Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Freedom of trade
(997 words)

1. Definition

Today, the concept of freedom of trade is usually mentioned in connection with free enterprise (Industrial policy). In the 18th and 19th centuries, however, freedom of trade had its own distinct meaning: in Europe, it encompassed both the traditional rights of merchants and the liberal and pre-liberal understanding of the freedom of domestic and foreign trade (Trade, external).

2. The absolutist-mercantilist state

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Cite this page
Pahlow, Louis, “Freedom of trade”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_020609>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126



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