Journal of European Economic History - 2021 issue 2

Volume L

Bancaria Editrice
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The Evolution of Sovereign Debt Default: From the Thirteenth Century to the Modern Era
An examination of sovereign defaults over the long term, from 1294 to 2008, shows that serial defaults are far rarer than the much-ballyhooed experience of the 1980s suggests. The only mass default in Europe since 1294 took place in the early nineteenth century during the Napoleonic Wars. The majority of the serial defaults date from after 1975, primarily in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and were heavily concentrated in the 1980s. These multiple defaults, like some earlier default waves in Latin America, reflected the experiences of newer nation states and were also linked to the inherent vulnerability of periphery countries to events in well-established, major financial centers. This was in sharp contrast to the earlier defaults in Europe and appears largely to be an aberration when viewed against the backdrop of the overall historical record.
Genoese financiers and the redistribution of Spanish bullion: The “Mediterranean Road” (1630-1700)
Classical historiography treats the years 1650-1700 as pivotal in the movement of the centre of international finance first to Amsterdam and then, at the beginning of the 18th century, to London. The Mediterranean Sea, as theorised by Fernand Braudel’s “world-economy” model, was relegated to a secondary role, while the destiny of the international economy was decided in northern Europe. Many works have examined the role of the Genoese bankers in a previous period (1550-1650). After the bankruptcy of Phillip IV (1627), however, we get the impression that Genoa disappeared from the map of European finance. What happened to the Genoese brokers between 1650 and 1700? Their proverbial expertise and financial intuition allowed them rapidly to change course and undertake a strategy which took the form of an intelligent and utilitarian “reconversion.” Starting from the 1630s, the Genoese bankers sought to obtain repayment in silver of the capital they had invested in Madrid. This fresh inflow of capital gave the new generation of Genoese bankers the opportunity for a radical change of perspective. They would no longer be active in the market for Spanish public debt and loans (asientos); instead, they would manage financial services and the international bullion market. This article shows how the Genoese bankers played a pre-eminent role on the bullion market throughout the second half of the 17th century.
The British Debate Concerning the Supply of Cotton During the American Civil War
Some aspects of the development of the British cotton industry have been the subject of considerable scholarly attention from historians in recent decades, but the nature and development of the industry’s supply of its raw material has received much less examination. In the early decades of the nineteenth century, the British cotton industry became heavily dependent for its raw material upon a single source: the United States. This led to a disastrous shortage of cotton during the American Civil War (1861-65). Yet some concerns over this near-exclusive reliance upon U.S. cotton had already been voiced in the years before the conflict. During the war, there was a lively national debate, involving leading newspapers, periodicals and Members of Parliament, over how the shortage of cotton could be overcome. Much of the debate centred on whether a laissez faire approach relying upon the law of supply and demand would resolve the difficulty. There was a notable desire to obtain cotton from British overseas possessions – particularly India – but with only limited success.
The Social Composition of Italian Co-operatives: Historical Evolution and Analysis of Political and Economic Reasons
Since the 19th century, co-operatives have served their members through a system of mutual benefits between members and organisations, aggregating homogeneous stakeholders. Recently, a new direction within the Italian co-operative movement has recognised the value of membership diversification to include different groups of stakeholders. What are the reasons for this change? This study reviews the relevant literature, taking an historical institutional approach to the evolution of the social composition of co-operatives. More generally, the article shows the reciprocal influence between organisations and society, framing the complex socio-political system within which co-operatives have evolved and influenced Italian society.
T. Ricciardi, G. Picone, L. Fiorentino
Il terremoto in Irpinia
G. Picone
Paesaggio con rovine
Svein Ege
Land Tenure Security. State-Peasant Relations in the Amhara Highlands, Ethiopia
Matteo Nardozi

Giuliano Garavini
The Rise and Fall of OPEC in the Twentieth Century
Per Högselius

Aaron G. Jakes
Egypt’s Occupation. Colonial Economism and the Crises of Capitalism
Giampaolo Conte

Andrew Phillips, J.C. Sharman
Outsourcing Empire. How Company-States Made the Modern World
Michele Rabà

Gustavo Piga
L’interregno. Una terza via per l’Italia e l’Europa
Antonio Magliulo

Jessie Reeder
The Forms of Informal Empire. Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature
Laura Fotia

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