Friday, October 22, 2010

Global Trade and the History of the Wheels of Commerce Considered - A Book Review

By Lance Winslow
How much do you really know about the history of economics and free trade? I feel as if I know more than 99% of the people on the planet, but perhaps that's because I've studied a three-part volume entitled the wheels of commerce. I think you should pick up a set for yourself. If you'd like to learn more let me explain what I mean and describe to you what's in volume 2 as an example;

"The Wheels of Commerce - Civilization and Capitalism; 15th through 18th Century, Volume 2" by Ferdinand Braudel, 1979.

The 15th and 18th Century is when capitalism really took off. In this particular second volume we see the slow evolution towards what we consider today to be economics. The first volume explained how "economic life" started and how using a unit of trade increased and individual's, or family's quality-of-life. Now, in this volume we see how cross roads became trading points for villages, towns, and cities and how the wheels of commerce started turning.

Indeed, this is a tale of economic history; how capitalism and trading changed everything forever. How free and open markets with shops, distributors, traders, dealers, salesmen, bankers, and even what might now be considered a stock market in Amsterdam were only the beginning. This book tells of the London Royal Exchange, French and Dutch banking, and the exchanges of paper money and distribution in China, bankers and India, and the ships that distributing goods, and those using the silk Roads all participated in what we consider today to be global trade.

The book explains merchants and trading circuits, and self-regulating markets. During this time were the first uses of the words; capital, capitalist, capitalism. It is interesting that most economic textbooks have a brief chapter or two perhaps on how it all got started, but it is very interesting to read a huge three volumes set of books on the subject. It's amazing to me that we do not teach economics as we used to in the schools, and I bet if we did, we wouldn't have the types of economic crisis as we do today. I hope you please consider all this.


Post a Comment