Leonard Lief Library
Underground Wealth of Nations: On the Capitalist Origins of Silver Mining
by Jeannette Graulau
Capitalist mining corporations - the earliest capitalist industries of feudal Europe - appeared in the Alps, Carpathians, Tuscany, Sardinia, and the Balkans from the 12th century onward. These private shareholding societies employed notaries, accountants, chief engineers, mine geometry specialists, cashiers, and ore carriers.
Investors were the CEOs of mining corporations and Europe’s earliest capitalists. They paid the costs of continuous operation, and enjoyed the economic gains of mining - at the expense of poor free miners, serfs, women, and idle feudal lords.
The Underground Wealth of Nations: On the Capitalist Origins of Silver Mining, A.D. 1150-1450 by Jeannette Graulau, Professor of Political Science at Lehman College, will be published soon by Yale University Press.