17th Century Dutch Capitalism

From Giovanni Arrighi, The Long Twentieth Century, 141, 2010, Verso:

The rule was always the same: buy goods directly from the producer for a low s, in return for cash or, better still, advance payments; then put them in store and wait for prices to rise (or give them a push). When war was in the air, which always meant that foreign goods became scarce and went up in price, the Amsterdam merchants crammed their five- or six-storey warehouses to
bursting-point; on the eve of the war of Spanish Succession, ships could not unload their cargoes for lack of storage space. (Braudel 1982: 419)  

The visible weapons of this policy were:

the great warehouses – bigger and more expensive than a large ship – which could hold enough grain to feed the United Provinces for ten or twelve years
(1670), as well as herrings and spices, English cloth and French wines, salpetre
from Poland or the East Indies, Swedish copper, tobacco from Maryland, cocoa from Venezuela, Russian furs and Spanish wool, hemp from AeBakic and silk from the Levant. (Braudel 1982: 418-19; see also Barbour 1950: 75)  


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