The purpose of this paper is to examine sixteenth century Netherlands business organisation and accounting practices, then the most advanced in Western Europe, to test…
The purpose of this paper is to examine sixteenth century Netherlands business organisation and accounting practices, then the most advanced in Western Europe, to test Sombart's theory that scientific double entry bookkeeping was an essential prerequisite for the development of modern capitalism and the emergence of the public corporation during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Rather than being a development of Paciolian bookkeeping, double‐entry bookkeeping in sixteenth century Netherlands was grounded in northern German (Hanseatic) business practices.
Sixteenth century Dutch business records and Dutch and German bookkeeping texts are used to establish that north German Hanseatic commercial practices exercised the greatest influence on The Netherlands' bookkeeping practices immediately prior to the development of the capitalistic commercial enterprise in the first years of the seventeenth century.
Contrary to Sombart's thesis, scientific double‐entry bookkeeping was rarely used in sixteenth century Netherlands, which became Europe's most sophisticated commercial region during the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century. Instead, extant commercial archives and the numerous sixteenth century accounting texts suggest that Hanseatic business practices and agents' (factors') bookkeeping were the dominant influence on northern Netherlands' business practices at this time. The organisation and administrative practices of Netherlands' businesses prior to the seventeenth century, especially their decentralised structure and lack of a common capital, were founded on Hanseatic practices that were considerably different to the best Italian practice of the time.
North German influences on Dutch accounting and business practices have significant implications for social theories of the development of capitalism, notably that of Bryer, that assume the use of a scientific (capitalistic) form of double‐entry bookkeeping was essential to the development of capitalism from the seventeenth century. This is tested in a subsequent paper which examines the accounting practices of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost‐Indische Compagnie or VOC) which was founded in 1602 at the very cusp of modern capitalism. The research presented here was partially constrained by the scarcity of transcriptions of original sixteenth century bookkeeping records.
The vigorous debate in the accounting history literature about the dependence of modern capitalism upon a scientific (capitalistic) form of double entry bookkeeping prompted by Sombart has been mainly concerned with England. This paper introduces into the debate material which documents the accounting and business practices of the most commercially advanced region of Europe in the late sixteenth century and the influence of Dutch bookkeeping texts.
To the initiate in French studies, the term “French Literature” might be understood to mean anything — and everything — written in the French language. Etymologists would no doubt support this interpretation wholeheartedly. To scholars of French literature, however, the term has a very different meaning. Professors in the field generally consider French literature to be that written in France since the Middle Ages, a literature which stands apart from other written works in the French language. This is not to say that there is not a very substantial body of literature written, for instance, in French‐speaking Canada, or Algeria, Tunisia, Haiti, or a myriad of other places. Certain individuals specialize in the literature (French) of those countries, but they do not refer to those writings as “French Literature”; they label them “French‐Canadian Literature,” “French‐African Literature,” and the like. This essay will be limited to a discussion of French literature — the major literature of France, considered worthy of special attention or acclaim by readers and scholars worldwide.
In this paper an analysis is offered of the history and, more briefly, present situation, of an Anabaptist movement as it manifested itself in the form of the French Anabaptist Mennonite Assemblies. The paper is divided into a consideration of political, legal, economic and social aspects of French Mennonitism on the one hand, and of religious and ethical aspects on the other.
∗ Indicates books which are especially recommended.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the antecedents (the medieval guild) of modern day industrial clustering. The paper challenges the notion that work of Alfred…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the antecedents (the medieval guild) of modern day industrial clustering. The paper challenges the notion that work of Alfred Marshall provides the intellectual underpinning of cluster thinking.
The source material uses archival research on medieval guilds and historical texts. In tracing the development of forms of co‐operative association this paper employs the technique of genealogical spanning. The prism of forms of co‐operative association is used to examine the rise and fall of the medieval guild.
Medieval guilds have been largely ignored by modern proponents of cluster theory and Italianate industrial districts. Guild activity in technological invention and innovation, in skills transfer and knowledge (both codified and tacit) had many of the same positive attributes that are found in neo‐Marshallian industrial districts. The long history of cooperative behaviour in geographically concentrated firms in industrial districts had its genesis in the medieval guild.
The paper suggests that collaboration (in craft guilds) and clusters (cooperation and relationships) have been a dominant paradigm since the Middle Ages; a viewpoint which is commonly ignored by the dominant US‐centric view of individualism, competition and arms lengths relationships in business. Cooperation and relationships have attracted significant scholarly attention and most recently the studies in the cluster literature have tended to favour the social and knowledge‐based approach. This phenomenon suggests that the future social, political and economic dynamics in Europe will remain firmly rooted in the creation of areas of regional specialization, as has been the case in the past.
This paper contributes to our understanding of the embeddedness of cooperation by comparing the characteristics of the medieval guild with the characteristics of modern day (Porterian clusters). Cooperation rather than competition is the dominant paradigm of industrial activity. The competitive divide between employers and employees was an aberration of the Industrial Revolution and promoted by political economists as a means of facilitating the mobility of labour by diffusion.
Before 1500 Britain was not considered a major European power. Threehundred years later Britain led the way for the Industrial Revolutionand held sway economically and…
Before 1500 Britain was not considered a major European power. Three hundred years later Britain led the way for the Industrial Revolution and held sway economically and militarily during the nineteenth century. The twentieth century saw the United Kingdom lose her empire, her military leadership and, most of all, her capacity to lead the world in technological innovations. What were the circumstances which first thrust England into world leadership and then led her into technological decline? Examines the rise and fall in a sociocultural context and attempts to generalize the results into a modern context to understand better the innovation phenomenon.