This book challenges the notion that economic crises are
modern phenomena through its exploration of the tumultuous `credit-crunch' of
the later Middle Ages. It illustrates clearly how influences such as the Black
Death, inter-European warfare, climate change and a bullion famine occasioned
severe and prolonged economic decline across fifteenth century England. Early
chapters discuss trends in lending and borrowing, and the use of credit to fund
domestic trade through detailed analysis of the Statute Staple and rich primary
sources. The author then adopts a broad-based geographic lens to examine
provincial credit before focusing on London's development as the commercial powerhouse
in late medieval business.
Academics and students of modern economic change and historic
financial revolutions alike will see that the years from 1353 to
1532 encompassed immense upheaval and change, reminiscent of modern recessions.
The author carefully guides the reader to see that these shifts are the
precursors of economic change in the early modern period, laying the
foundations for the financial world as we know it today.