Talbott, S ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5275-4811 (2021) ‘What cannot be helped must be indured’: Coping with obstacles to business during the Anglo-Dutch Wars, 1652-1674. Enterprise and Society.

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Abstract

By nature, wars appear hostile to commerce, bringing disruption to international relations and to everyday life. By focusing on the individuals involved in continuing commerce, however, an increasing body of scholarship has shown that merchants in a number of contexts continued to operate successfully during periods of war. This article builds on these recent methodological shifts in business history, applying them to the three Anglo-Dutch wars of the seventeenth century. Although these conflicts have been described as being harmful to commerce, there has been no focus hitherto on merchants’ experiences of or responses to these wars. This article addresses this problem and, in so doing, proposes a different way of analyzing and thus characterizing the relationship between the Anglo-Dutch Wars and business. Through examining the surviving correspondence of merchants operating during these wars, I investigate the various methods used—both successfully and unsuccessfully—to navigate obstacles to business during these conflicts. The value of considering this activity in broader British and European contexts is explored, and the range of concerns exhibited by merchants during these periods of conflict is analyzed, showing that war was not paramount among their concerns, despite the political context. Throughout, I show that although all three Anglo-Dutch Wars had an impact on commerce, this was not necessarily negative, and that the most enterprising and proactive merchants benefited from commercial opportunities created by the conflicts.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Business History Conference. All rights reserved
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 11:48
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 11:48
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/9595

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