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6 The Economy in the 16th and 17th Centuries

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Chapter Summary

The early 1540s saw the end of the long phase of concomitant disasters that had decimated the Lombard population and economy and the renewal was rapid and constant for more than thirty years. In the final decades of the sixteenth century, the Lombard economy began to show signs of the changes that were to bring about its repositioning on the international market, in which the role it had held up until this point, an exporter of luxury goods, was to be limited. Urban manufacturing activities, which had long been the traditional backbone of the manufacture of luxury items in Lombardy, were the first to register the signs of market contraction. Indeed, during the first twenty years of the seventeenth century, the Lombard economy witnessed a period of expansion. The army did indeed spend money, and they spent the high salaries of good currency with which soldiers were paid.

Keywords: international market; Lombard economy; Urban manufacturing activities



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