Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism. By Fernand Braudel; trans- lated by Patricia M. Ranum. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins. Fernand Braudel. Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism. Translated by Patricia M. Ranum. (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in. I think mankind is more than waist-deep in daily routine. Countless inherited acts, accumulated pell-mell and repeated time after time to this.
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I think mankind is more than waist’deep in daily routine. It is both the history of those whom we consider major actors—Jacques Coeur or John Law—and the history of great events. In the long procession of history, capitalism is the late’ comer.
Fernand Braudel, Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism
The historian has less trouble seeing the hows than the afgerthoughts and can more clearly discern the consequences than the origins of major problems. His reputation stems in part from his writings, but even more from his success in making the Annales School the most important engine of historical research in France and much of the world after But what did even the very first economists really study, if not supply and demand in the market?
Nef was justified in calling this the first English industrial revolution, albeit a revolu’ tion incapable of spreading and bringing about great upheavals. Alas, noncapitalist societies have not suppressed hierarchies. And so this process of breaking down functions into several smaller ones, this process of modernization, was at first evident only at the base of the pyramid: The peripheral regions were Scotland, Ireland, and Scandinavia to the north; cjvilization all of Europe east of a line running from Hamburg to Venice; Italy south of Rome Naples and Sicily ; and lastly beyond the Atlantic, Europeanized America, the periphery par excellence.
Capitalism, however, is the “advancement” of this rationale.
Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism
Silver was arriving in huge quantities from the American materlal. But its success never lasted long, as if the economic edifice could not pump enough nourishment up to this high point of the economy. I am civilizzation not denying that a microcapitalism existed among shopkeepers; Alexander Gerschenkron thinks that true capitalism was born there. Emilio rated it it was amazing Oct 22, I am, therefore, directly threatened with the worst of sins, the sin of anachro’ nism.
This second France consistently controlled political power. None’ theless, although fairs began to decline wherever the pace of life accelerated, they spread and persisted wherever the more traditional type of economy was still found.
Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism by Fernand Braudel
But I have met with little success. They possessed czpitalism knowledge, intelligence, and culture. And they are surely questions with far reaching implica- tions: At that time the subject was proposed to me—or, to be more accurate, imposed upon me—by Lucien Febvre, who had just begun planning a series of general historical works, Destws du Monde the very series I was given the difficult task of continuing after the death of its editor in Ptolemaic Egypt knew about steam power but used it only for amusement.
During the past few years we have been going through a world crisis of our own that shows every sign of being serious and of long duration. There was only one center—London—which as early as the fifteenth century rapidly assumed the position of economic and political center, all the while shaping the English market to the needs of London, that is, to the advantage of the great local merchants. Their policy was simply to take the place of the former winners, violence being all in the game. Since then, the popula’ tion has constantly increased, without a pause or a reverse in the climb.
Then, for various political reasons that are too complicated to explain here and that are related to the wars carried on by the Spanish in the Netherlands, the position as dominant city shifted to Genoa.
Full text of “Civilization And Capitalism by Fernand Braudel, 3 vols.”
In eighteenth’century Barcelona the retail shopkeeper or botigucr always had a specialization; he would sell aftertnoughts linens or woolen cloths or spices, and so forth. What date should we assign to this recession—,? In practice this market was divided up accord’ ing to the town’s streets and squares, and close at hand were usurers, public scribes, secondhand shops, the stalls of snack sellers, and tea and saki houses.
It occupies a given geographic space; thus it has limits that mark it off and that vary, albeit somewhat slowly.
O Each time a decentering occurs, a recentering takes place, as if the world-economy cannot live without a center of gravity, without a pole. His reputation stems in part from his writings, but even more from aftrrthoughts success caiptalism making the Annales School the most important engine of historica Fernand Braudel was a French historian and a leader of the Annales School. Thus France was too big for the transportation of the day, too diversified, and too unorganized.
Thus one of two factors must have been involved: Capital is a tangible reality, a congeries of easily identifiable financial resources, constantly at work; a capitalist is a man who presides or attempts to preside over the insertion of capital into the ceaseless process of production to which every society is destined; and capitalism is, roughly but only roughly speaking, the manner in which this constant activity of insertion is carried on, generally for not very altruistic reasons.
Above the enormous mass of daily life, the market economy cast out its nets and kept the network alive. They do not care which of the two is given an order, for their interests have fused, and the precise way in which these interests are served is of little importance. The situation deteriorated, and the Genoese fairs of Piacenza, which for almost fifty years had been the great clearing system for European business, no longer played the principal role after Until the eighteenth century, the population was enclosed within an almost intangible circle.
Isn’t it still a fact of life today? These links, these chains, these exchanges, these indispensable comings and goings—how could they fail to attract historians?
So the rather bitter debate between those who accept only an internal explanation for capitalism and for the Industrial Revolution, seeing them as the result of an on’the’spot transformation of socioeconomic structures, and those who consider only an external explanation in other words, the imperialist exploita’ tion of the world —this debate seems pointless to me. Now, these avatars are occurring at a time when the revolution has already been invented, when models are available to everyone.
No trivia or quizzes yet. If the life of the Indian merchant was less uncertain, it was because it developed within the protection of the merchant and banking castes, rather than in the unstable society at the top of the pyramid. But enough of these descriptions.