Assess the Emergence of a European Economy in the period 1400-1715
During the Renaissance the economy grew quickly particularly in the area of trade. This was one of the key factors in this period. The development of new trade routes meant links with other continents such as Africa and Asia grew stronger. This in turn led to more wealth and power within the European States. The early modern economy is traditionally seen as one of the great eras in which Europe worked hard and extended its geographical boundaries and colonised with neighbouring continents. Until 1450 Europeans were largely satisfied with obtaining goods through Africa and Asia, but they no longer were satisfied, they wanted more direct contact with these countries and with the combination of rising prices and a growth in the number of people needing goods and services this encouraged merchants to expand their businesses. “In the 1300s and 1400s Italy dominated European trade and manufacturing. Merchants in Florence, Milan, and Venice developed large business organisations to carry on their activities across Europe. They manufactured, sold, or traded a wide variety of products. They also provided banking services for governments and other merchants in many areas of Europe.”1 Growth in the early modern economy began as early as the tenth century. The intensity of this progression depended on the inheritance of certain customs from previous generations. Population growth was a cause of migration which permitted the settlement and reclamation of land that was deserted and uncultivated.2 In the years between 1348 and 1350 the plague swept through Europe and it resulted in a huge drop in the population. Pre 1400 the European economy was purely medieval, it revolved around crop cultivation. In the second half of the 15th century there was a new increase in the population. Labourers found opportunities to earn better wages and to cultivate larger holdings. The presence of medieval towns and cities was...
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