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Capitalists in Spite of Themselves: Elite Conflict and European Transitions in Early Modern Europe

Capitalists in Spite of Themselves: Elite Conflict and European Transitions in Early Modern Europe

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Here, Lachmann offers a new explanation for the origins of nation-states and capitalist markets in early modern Europe. Comparing regions and cities within and across England, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands from the 12th through 18th centuries, he shows how conflict among feudal elites---landlords, clerics, kings, and officeholders---transformed the bases of their control over land and labor, forcing the winners of feudal conflicts to become "capitalists in spite of themselves" as they took defensive actions to protect their privileges from rivals in the aftermath of the Reformation.