A history of commerce - PDF (1914) by Clive Day

A history of commerce

A history of commerce
A history of commerce

From the introduction:
The considerations which guided me in giving this book its present form are set forth in the Introduction. I wish here briefly to express my thanks to those who have assisted me in the labour of its preparation, to my wife and to various colleagues, especially Professors Callender, Keller and Lang. I may add to this list the name of one who may not be aware that he has contributed to the book, Professor W. G. Sumner. 

The memory of his teachings has been vividly in my mind as I have written some of the following pages; and however much I may have departed from the substance of his lectures I feel to the spirit that animated them an obligation which has grown constantly greater with time, and which it is a pleasure to acknowledge here.

Of the four qualities which Matthew Arnold thought to be of the greatest importance in an introductory manual, clearness, brevity, proportion, and sobriety, the quality which I have tried with the most conscious attention to realize in this book has been proportion. 

The pages of text are limited in number, that the book may be available for use in schools as well as in colleges, and I have endeavoured always to be mindful that I could put nothing on a page without crowding something else out. 

Whatever claims the book has to originality must be derived chiefly from the course which I have followed in the selection and arrangement of topics, and I may be pardoned if I seek to indicate here, as briefly as possible, the considerations which have governed my course.

 The first part, on ancient commerce, is inserted in deference to what I understand to be the desires and practices of teachers but will be omitted, I hope, by every teacher who finds it necessary to omit any part of the book. 

The facts of the commerce of ancient countries have little bearing on the commerce of those same countries today, as anyone will perceive who considers, for instance, the commerce of modern Greece and modern Persia, and who attempts to apply to those countries the facts that he has learned of their distant past.

 Even the commercial institutions of the ancient world died out, with the important exception of the Roman Law, and modern commercial institutions are derived not from them but from medieval origins. Finally, a decisive objection to the extended study of ancient commerce by beginners arises from the fact that our knowledge of conditions in the ancient world is still meagre and unsatisfactory. 

When the best scholars disagree on many important points the student had better leave the field to them and devote his attention to later periods of which abundant records exist. In the medieval period the national state, as we know it now, had not come into existence, and it would be unprofitable to trace the course of commerce within the bounds of modern political geography. Just because of the backward political development, however, the student has an unmatched opportunity to study the growth of private commercial institutions and to observe the reciprocal influence of economic and political factors in commercial development. 

Most of the chapters on medieval commerce, therefore, are general and not local in character. I have thought to satisfy the demand for a description of commerce from the geographical standpoint in this period by a somewhat detailed account of the trade carried on in the Mediterranean and on the northern seas of Europe. As the commercial organization develops in the modern period, after 1500, it becomes impracticable in a book of this size to follow out in their complex details such subjects as a mercantile association, commercial law, currency, credit, and banking. 

A few introductory chapters suggest rather than describe the development of the organization, while most of the chapters describe the growth of commerce in the concrete in the different states of Europe. In this period, if ever, the treatment of commerce as distinctly national interest is justified. With the incoming of the nineteenth century, conditions changed again. Technical improvements, transforming the different branches of production and transportation, spread through the civilized world, cause a revolution in the wares of commerce and an immense increase in its volume. 

Some contents:

General Considerations
section page
1. The purposes of commerce 1
2. Obstacles to the development of commerce. (1) Personal. ... 2
3. (2) Physical obstacles 2
4. (3) Risk of loss at the hand of public enemies or robbers 3
5. (4) Political restrictions 4
Questions and topics 5
Bibliography (general) 6
Oriental Period
6. Prehistoric commerce. Ancient Egypt 9
7. Rise of Egyptian commerce; characteristic wares 9
8. Development of Egyptian commerce in a later period 10
9. Rise of commerce in the Mesopotamian valley 10
10. Development of commerce under the Assyrian and Persian empires 11
11. Relative insignificance of the commerce of the ancient empires.
The Jews. The Phoenicians 12
12. Commerce of the Phoenicians. Beginnings of sea-trade 12
13. Development of sea-trade; wares of Phoenician commie-ce. ... 13
14. Establishment of colonies by the Phoenicians. Carthage. ... 14
Questions and topics 14
Bibliography 15
Greek Period
15. Greece, physical character and products 17
16. Rise of Greek commerce. Colonies 17
17. Rapid development in the fifth century, b.c 18
18. Rise of Athens to leadership. Exports 19
19. Athenian imports and policy 20
20. Contrast of the ancient and modern world; effect of Macedonian
and Roman conquests 20
21. Effect of Alexander's conquests on commerce; the decline of Greece 21
22. Rise of great cities 22
23. Alexandria, Seleukia, Antioch 22
24. Rhodes 23
Questions and topics 24
Roman Period
25. The Roman state; Rome not a commercial city 26
26. Development of commerce in the Roman East 26
27. Backward condition of the peoples of the West 27
28. Limited influence of Rome on the commercial development of
the West 28
29. Decline of Roman power and of commerce in the West 29
Questions and topics 30

the book details :
  • Author: Clive Day
  • Publication date: 1914
  • Company: Longmans, Green, and Co

  • Download 32.2 MB PDF ebook