Lecture Jessica Dijkman Relief and resilienceUrban grain purchases and urban bread distribution in Amsterdam, 16th-18th centuries

7 nov 2017
Van 15:00 - 16:30uur
IISH, Cruquiusweg 31, 1019 At Amsterdam

The Dutch Republic’s ”early escape from famine” in the late sixteenth century has often been explained from Amsterdam’s position as the center of the international grain trade, which ensured a steady supply of cheap Baltic rye. However, grain price analysis shows that severe price shocks continued to occur in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Regular poor relief institutions, facing budgetary constraints, had only limited possibilities to meet the need for emergency relief. The urban authorities in Amsterdam stepped in by establishing urban grain stocks, which were used to distributed bread at sub-market prices. This paper traces the evolution of this practice between c. 1550 and 1750. It is based on an analysis of urban accounts, which mention expenses for the purchase of grain, its storage and the subsidies granted to bakers. The paper examines possible explanations for shifts in stock and subsidization policies over time and tentatively discusses the contribution of this type of emergency relief to the coping capacity of the urban population.

Jessica Dijkman is an assistant professor in economic history. Her research focuses on the medieval and early modern era. Currently she studies the way societies in late medieval and early modern Europe coped with food crises and famines. In earlier research projects she investigated commodity market institutions in medieval Holland and compared the organization of labour, particularly craftsmanship, in the Middle Ages in Europe and the Islamic world.

IISH Seminar
This lecture is part of the monthly IISH Seminar series. In principle, seminars take place every first Tuesday of the month. The seminar is open to the public, but with regard to accommodation and distribution of the paper in advance, we would like you to register with Jacqueline Rutte, jacqueline.rutte@bb.huc.knaw.nl.  You will receive the paper after registration. After the lecture we serve drinks. We are looking forward to meeting you.

Date: November 7th– 2017
Time: 15.00-16.30 hrs followed by drinks
Place: IISH, Cruquiusweg 31, 1019 At Amsterdam (Posthumus Room) https://socialhistory.org/en/address

Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Wordt lid van het KNHG.
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