Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access Subject: History

Executive editor of the English version: Andrew Colin Gow

The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History is the English edition of the German-language Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. This 15-volume reference work, published in print between 2005 and 2012 and here available online, offers a multi-faceted view on the decisive era in European history stretching from ca. 1450 to ca. 1850 ce. in over 4,000 entries.
The perspective of this work is European. This is not to say that the rest of the World is ignored – on the contrary, the interaction between European and other cultures receives extensive attention.

New articles will be added on a regular basis during the period of translation, for the complete German version see Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit Online.

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(3 words)

See Church
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,272 words)

Author(s): Lehmann-Brauns, Sicco | Kanz, Roland
1. Philosophy 1.1. Concept and overviewThe term eclecticism (from Gk. eklégein, “select”) goes back to Diogenes Laertius's (3rd century CE) description of the ancient philosopher Potamon of Alexandria, …
Date: 2019-10-14


(4 words)

See Pastoral poetry
Date: 2019-10-14

École Polytechnique

(1,000 words)

Author(s): Dhombres, Jean
1. Foundation and conceptual orientation Unlike the practical schools of engineering of the  Ancien Régime, the institution founded in Paris during the French Revolution as the École centrale des travaux publics in 1794, and renamed École Polytechnique (its name to this day) the following year, taught mathematical and scientific theory as the basis for engineering and technical professions. Their theorization of professional training was a model that led the way across Europe. During the 19th century, professors and graduates of the École Polytechnique also had a…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3 words)

See Environment
Date: 2019-10-14

Economic cycle (circulation process)

(1,158 words)

Author(s): Köster, Roman
1. Concept Modern economic theory uses the term economic cycle first in reference to a particular relationship between consumers and producers or households and businesses, which is characterized by contrary flows of goods and finance. While businesses supply households with goods and services and pay them wages as employers, the consumers supply producers with the production factor of labor and spend their income on the goods and services provided by the producers. This mode…
Date: 2019-10-14

Economic cycle (fluctuation)

(1,479 words)

Author(s): Pfister, Ulrich
1. ConceptThe term economic cycle here relates to deviations from the long-term track of the growth (Economic growth) of a national economy. Fluctuations in economic activity, measured by the gross economic product of goods, may be seasonal in nature or extend for a period of years. Long-term variations are the so-called Kuznets-cycles, lasting approximately 25 years, observed in particular in connection with migration (Occupational migration; Emigration; Mobility) and development investments in …
Date: 2019-10-14

Economic ethics

(5,069 words)

Author(s): Köster, Roman | Mittag, Achim
1. Europe 1.1. TermThe term economic ethics refers, first, to the attitudes that underlie actions in the individual economy; secondly it describes normative notions of right and just economic activity. The setting of social standards in economic activity does not necessarily coincide with actual practices; divergences give cause for economic-ethical reflection.How a particular economic ethics becomes effective in the economy is evident on the basis of the question of the connection between economic-ethical notions and the relevant economic ord…
Date: 2019-10-14

Economic growth

(3,293 words)

Author(s): Hesse, Jan-Otmar | Pfister, Ulrich
1. Concept and elementsEconomic growth is the increase of available goods and services in a national economy (Economy, political). It is often indicated as the annual rate of growth of the economy on a per capita basis. The raising of economic performance can arise by means of three processes: (1) growth achieved by a strengthening of investment of the production factors work, capital and land is called extensive economic growth; in this case, a permanent increase in economic performance per capita…
Date: 2019-10-14

Economic liberalism

(1,207 words)

Author(s): Goldschmidt, Nils
1. PrinciplesEconomic liberalism is based on the ideas of political liberalism, but in the 19th century it developed into a movement in its own right. Economic liberalism can be taken to mean the aspiring bourgeoisie's practice of imposing economic and entrepreneurial interest by political means (cf. Middle class). Its main features were: the freeing of the economy from state guidelines, that is, in particular a low tax burden, free trade and freedom of contract in the context of liberal labor an…
Date: 2019-10-14

Economic order

(2,050 words)

Author(s): Goldschmidt, Nils
1. TerminologyAn economic order can be understood as the totality of all formal and informal rules that apply to the organizational structure and operation of a national economy and the associated economic processes, along with all the institutions responsible for the design, governance, and administration of the political economy (Economy, political) [12]. The economic order can be thought of as the economic form, realized historically or currently, in which particular economic processes actually take place; it can also be interpreted …
Date: 2019-10-14

Economic policy

(2,444 words)

Author(s): Goldschmidt, Nils
1. GeneralThe object of economic policy is the systematic action of political and especially state agents with the purpose of influencing economic processes. An existing state of the economic situation (Economy, political) considered unsatisfactory is to be brought closer to a target state by means of economic policy …
Date: 2019-10-14

Economics, classical

(5 words)

See Classical economics
Date: 2019-10-14


(6,834 words)

Author(s): Plumpe, Werner | Köster, Roman
1. Introduction 1.1. GeneralBetween the 15th and 19th centuries, the economy – understood as an umbrella term for the material replication of human life and the specific nature of the associated material exchange relationships – underwent a dramatic process of change. This change cannot be reduced to obvious phenomena like the increase in manufactured goods and services and the associated rise in the general level of prosperity, the proliferation of technological knowledge, and the expansion of tra…
Date: 2019-10-14

Economy, political

(6,222 words)

Author(s): Plumpe, Werner | Köster, Roman
1. Definition 1.1. MeaningThe term  political economy has three overlapping meanings:1) As used in Old Europe, the term originally meant the internal economic and social constitution of a systematic order structured and guaranteed by authority;  as yet no distinction was made or even possible between the particular analytic and normative meanings (Oeconomica of Old Europe).2) Subsequently (and in part contrary to this older meaning [45]) the term came to denote the theory of economic relationships and their configuration (actual or potential) at the hand…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,663 words)

Author(s): Langthaler, Ernst
1. Bridge between nature and societyBesides institutions of political and economic control, social and cultural anthropologists speak of ecotypes in the sense of  “system(s) of energy transfers from the environment to man” as major forces driving the development of rural society. The term  ecotype originated in biology [14] and was later applied to human populations; it denotes a dual adaptation: of society (Society [community]) to the natural environment – for example by choosing native crop plants and livestock – , and of nature to the …
Date: 2019-10-14


(4 words)

See Picture description
Date: 2019-10-14


(6 words)

See Disputation | Unions, ecclesiastical
Date: 2019-10-14


(3 words)

See Legislation
Date: 2019-10-14

Edict of Nantes

(1,408 words)

Author(s): Birnstiel, Eckhart
1. Legal basisThe Edict of Nantes was issued in April 1598 by King Henri IV of France. It was the last in a series of pacification edicts from the time of the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598;  Religion, wars of), intended to bring about peaceful coexistence among the religious parties. Particularly noteworthy among these legal texts were [3]: the Edict of Saint-Germain, also called the Edict of January or the Edict of Toleration (Regent Catherine de Medici in the name of Charles IX, January 1562), which guaranteed the Protestants freedom of consc…
Date: 2019-10-14
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