Amélia Polónia 

Abstract

The TECT challenge was a major opportunity for historians to merge in a multidisciplinary approach further knowledge on trade networks in the Early Modern Period (1500-1800), as well as to include the study of cooperation in historians’ agenda. The presentation will try to summarize the way the Portuguese research programme pursued the theoretical framework of TECT and DynCoopNet and how this innovative approach was able to generate new perspectives on the topic of cooperation.

Following the strategy and work plan of DynCoopNet’, centred on the study of cooperative networks and mechanisms during the First Global Age, the Portuguese team focused its research on the Simon Ruiz network, the epicenter of a merchant and financial network of the 16th century, settled in Medina del Campo (Castile). Based on a documental corpus of about 21,000 bills of exchange and 15,000 commercial letters, the team tried to discuss, through an interdisciplinary approach, some central questions: how cooperation was fostered; which mechanisms were used to sustain or to disrupt cooperation; which variables interfered in the historical dynamics of cooperation; how did the mechanisms and the levels of cooperation evolve over time? ( Cf. http://dyncoopnet-pt.org/).

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