Capitalism & Early Banking

What's the connection between early banking institutions (the Knights Templar, the Peruzzi dynasty, the Medici dynasty, etc) and the emergence of capitalism? Is there such a thing as a non-capitalist bank?

Interesting question OP, bumping for interest.

I always thought they didn't have much influence, since they mostly funded nations to do to war: no mercantile capitalistic ventures. The initial drivers of capitalism; the guilds, didn't need capital to drive their production so didn't need the banks. The capital part of capitalism really started with the Dutch and later the English as they invested money in agricultural ventures: in the Dutch it was experimentation with farming techniques and in England (and then scotland) it was mstly sheep and land enclosure.

Don't forget the early Venice experiments. The concept of limited liability was born there for example, as well as debt markets.
Ironically Venice died down because the elite merchant families strangled competition to the point the city lost her commercial power (and not because of America, like the memes tell you).

They were attempts of capitalism to get off the ground but were eventually crushed by outside forces, the same way the 20th revolutions were an attempt of socialism to get off the ground but was crushed by outside forces. The thing, a lord couldn't give less of a fuck if he was indebted to a banking house, what are they going to do him anyway?

Today, capital actually posseses control over military forces, and and crush entire countries just by so much as writing up a bunch of sanctions. In feudalism, the military was entirely based on feudal relations and was standing outside of capital. A peasent would be granted to right to use a lot of land to sustain himself and his extended family, in exchange for following his liege into war. This is in fact a levée en masse which didn't exist for long time after the middle ages, up until the bourgeois revolutions. War was privatized after the demise of a heavy cavalry charge as the most sufficient military tactic, and mercenary armies needed pay, this is where the influence of capital starts to truly overcome feudal relations. But it has to be noticed that the early-modern banks were of a quite different sort than the medieval banks, as they were state-owned monopoly capital under mercantilism.

I've always thought the crushing of emerging capital by feudalism was well illustrated with the Templar Knights, as they weren't powerless at all, and actually did combine financial, military and political power. Such a thing could not be tolerated.

So the question whether of not there is such a thing as a non-capitalist bank should be worded differently, because an institution is always characterized by the mode of production it exists in. So yes, medieval banks were somewhat non-capitalist banks as feudalism was the dominant mode of production. Similarly, commodities in the USSR were non-capitalist commodities since socialism was the dominant mode of production.

Ah yes, Venice. I always thought Venice was somewhat more powerful because it was a thalassocracy, so they actually use their ships as a means of pressure to materialize their financial claims. Best example for that is the Forth Crusade.

Kabbalistic secret societies capitalism today a veichle for spreading satanic subliminal vision tohrough remote mind control whose time based delaying factor was born exactly when this bankers came into contact with another civilization someone sais its from outer space ecc but it was from mu continent which we know as america ever wondred why dinosaurs extincted precisesly 65 million years ago that didnt happen as another fact the famous metero on central america to cover everything up to make it that america got rediscovered only times later menwhile they planted sleeper agents in europe as bankers jurists scientist so to make not known the orgonic power of pyramids and control us with long distance telecommanded theta waves that is why bankers scientist jurists used to make statues they are inside receptors of theta waves wich than are spread into populaton usually mind control and you can see not humans again, personal level conspiration as the centre also as try going into cold NATURAL ORGONIC water at night i now by this am abel to see and hear them by breaking the link they use as they you

Is this OC? If it is, gj.

All the major banking institutions came to prominance as a result of capitalism’s birth, itself the result of the gradual decline of the feudal power of the nobility during the middle ages.

But that's not true, the existence of major banking institutions predates the triumph of the capitalist mode of production.

go read some Wallerstein m8

I'm actually reading Race, Nation and Class (which he co-authored with Balibar) right now.

Nah man banks did coexist with nobles in

Is it good?

I wasn’t saying that banks and banking did not exist, just that the decline of feudalism enabled them to become the seats of power and economic influence they are today.

p much my dude

specific sources pls i need to know more

"Capitalist" means nothing more than having a lot of money, so no.

Wow, what astute analysis.

Any good examples of feudal kingdoms crushing early capitalist city-states?

Basically all the Italian campaigns of Frederick Barbarossa against the Lombard League.

