Trade and treaties: balancing the interstate system

Alimento, Antonella, and Stapelbroek, Koen (2017) Trade and treaties: balancing the interstate system. In: Alimento, Antonella, and Stapelbroek, Koen, (eds.) The Politics of Commercial Treaties in the Eighteenth Century: balance of power, balance of trade. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 1-75.

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This chapter sets up the main narrative of the book as a history of the relation between the practice of the conclusion of commercial treaties and theoretical reflection on the political-economic ordering potential of commercial treaties in the light of the problem of ‘jealousy of trade’. The argument explains the main tensions, distinctions and conceptual oppositions involved in the dynamic of the rise, fall and re-rise of commercial treaties as the chosen instruments by politicians and writers for preserving a general European peace along with a system of trade development adhered to by all European states. The ‘arch’ thus set up connects the ideas of a great number of political writers from the time of the Peace of Westphalia to the Napoleonic Wars. The chapter identifies the constant conceptual reference points and shifting outlooks onto how commercial treaties might regulate European trade competition. The gradual replacement of ‘privilege’ with the principle of ‘equality’ explains the succession of three stages in the life-cycle of commercial treaties as instruments shaping the balance of power through the balance of trade. All of the commercial treaties that were concluded in the long eighteenth century were both connected to the main political events, conflicts and schemes of the time and to the political writings of a range of authors from Saint-Pierre and Bolingbroke to Adam Smith and beyond. Seen in this light, the subject of commercial treaties provides an opportunity for the creation of new paradigm for thinking about the political economy of the international order in the eighteenth century.

Item ID: 69910
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-319-53573-9
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2017
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2021 04:13
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430308 European history (excl. British, classical Greek and Roman) @ 50%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430310 Global and world history @ 50%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130704 Understanding Europe’s past @ 100%
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