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  • Cited by 4
  • Print publication year: 1977
  • Online publication date: March 2008

CHAPTER VI - The Nature of Enterprise

Summary

The characteristics of economic enterprise between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries bear only an oblique resemblance to those of enterprise in the more recent, industrialized environment. This chapter illustrates the diverse nature of enterprise in the early modern period. It first discusses economic aspects of the framework of enterprise, and then emphasizes that economic institutions and market forces naturally dominated the entrepreneurial scene. The role of enterprise was no less important in an economic environment in which rate of change was slow than it was to be in one where change was very rapid. The intimate connection between finance and trade in the early modern period meant that the financial was frequently indistinguishable from the commercial entrepreneur. The chapter focuses on industrial enterprise, corporate enterprise, European aristocracy and European nations. It concludes that entrepreneurial problems and the techniques designed to solve those problems were largely derived from the risks of an underdeveloped economy.
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