Medieval cities were barely proto-caprialist though, their production was based arround a guild system which was more proto-syndicalist than proto-capitalist. The only way one could talk about them being capitalist is the use of money and trade associations. Let's look at the Hanseatic League for example. Was the value form fully fledged out yet? Today, we can attribute an exchange value to any commodity almost globally, which is completely abstract. However, being a trader in the Hansa didn't mean buying commodities from producers and selling it to consumers, but rather buying products from your own companies (which were obliged to give a quota to the city) or the city and selling it to another city where the prices were higher. The most successful traders were those who knew where prices were low and where they were high. Basically you buy a bunch of salt in Riga and then sell it with a profit margin to Lübeck, but was that purely exchange value? It wasn't, as demand was mostly based on use, cities would not stockpile commodities they wouldn't need, and didn't have their own contractors that would try to establish a city-owned trade. So the value form did exist, but it wasn't reduced to exchange value yet, it was a non-capitalist form of commodity production.

In the German part of the Holy Roman Empire that relationship between the Free Imperial Cities and the emperor was positive. Free Imperial Cities were enclaves within principalities but were only dutiful towards the emperor. This caused conflicts with the local princes, especially once they started to legally territorize their realm, with the beginning of the 14th century. In feudalism, you don't rule over land but rather over people and the right of usufruct to cultivate it. Feudalism is not about legal relations in rem (relations to things) like in capitalism, but rather relations to entitlement rights itself, the feudal pyramid is technically just a cession of rights down from the king. With the crisis of the 14th century, this crumbled for a whole bunch of reasons, and dukes and princes started to think territorially, which gave rise to conflicts with the Free Cities (but also the lower class of nobles, like manors of barons). An example would that would be the War of the Cities in 1387, where the Duke of Bavaria crushed a league of Swabian cities that tried to organize themselves.

You prefer an engrossing lie over a simple truth. Did I nail it?

As far as I know, this guy is right. Proto-capitalism started from mercantilism, partly from the trading guilds, but mostly, I would say, from plundering colonies. The latter allowed the European countries to reach much farther and new markets and goods and, most importantly, plunder and rape them without a shred of mercy. In other words, colonialism had an even higher profit margin than guild mercantilism, and was the starter for the capitalist engine.

On second thought, colonialism was a later development, being preceded by more normal trade instead of settling new lands.

So in essence, every city was an island of capitalism, and none of them ever got out from under the wings of the rural feudal aristocracy because of the material considerations involved in raising medieval armies, until such times as technology etc. started to favour more capital intensive professional and mercenary armies over lifelong trained knights and feudal levies, driving the aristocracy into alliances with banking houses and merchants to fund their suppression of competing aristocrats?

The Templars specialized in long-distance currency transactions (one writer called them "The Western Union of their time) and holding property in trust. They did get around the Christian prohibition on usury by charging administrative fees prior or after lending out funds. They usually didn't lend to anyone directly if they were needed to fund a long-distance trade endeavor they would lend it to a thir party or they would lend to governments and the Church since institutions weren't people and could get around the ban on usury.

I don't know much about the peruzzi but I know that the Lombard dynasty specialized in currency exchange. The Medici lent primarily to governments although they did give loans to wealthy individuals at interest. The Medici and other Christian Italian banking dynasties got around this by making massive contributions to charity, patronizing the arts and so on. It was said at the time "Great sinners, great Cathedrals" there needs to be more study of this but Christian philanthropy heavily reflects capitalist modes of investment and reproduction.

The most revolutionary contribution of medieval finance to the rise of capitalism was the Venetian invention of state bonds. They were devised in order to encourage the elite to pay their taxes and to desire to keep the republic solvent, so to enocourage this the Doge made the Venetian oligarchs contribute a part of their wealth to the state through a forced loan that would be returned at interest. In the absence of constant inflation the fact that these bonds paid interest in pepertuity would create problems for the Venetian government which defaulted in 1500. Increasingly governments began turning to this strategy amid bourgeois revolutions and decaying feudal kingdoms on the other during the 17th and 18th centuries.

It was this Christian innovation of government bonds that the Rothschild family so famously internationalized trade-in and dominated:
t.Heinrich Heine contemporary and friend of Karl Marx