(updated 16 Jan. 2014)

Leonardo to the Internet:

Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present

Thomas J. Misa

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011; 2nd edition
L2i cover 2nd


Chapter 2. Techniques of Commerce (1588-1740)

How was the "age of commerce" different from the (earlier) court era?

Discuss military technologies/practices that helped win "the Netherlands" independence from Spain.

EXPLAIN how the Dutch herring buss [p.39] and fluit ship [p.41 + =>] embodied the imperatives of commerce.

Visit the National Gallery <www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/dutch.htm>: identify and discuss 2-3 technological activities can you see in Dutch art (c.1600).

Dutch institutions created a global trading economy in the 17th century.  IDENTIFY each and explain its historical SIGNIFICANCE: 

  • Amsterdam Exchange 
  • Wisselbank 
  • futures contracts 
  • VOC [Dutch East India Co.] 
  • WIC [West India Co.] 

DISCUSS where and why tulips cost more than houses during the "tulip mania" of the 1630s.

DISCUSS the "traffic system": what products and processes typified the Dutch 'traffic' sector?

"Why didn't the Dutch Republic have an industrial revolution?"

Visit "Trade Products" in early modern history <www.lib.umn.edu/bell/tradeproducts> -- identify 3 or more of the 25 products (beaver ... wool) -- without a Dutch connection.


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