Märkte als Chance für die Armen in der Frühen Neuzeit

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This article deals with the role of the market in the survival strategies of the poor. It starts by explaining how historians and contemporaries have defined poor people and why the role of the market has remained hidden in the strategies of the poorest. In a second part, it stresses the difficulties of entering the market for most men and women because of lack of funds in a Europe in which credit was theoretically prohibited. It then develops two examples. First the migrations of the high alpine valleys which show how poor regions survived and enriched themselves thanks to the market and to the elites who led the entire village into the market economy. The second example examines the role of women in the petty financial economy. Starting from the narrowness of the economic spaces given to women, it shows how the development of the market economy allowed them to enlarge their juridical autonomy through the creation of the category of the ‘merchant woman’ (femme marchande). It also shows that the diverse exclusions that women had to bear led them into the grey economy, at the heart of informal credit circulations, into second-hand markets, and into pawnbroking. Thanks to the archives of the Bastille and to the testimonies of the time, it describes the activity of those women in Paris during the 18th century, entering, on one side, into roles as pawnbrokers and intermediaries and, on the other side, examining the role played by usurers in funding of their activity of peddling foodstuffs and the modalities through which they gave them their weekly credit. Finally, it shows how they utilized the official pawnshops and managed to earn a little money from them. In the last part, using the example of two female resellers, it shows how the exclusion of the poorest from market started as early as in the 18th century because of the winning fights of the sedentary merchants who wanted to get rid of their competition and because of the state grasping at all possibilities to impose new taxes.
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Umfang 17 Seiten
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Verlag DLG-Verlag
  
  
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