The first articles in this volume focus on sources for the history of Baltic commerce and the evaluation of their data on prices. In most cases, though, surviving data is hardly adequate for any extensive quantitative analysis of Polish economic history, and many of these articles endeavour in different ways to use comparitive approaches to help overcome this lack of substantial statistical base - hence the set of studies on the economy of travelling and the observations of travellers. Professor MaÃ§zak then turns to the structures of power in Poland and elsewhere in late renaissance Europe, looking in particular at informal power relationships and patterns of patronage. In terms of the Polish-Lithunaian state, he would hold that centralized government was already critically weakened in the late 15th century, and the 16th century saw the creation of a new power structure, based on local self-government, and dominated by the nobility.
Table of Contents
Contents: The balance of Polish sea trade with the West, 1565-1646; Sir Francis Drake’s Prussian prizes. Risks and profits from the Gdan;sk-Iberian commerce about 1589; Development levels in early modern Europe. The evidence of synchronic comparisons of prices and wages; Un voyageur témoin des prix européens Ã la fin du XVIe siècle; Observations on wealth and economic development in Renaissance and baroque travel literature; Money and society in Poland and Lithuania in the 16th and 17th centuries; Confessions, freedoms and the unity of Poland-Lithuania; From aristocratic household to princely court. Restructuring patronage in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; Vicissitudes of feudalism in modern Poland; Executio bonorum and reduktion: two essays in solutions of the domain-state dilema; Poland; Tacitus, Aristotle and the Polish polity in the later Renaissance; The Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania in the late seventeenth century: an essay in interpretation of space; The structure of power in the Commonwealth of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; The conclusive years: the end of the sixteenth century at the turning-point of Polish history; Index.