Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(810 words)

Pawning was the most important form of small-scale credit for all social groups, helping to bridge shortages of cash and food during the annual cycle of agricultural production. The poor needed credit simply to survive, and might pawn a blanket, while the rich offered jewels as collateral for luxury consumption. Credit in exchange for collateral in the early modern period was most commonly offered by Jews, who, as “unbelievers” and social ousiders, were forbidden to join the craft guilds and to own immovable property, and responded partly by investing their capital in…

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North, Michael, “Pawning”, 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 30 January 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_025459>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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