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Commercial Capitalism And Agriculture

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the problem of reciprocal influences between commercial capital and grain farming based on available sources concerning medieval and early modern Italy. It attempts to demonstrate that the situation of grain farming, where Italian commercial capital was employed, was not dissimilar to the one described. It also examines the relationships between commercial capital and agriculture-mainly as concerns grain farming-from the time of the flowering of the Italian medieval economy up to the severe crisis that befell the country in the 17th century. The chapter presents the influence of the grain trade on Italian agriculture, and outlines the framework of the investment of commercial capital in agriculture. Inasmuch as it is closely related to the issue of the troubled passage from feudalism to capitalism, it is also at the origin of the stagnation and economic regression the country suffered during the 17th century.

Keywords: commercial capitalism; Italian grain agriculture



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