Lisbon: Trade, urban power and the king’s visible hand

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This chapter focuses on the city of Lisbon in the period between the mid-twelfth century and the end of the fifteenth century, and examines how it became a central node in the framework of European mercantile networks. It presents an overview of Lisbon's economy. The chapter examines the role of the urban council in economic affairs and the strong interference of the Portuguese crown. It explains Lisbon in European trade networks. The chapter presents some of the conflicts merchants faced in Lisbon, and how they solved them. Lisbon's domestic economic network was the size of the kingdom, yet its most powerful influence – in terms of direct interference in market regulation, jurisdiction and taxation – was exerted in the Low River Tagus area. Lisbon's articulation with domestic and international ports required ships. The shipbuilding industry was responsible for another important contribution in Lisbon: a profound change in the city's society and landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Maritime Trade around Europe 1300-1600
Subtitle of host publicationCommercial Networks and Urban Autonomy
EditorsWim Blockmans, Mikhail Krom, Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz
Place of PublicationLondres
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781315278568
ISBN (Print)9781138899506
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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