This work establishes the existence of a sophisticated and smoothly functioning system of financial markets in the mercantile states of northwestern Europe throughout the 1700s. Based on computer analysis of thousands of price quotes from the financial press of the eighteenth century, the results should force both historians and economists to re-evaluate their understanding of the evolution of financial markets and their importance for the economic developments of that era.
1. Historical background for the rise of financial capitalism: commercial revolution, rise of nation states, and capital markets; 2. The development of an information network and the international capital markets of London and Amsterdam; 3. The early capital markets of London and Amsterdam; 4. The Banque Royale and the South Sea Company: how the bubbles began; 4. Appendix: were the Mississippi and south sea bubbles rational? 5. The Bank of England and the South Sea Company: how the bubbles ended; 6. The English and Dutch East India Companies: how the west was won; 7. The integration of the English and Dutch capital markets in peace and war; 8. The English and Dutch capital markets in panics; 9. The capital markets during revolutions, war and peace; 10. A tale of two revolutions: international capital flows 1792–1819; 11. The London and Amsterdam stock markets, 1800–1825.
'Everything one would expect from the culmination of a 15-year research project by one of America's leading economic historians of Europe.' The Journal of Economic History
'In bringing capital market operations into new focus, Neal has brought new life to an old debate and has produced a book that deserves to be widely read and discussed.' The Times Higher Education Supplement