Scholastic Monetary Thought: 1300–1600

  • Barry Gordon


Aquinas and his near contemporaries had written against a background of unprecedented economic development in Europe. By the thirteenth century, a reorganisation of older feudal economic relationships in terms of new capitalistic principles had spread from its birthplaces, the towns of Northern Italy, to many other regions of the Continent. France, Germany, Flanders, and even England, felt the impact of the new modes of organisation. Populations had expanded steadily from about the year 1000, and a fresh growth of urban centres accompanied the expansion. In Germany alone, during the thirteenth century some 400 new towns were established. Such centres provided fertile grounds for industrial and financial innovation and, as a modern historian observes, ‘With the growth of urban industry and trade there emerged the whole complex of a capitalist system, such as partnerships, joint liability, banking, double-entry bookkeeping, bills of exchange and letters of credit.’1


Sixteenth Century Interest Payment Thirteenth Century Fourteenth Century Monetary Theory 
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Copyright information

© Barry Gordon 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Gordon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NewcastleAustralia

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