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Merchant Credit And The Putting-Out System: Rural Production During The Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

This chapter talks about the existence of certain forms of the putting-out system in the rural economy and especially at its intersection with trade. It considers the problem of the possible preconditions for these social and economic phenomena in medieval Europe. One should begin with the well-known forms of investment in agriculture. First, it is widely recognized that when the gentry organized settlements and furnished peasants with new plots of land, it was also forced to give them material aid by supplying them with certain sums of money or cattle. The Hanseatic Baltic merchants tried to retain their role as intermediaries in trade between the west and countries of their own hinterland, and basically they succeeded. The method of credit lending to the suppliers of commodities also played a large role in the period of extensive trade in agricultural products from central-eastern Europe and particularly from the Baltic region.

Keywords: merchant credit; middle ages; putting-out system; rural economy



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