The Journal of European Economic History - 2016 issue 3

Volume XLV

Bancaria Editrice
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The Stall and New Start of the 1950s: European Integration at the Crossroads
In the light of the protracted and complex crisis afflicting Europe (at once economic, political, security- and migration-related), and on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the Journal is issuing a call for papers for a monographic issue (“Stall and new start …”) that will come out in the second half of 2017 (No. 3, 2017).
Invisible Globalization: French Hats in Habsburg Vienna, 1650-1750
In the second half of the seventeenth century, the Viennese nobility introduced French fashion as a consumption pattern for Austrian elites. Beaver and vicuña hats, made of raw materials from Canada, Peru, West Africa, the Sudan and the Levant, were part and parcel of the new French fashion. French hats were globalized commodities appreciated throughout Europe, although the globalized nature and composition of the product remained completely invisible. This article considers Vienna as a remote area, far from the booming and, in historiography, well-explored European Atlantic ports and capitals, and investigates how Vienna participated in particular global fashion trends. Specifically, it focuses on the social and economic impact of hats as a globalized consumer good on the local Viennese market. Based on an extensive analysis of archival sources, the article sheds light on consumption patterns of elites, practices of the trade in hats, and the consequences of the globalized hat market for local craft production. The globalization of the hat market entailed the immigration of fully trained hatters. Skilled craftsmen from France and Italy introduced new processing methods in Vienna, but this did not result in the dissemination of knowledge. The continuing demand for hats in Vienna stoked a large increase in imports of finished or semi-finished hats, which in turn fostered the emergence
Interrogating the “Crisis-Reform” Hypothesis: A Case-Study of Poor Law Reform in Post-Famine Ireland
This paper explores the extent to which socio-economic developments in the aftermath of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1850) can be regarded as a direct response to the famine onslaught, as opposed to being part of the broader incremental socio-economic evolution of that era which may merely have been expedited by famine-era distress. Specifically, we analyse the reform of the Irish Poor Law in 1862 in order to assess the imprint of famine experiences on this process. A textual analysis is undertaken on the following documentary material referring to the famine conditions of 1845-50: (i) expert witness testimony provided to the Select Committee on Poor Relief (Ireland) 1861; (ii) parliamentary debates preceding the legislation; and (iii) contemporary commentary surrounding the Irish Poor Relief Act (Ireland) 1862. This analysis is then used to interrogate the “crisis-reform” hypothesis, which contends that economic crises induce policy reform. Our paper challenges this hypothesis, arguing that it does not adequately incorporate the persistence of economic and social institutional structures.
The Impact of World War I on Sweden’s Foreign Trade and Growth
During the early years of the World War One neutral countries’ trade was not targeted by naval warfare and economic blockades, while belligerents’ trade plummeted. Studies have generally found that neutral trade escaped some of the worst effects of the war. This article examines the impact of the war on the Swedish economy. It compares Sweden’s wartime economic experience with those of the belligerents and uses interrupted time-series analyses of Swedish trade volumes, prices and real GDP growth. The results accord with previous research in that the neutral Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) experienced two diametrically opposing trends during the war: up to 1916 their trade increased, which, for Sweden, boosted GDP growth. But after 1916, when naval and economic warfare intensified and finally brought international commerce to a standstill, trade and GDP growth in both belligerent and neutral countries were seriously hampered. In the literature, it has been suggested that naval warfare and blockade policies induced a shift from international to intra-regional-Scandi navian trade. This may have alleviated the worst effects of the naval warfare and blockades, but this article finds that neither the trade expansion during the early years of the war nor neutral intra-regional and Baltic Sea trade sufficed to offset the international trade contraction recorded during the blockade years.
The Incomes of the Population of the Czech Lands Between the Two World Wars
The paper offers a unique income analysis of the population of the first Czechoslovak Republic. It examines the incomes of army officers, teachers, and families of minor officials, blue-collar households and white-collar households. Individual items of income are scrutinized for selected professions. The paper considers the amount of income in relation to the economic situation during the period, addressing such basic issues as: What were the earnings of certain types of household and selected professions? What were the earnings of the middle classes? Based on an analysis of the available materials in the State Statistical Office and a review of the literature, the paper concludes that white-collar households and those of minor officials (whose income in absolute terms was significantly lower) could live on the earnings of the head of household, whereas blue-collar households also depended on the gainful employment of women and children. The middle classes were formed by state administration employees, teachers, clergymen, doctors, writers, lawyers, artists and army officers.
A Model of Social Progress
The discussion of the model of social progress is divided into four parts. The first part sketches the features of the theoretical model. Since the basic element is the law of diminishing returns to land, the second part compares labour productivity in successive stages of intensification of agriculture, using the time budget method. In the third part, three examples of historical regression are examined from the vantage point of view of the theory proposed. The three cases have important features in common, providing insight into a possible common cause of historical regression. In the fourth part the theory is applied in a brief analysis of the history of Italy. The rise and decline of ancient Rome is explained. The decline of the Western Empire shares a number of features with other cases of historical regression. In considering subsequent events, in the Middle Ages and early modern times, the emphasis is on the causes, according to our model, of two overarching developments in Italian history: the country’s emergence as Europe’s leading economic and cultural center and the subsequent halt to development and Italy’s lag with respect to other countries.
Federico De Romanis, Marco Maiuro (eds.)
Across the Ocean: Nine Essays on Indo-Mediterranean Trade
Paolo Tedesco

Fabrizio Filioli Uranio
La squadra navale pontificia nella Repubblica internazionale delle galere. Secoli XVI-XVII
Gaetano Sabatini

Idamaria Fusco, Desirée A.L. Quagliarotti (eds.)
Environmental Issues in the Socialist and Post-Socialist Countries
Maria Rosaria Rescigno

Jerry F. Hough, Robin Grier
The Long Process of Development, Building Markets and States in Pre-Industrial England, Spain, and Their Colonies
Adrian Steinert

Richard E. Payne
A State of Mixture: Christians, Zoroastrians, and Iranian Political Culture in Late Antiquity
Paolo Tedesco