Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,735 words)

1. Definition and social stratification

During the first centuries of the early modern period, the meaning of the term merchant narrowed, from a job title for everyone engaged in mercantile trade to a title for wholesalers and long-distance traders (in contrast to shopkeepers). Frequently used in the hendiadys merchant and tradesman, it denoted both economic engagement in wholesale and long-…

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Schultz, Helga, “Merchant”, 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 27 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_022038>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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