An interview with Ludo da Portovenere in 1640.

Historical background to Ludo da Portovenere’s business matters:

In this first third of the seventeenth century (now coming into 1640), Europe and Great Britain are experiencing significant changes in international politics and domestic life in general. Spain and the Holy Roman Empire are still fighting to keep the Netherlands; the Portuguese are conspiring to regain their monarchy; the French at at war with Spain and conspiring with the Vatican on all manner of issues; in England there will be a civil war that could change people’s lives forever if the king does not act to avert it. The bourgeoisie in northern Europe, however, flourish; in Holland they are already calling it ‘the golden age’. But we are surrounded by the plague and the winters continue colder and longer than they should. Continue reading “An interview with Ludo da Portovenere in 1640.”

Plague and Tulips: gambling in a time of pestilence.

The first recorded economic bubble, ‘tulipomania’, occurred in the Dutch United Provinces between 1635 and 1637. The 1630s were a period of intense political and religious intrigue, when Pope Urban VIII appeared to be supporting Spain’s attempt to reclaim her lost territories in the Netherlands, but was actually conspiring to limit the size and power of the Habsburg Empire, Continue reading “Plague and Tulips: gambling in a time of pestilence.”