A number of studies have looked into local annuity markets, mainly focusing on local conditions. This article explores capital networks for urban debt by analyzing the external relations of the Brunswick annuity market in the 15 th and 16 th centuries. Our study is based on an examination
of data on foreign buyers of Brunswick (Braunschweig) annuities from the unpublished 'Weddeschatbücher' that registered sales of redeemable annuities. The analysis takes into account different groups of buyers and reveals spatial patterns corresponding with those of commodity trade and
political cooperation within and beyond the region. A closer look at the chronology of sales indicates that political crises were the main cause of urban debt and foreign investment. In particular, the Reformation led to structural changes to the supply of foreign capital. Although interest
rates provided economic incentives for foreign buyers, political support was the predominant reason for both individuals and other communes to supply capital in times of need.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2019
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Founded in 1903, Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte is the oldest German periodical of social and economic history. The international, peer-reviewed journal features original articles in German, English, French and Italian.
Today, VSWG is edited by Günther Schulz, Jörg Baten, Markus A. Denzel, Gerhard Fouquet and Hans Pohl and deals with all aspects of social history, social developments from the Middle Ages to today, as well as history of finance and economic history.
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