Industrial and financial empire of the Fuggers as the first attempted monopolization of mining and metallurgical production of Europe

Gennadiy Gayko, Volodymyr Biletsky, Piotr Saluga


The paper reveals some little-known facts of the first attempted global monopolization of the mining and metallurgical industries of Europeduring the late Middle Ages. It reviews historical and socio-political causes as well as the technical level and technological advance of 16th century mining enterprises, which contributed to such opportunity. The role of a person of figure is shown by the example of Jakob Fugger, who managed to considerably speed up the industrial and financial development of Europe and initiate some of its forms inSpanish America

It is demonstrated how one company was engaged in not only large-scale processing of raw materials but also manufacture of the end product and international trade in those goods, how the technical advance of enterprises was secured and social issues addressed.

Systematic liaison of numerous enterprises and trading (banking) posts, which were sometimes well spaced, contributed to road building and development of safe transport, overcame feudal obstacles (borders of numerous princedoms, which required payment of tollage, traveling permits etc.), framed progressive lines of banking business (specifically financing of large production facilities), thus forming new examples of social and production relations. The development of international relations in mining and metallurgy, as demonstrated by the Fuggers’ company, greatly promoted integration processes and capitalization of economic relations in Europe.


prerequisites of the industrial revolution; collieries; financial institutions; mining and metallurgical industries; water drainage; ‘Fuggerau’


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Copyright (c) 2016 Gennadiy Gayko, Volodymyr Biletsky, Piotr Saluga

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