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Grain prices in Germany 1500-1800

Resource Type
  • Rahlf, Thomas (Universität Halle)
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The goal of this study is to examine the significance of grain prices for economic and social history of the early modern period and its role for the evaluation of socio-economic phenomena. Grain prices in Cologne serve as an example because at least within Germany, it has the most frequently reported data and for a time period of 267 years, weekly data is available. The study is not about the specific economic history of Cologne; based on the Cologne series edited by Ebeling/Irsigler 1976/77 the general significance of grain prices is discussed. Grain prices are also put into a broader framework to acknowledge their meaning. The study contains grain prices from at the earliest 1500 to at the latest 1800 as nominal prices as well as converted in grams of silver. Due to these standards the classification of the territory needs to be limited on the German territory. The previous evaluation of grain price series from Cologne are summarized and critically discussed. The discussion is focused on data source base, how this base was chosen and the relevant institutional features of grain provision in Cologne. The question, in how far grain prices fulfill the required condition to serve as indicators for economic development, can be reconstructed not only looking at studies on development of prices. Especially the importance of grain in alimentation of the early modern period, the consumption of grain and the quantitative restriction of grain demand are essential parts of the analysis. Until long into the 19th century grain prices were influenced by strong political regulations. Therefore it will be analyzed as well which economic policy measures concretely influenced grain prices and in how far these issues are covered in the theoretical economic literature. The transition of the grain market in the middle of the 18th century marks the beginning of the scientific investigation on prices and their history. The analysis of the statistical material and of the underlying sources until the present age can only be undertaken for some basic works, due to the richness of material. Subdivision of the study (list of tables): - Indices of nominal rye prices in Germany (1500 - 1800) - Rye prices in Germany in g silver/ hectoliters (1500 - 1800)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1500 / 1800
    1. Aachen: 1531 - 1800 2. Augsburg: 1500 - 1800 3. Braunschweig: 1500 - 1800 4. Danzig: 1538 - 1800 5. Dueren: 1570 - 1783 6. Frankfurt: 1500 - 1800 7. Hanover: 1590 - 1800 8. Leipzig: 1572 - 1800 9. Lueneburg: 1550 - 1800 10. Munich: 1500 - 1773 11. Muenster: 1532 - 1800 12. Speyer: 1516 - 1800 13. Strasbourg: 1500 - 1792 14. Wuerzburg: 1500 - 1799 15. Xanten: 1500 – 1800
Geographic Coverage
  • Historical German lands (-1871) (DQDE)
    Aachen, Augsburg, Braunschweig, Danzig, Dueren, Frankfurt, Hanover, Leipzig, Lueneburg, Munich, Muenster, Speyer, Strasbourg, Wuerzburg, Xanten
Collection Mode
  • Selected publications: Bills of the Marienstifts (Aachen), Bills of the abbey (Sift) St. Blasius (Braunschweig), Calculation accounts (Frankfurt), Bills of the Heilig-Geist-Hospital (Frankfurt), Data from the St. Johannis-Hospital (Leipzig), Notes from the des Becken regiment (Leipzig), Grain register of the Ratsstube (Leipzig), Bills of the Heilig-Geist Hospital (Munich), Tax prices of the Hochstifts (Münster), Prices pf the St. Georgen Hospital (Speyer), Register of fruit prices (Cologne), Register of bakers (Cologne), Register for prices and sales (Cologne), Board edict (Cologne).
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Object
    Number of Units: 300
    Number of Variables: 16
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8140 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Rahlf, Thomas: Getreide in der Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte vom 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert. Das Beispiel Köln im regionalen Vergleich. In: Kleine Schriften zur Geschichte und Landeskunde, Bd. 3; Trier: Auenthal Verlag 1996.

Update Metadata: 2017-12-29 | Issue Number: 74 | Registration Date: 2010-07-23

Rahlf, Thomas (1999): Getreidepreise in Deutschland 1500-1800. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.