Law and the History of Economic Institutions of CapitalismThis seminar will focus on the formation and evolution of commercial law and institutions from the height of the medieval Commercial Revolution to the eve of the French Revolution. In the absence of strong states, how could the law support the rise of anonymous long-distance trade, early entrepreneurial activity and the ascent of financial capitalism? Major topics will consider the legal history of negotiable instruments under the lex mercatoria and codification, the institutions that governed the organization and finance of early trade, the venues for contract enforcement, the regulation of pre-banking financial intermediaries, the development of payment systems, and the organization of enterprises.
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