and consumes agricultural products and services. Agriculture, in many ways, has been the fundamental economic industry throughout history. The production and exchange of food laid the groundwork for all[…]

A Brief History of Economic Networks in the Early Modern and Modern Worlds

By Dr. Christian Marx / 09.28.2012 Professor of Economic History University of Trier Abstract This article discusses various network structures in which commercial transactions occurred and economic actors organized their activities. Simultaneous membership of multiple networks means that it is not possible to draw a sharp distinction between economic networks and political, cultural and religious[…]

Economy and Trade in the Western World from the Early Modern to Modern Periods

Waldseemüller (Martin Waldseemüller) map from 1507 is the first map to include the name “America” and the first to depict the Americas as separate from Asia. There is only one surviving copy of the map, which was purchased by the Library of Congress in 2001 for $10 million. By Dr. Philipp Rössner / 02.03.2017 Lecturer in Early Modern History The[…]

How Advertising Shaped Thanksgiving as We Know It

Libby’s continues to fiercely compete with pumpkin pie peddlers Borden’s, Snowdrift and Mrs. Smith’s for a place on the Thanksgiving table. Jean Beaufort By Dr. Samantha N.N. Cross / 11.20.2017 Associate Professor of Marketing Iowa State University I have always been intrigued by Thanksgiving – the traditions, the meal, the idea of a holiday that is[…]