By Anthony Molho, Julia Emlen, Kurt Raaflaub
Reviews the advance of city-states within the classical and medieval classes
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Q u o t e d in Zezzos, Milano e il suo commercio, p . 272. See also ' U n a b u o n a istituzione', L'Esercente, 17 September 1886. King a n d Okey maintained that the small traders achieved this domination by making the banks a d o p t limited liability, although why this should have p u t off w o r k m e n is unclear (Italy today, p . 200-2). It is worth recording that only o n e of the recommended candidates was a shopkeeper, a n d even then a high-class haberdasher rather than a genuine esercente.
A squabble between Crispi and the French led the two countries into a trade war which virtually closed off the French market to Lombardy's silk and dairy products between 1888 and 1892 and was not fully resolved until 1898. 6 Growth was checked within the city as private demand failed to counterbalance a decline in government orders. Although the protective tariff was extended to some industries, for example textiles and iron and steel production, this placed other activities in even greater difficulties.
If shopkeepers were expected to make financial sacrifices in order to support the community during times of hardship, then customers would have to respect the traders' need to 'make a turn' on his merchandise, and accept the higher prices that resulted. This was made more difficult by the fact that some shopkeepers still sold their wares by bargaining with the customer, so that the prices for which they sold the same item could vary dramatically. The proprietor had to guess the prices at which his competitors sold and, in the course of the verbal transaction, make it appear as if he were making a concession, whilst, in fact, still retaining his margin.
City-States in Classical Antiquity and Medieval Italy by Anthony Molho, Julia Emlen, Kurt Raaflaub