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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Champagne Fairs: What were they?

The Champagne Fairs evolved out of the annual cycle of trading fairs held in Champagne and Brie in France during the Middle Ages. The fairs became an important engine in the reviving economic history of Medieval Europe.

Initially, they became the nerve centers for textile, leather, fur, and spice trading. At the height of the trading industry, the fairs linked the cloth producing Low Countries with Italian dying and exporting centers, like Genoa and Venice.

The fairs were well organized and represented the beginnings of commercial capitalism in the High Middle Ages, bringing about banking and investor relations.

At the end of the 12th century, the fairs, which were conveniently located on major trade routes, dominated commercial and banking relations operating at the frontier region between the north and the Mediterranean.


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