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Regional Identity and Economic ChangeThe Upper Rhine 1450-1600$
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Tom Scott

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206446.001.0001

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The Faltering of a Regional Economy

The Faltering of a Regional Economy

Chapter:
(p.287) 10 The Faltering of a Regional Economy
Source:
Regional Identity and Economic Change
Author(s):

Tom Scott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206446.003.0011

Strasbourg, the regional metropolis of the Upper Rhine, was severely shaken by the collapse in 1559 of the French financial consortium, the Grand Parti, in which its merchants had invested heavily. In its wake many of Strasbourg's merchant families tumbled into bankruptcy in a domino effect over the next two decades, at a time when the city's wine trade was also being exposed to the winds of competition. In the case of Switzerland, the downturn can be measured by the decrease in toll receipts from the 1560s in places such as Schaffhausen, Lucerne, or Olten, with textile manufacturing languishing at the same time in major centres such as Zürich and St. Gallen. To the economic recession of the later sixteenth century were soon to be added the calamities of the Thirty Years War. This chapter investigates whether the decline in the economic vitality of the Upper Rhine during the sixteenth century can be attributed to a waning sense of regional economic solidarity.

Keywords:   Upper Rhine, Switzerland, Strasbourg, merchants, economic recession, textile manufacturing, sixteenth century, economic solidarity, toll receipts

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