The First Modern Economy provides a comprehensive economic history of the Netherlands during its rise to European economic leadership, the 'Golden Age', and subsequent decline (1500–1815). The authors argue that it was the first modern economy, and defend their position with detailed analyses of its major economic sectors, as well as investigations of social structure and macro-economic performance. Dutch economic history is placed in its European and world context, and inter-continental and colonial trade are discussed fully. Special emphasis is placed on the environmental context of economic growth and later decline, as well as on demographic developments. The authors also argue that the Dutch model of development and stagnation is applicable to currently maturing economies.
• New interpretation of origins and character of modern economic growth • Comprehensive study of Dutch colonial trade and its role in European development • First macro-economic analysis of time-period, including first estimates of national incomes and growth rates in 17th and 18th centuries
Preface; 1. By way of introduction; Part I. Structures: 2. Space and time, structures and conjunctures; 3. The people; 4. Money and taxes, borrowing and lending; 5. Three questions; Part II. Sectors: 6. Agriculture; 7. Fishing; 8. Industry; 9. Foreign trade until the mid-seventeenth century; 10. Foreign trade after the mid-seventeenth century; Part III. Analysis: 11. City and country: the social structure of a modern economy; 12. The standard of living and the labor market; 13. The course of the economy: a macroeconomic analysis; 14. Postlude.