This fascinating study follows the fortunes of the Höchstetter family, merchant-manufacturers and financiers of Augsburg, Germany, in the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries, and sheds light on the economic and social history of failure and resilience in early modern Europe. Carefully tracing the chronology of the family's rise, fall and transformation, it moves from the micro- to the macro-level, making comparisons with other mercantile families of the time to draw conclusions and suggest insights into such issues as social mobility, capitalist organization, business techniques, market practices and economic institutions. The result is a microhistory that offers macro-conclusions about the lived experience of early capitalism and capitalistic practices.
This book will be valuable reading for advanced students and researchers of economic, financial and business history, legal history and early modern European history.
Thomas Max Safley is Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
List of Figures
List of Maps
Note on Money
Note on Translations
Chapter 1. Family Firms Considered: "Ambrosius and Hans, the Brothers Höchstetter and Associates"
Chapter 2. Capitalistic Practices: The Höchstetter Brassworks at Pflach
Chapter 3. Crisis and Insolvency: Information Management by and about
Chapter 4. Bankruptcy: Local Institutions and their Consequences
Chapter 5. Bankruptcy: Financial Markets and Credit Networks
Chapter 6. Ruin and Recovery: The Question of Resilience and the
Höchstetter "Family Firm"
Appendix 1: Rising Höchstetter Fortunes
Appendix 2: Höchstetter Family Tree
Appendix 3: Höchstetter Creditors