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The Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft in a century German economy, 1856 - 1965.

Resource Type
  • Lüke, Rolf E.
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    Background of the survey: The middle of the 19th century is the time of the emerging economies and of the beginning of the world trade. The financial power of individual bankers was not able anymore to sustain the international economy. Therefore individual bankers formed banks as cooperation. In those times also the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft was founded as a partnership limited by shares. In its 100 years of existence the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft survived times of economic crisis and the Second World War. The situation after the Second World War meant new challenges for the unit branch bank. The history of the Berliner bank is uncommon, because it survived the turbulences of history and still exists with its old name and old legal form. The banking system of a country is the result of a historical development process in which politics, economy and banks participate. While the English banking system developed in the context of the goldsmiths in London that issued receipts for the storage of precious metals, on the European continent mainly individual bankers had influence in the time of absolute principalities. Through the liberal revolution in 1948/49 the close relationship between the state and individual bankers was leaven. Simultaneously with those political changes the industrial revolution started in Europe. Finance institutions for the needs of the new industry were necessary and could only now, after the liberation of state paternalism, develop. The individual company must be understood in the context of the times and its environment. Therefor the history of the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft also needs to be understood in the context of the respective times. In the year of the foundation of the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft, 1856, Germany was in an upheaval of enormous extent, shaped by the attempt of a national unity emerged from the Napoleonic Wars. Simultaneously, the European continent was influenced by the political and economic liberalism coming from England. Due to the economic liberalization of England mobile capital was available there, initially provided by the overseas trade and the large estates available. On the European continent there was no comparable banking or credit system. The individual banks reliant on their equity capital could at most rely on the largest of them. But when the most important individual banks of the continent suffered heavy losses, the development of a new type of bank was necessary. But in the beginning the Prussian state was hostile towards the idea of capital companies, so that the actual impulse came from France. Pereires together with Fould created three bank types in 1851, which had a major impact for the future of the European continent: the business bank, the mortgage bank and mutual banks. The economic boom of the 50s showed very soon that for the resulting financing tasks especially the type of commercial bank could come into question because this type alone was in a position to raise the necessary capital. Because of those circumstances and because of the foresight of the individual bankers of those times, the idea to found a joint Bank together with different individual bankers, that could still act independently, emerged. In this context the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft was founded with the explicit task to realize the ventures that emerged from the German industrialization. Time and place of the survey: The investigation period and the object of study relate to the development history of the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft between 1856 and 1956. Specification of the research question: The development of the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft and therein mutually reflecting back the history of the German economy and industrialization from 1856 to 1955 will be shown on the basis of annual reports from that time. Data tables in HISTAT: 1. Annual reports of the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft 1856 – 1955.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1856 / 1956
Geographic Coverage
  • German Democratic Republic (1949-1990) (DDDE)
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 5
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8594 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Lüke, Rolf E., 1956: Die Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft in einem Jahrhundert deutscher Wirtschaft, 1856-1956, Brüder Hartmann, Berlin.

Update Metadata: 2017-12-29 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2014-11-21

Lüke, Rolf E. (2014): Die Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft in einem Jahrhundert Deutscher Wirtschaft, 1856 - 1965.. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.