Recent historiography argues that the legal autonomy of municipal governments created the necessary conditions for successful commercial transactions and economic growth in certain parts of Europe in the later Middle Ages, and that these features attracted foreign merchants. This article uses empirical data from England, Flanders and Normandy to test the following questions: Were there significant differences in rules, laws and institutions between one place and another in late medieval western Europe? Were the Portuguese merchants drawn to markets that hypothetically had more effective institutions? The findings demonstrate that legal institutions and conflict management were very similar across western Europe, and that there is no evidence that the Portuguese opted for trading in a certain market because of its effective institutions. Moreover, the article claims that the merchants seemed to prioritise protection and privilege while trading abroad, and it highlights the role of commercial diplomacy in conflict management.
- comércio medieval
- gestão de conflitos