Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access Subject: History

Executive editor of the English version: Graeme Dunphy

The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History is the English edition of the German-language Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. This 15-volume reference work, published in print between 2005 and 2012 and here available online, offers a multi-faceted view on the decisive era in European history stretching from ca. 1450 to ca. 1850 ce. in over 4,000 entries.
The perspective of this work is European. This is not to say that the rest of the World is ignored – on the contrary, the interaction between European and other cultures receives extensive attention.

New articles will be added on a regular basis during the period of translation, for the complete German version see Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit Online.

Subscriptions: Brill.com


(4 words)

See Bänkelsang
Date: 2019-03-20


(2,320 words)

Author(s): Waczkat, Andreas
1. Term and genre in the early 17th century The concept of the cantata (Italian cantata or cantada, from Latin/Italian cantare, ‘to sing’), unlike that of the madrigal, for instance, is poetologically vague and permits no valid generic criteria to be proposed. In the early 17th century, the term cantata appeared in imitation of the word sonata, and at first it referred to Italian vocal compositions (Vocal music), the common musical features of which extend no further than their setting texts for between one and three solo voices with a figured bass accompaniment.The first attestation …
Date: 2019-03-20

Canton system

(746 words)

Author(s): Winter, Martin
The term canton system denotes the recruitment system of the Prussian army, which from the 1730s to 1806 assigned to each regiment an exclusive domestic recruiting district (canton). After the recruitment of foreign mercenaries was stopped, the canton system was the sole recruitment system in Prussia from 1806 to 1813, when it was replaced by universal conscription. It lived on to some extent in administrative usage until the late 19th century. The canton system developed like comparable recruitmen…
Date: 2019-03-20


(1,516 words)

Author(s): Loeser, Martin
1. Definition and development Cantorate in the early modern period primarily denoted the office of cantor as it gradually emerged as a structure within a municipal community during the Reformation in Lutheran regions of Germany, and to some extent in the Baltic, Scandinavia, and Slovakia. There was no equivalent Catholic office. The key responsibilities of the cantor were to provide musical and scholarly instruction at the local Latin school, for which his own academic studies were an important prec…
Date: 2019-03-20

Cant, thieves’

(4 words)

See Argot
Date: 2019-03-20

Cantus firmus

(790 words)

Author(s): Lindmayr-Brandl, Andrea
1. Contexts of meaning Three contexts of meaning are associated with the term cantus firmus (Latin, also:  cantus prius factus; Italian canto fermo, “fixed/enduring/unadorned song”). By the Middle Ages, in monodic sacredmusic, it had already come to denote a melody that advanced in tones of equal duration. As polyphony developed, cantus firmus also came to refer to a pre-existing melody that formed the basis for a composition. The term also occurs in a blend of both senses in music theory. There, since the 16th centu…
Date: 2019-03-20


(3 words)

See Linen
Date: 2019-03-20

Capacity, legal

(4 words)

See Person
Date: 2019-03-20

Cape Colony

(2,496 words)

Author(s): Marx, Christoph
1. Definition The colony at the Cape of Good Hope existed from 1652 until 1910. It was a Dutch colony until 1795/1806, thereafter British (Colonial empire). During the 17th and 18th centuries, it expanded from Tafelbaai/Table Bay and Kaapstad/Cape Town northwards (to the Oranjerivier/Orange River) and east (to the Groot-Visrivier/Great Fish River), before growing further in both directions through annexations in the 19th century. In 1910, renamed Cape Province, it became the largest province of the new Union (Republic from 1961) of South Africa.Christoph Marx 2. History…
Date: 2019-03-20

Capital, accumulation of

(1,372 words)

Author(s): Köster, Roman
1. Concept When they speak of capital accumulation, economists mean the increase of an economy’s capital stock through new investments [10. 9], for example investment in means of production (i.e. machinery, tools, or buildings) and inventory build-up. These can be financed either through savings, i.e. earlier reduction in consumption, or through credit. Historians have primarily discussed the role of capital accumulation in industrialization (see 3. below). Here two perspectives have played a central role: (1) th…
Date: 2019-03-20

Capital city

(1,030 words)

Author(s): Eibach, Joachim
1. Functions and origins The capital, which in the modern constitutional state is the seat of the head of state, the government, and parliament, was in the pre-constitutional era of the early modern period generally the place of the prince’s permanent residence, and always the venue of central government functions. Besides this political function, a “true capital” is also the urban hub of the country (Metropolis) and an economic center, and it exerts a considerable power of cultural integration [1. 2 f.]. Where these political and economic or cultural aspects diverge, “secr…
Date: 2019-03-20


(2,846 words)

Author(s): Plumpe, Werner
1. History of the term The term  capitalism is comparatively recent [6]; [11]. Unlike  capital and capitalist, which are found in the language of commerce and business as early as the late Middle Ages, capitalism first appeared in French in the mid-19th century – already with critical overtones. From the 1870s on, it became popular in Germany as a negative characterization of the social situation brought on by the Panic of 1873 and the subsequent Great Depression, drawing conceptually on the works of Karl Marx ( Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei, 1848; Das Kapital, 1867-1895) [3…
Date: 2019-03-20

Capitalism, sprouts of

(7 words)

See Economic ethic
Date: 2019-03-20

Capital market

(942 words)

Author(s): North, Michael
1. Definition Generally speaking, the capital market is understood as a market for long-term asset-backed securities (capital), while the money is a market for short-term funds. Historically, however, the two have only rarely been sharply distinguished; therefore the expression “financial market” was coined as a common umbrella term. While the demand of trade for short-term credit (maturity in three months or less) was met on the money market by means of bills of exchange (Bill of exchange) or end…
Date: 2019-03-20

Capital mobility

(1,134 words)

Author(s): North, Michael
1. Definition The term  capital mobility denotes movements of monetary capital (portfolio investments, credit; see 2.-3. below) and production capital (direct investments; see 4 below). Prior to the second half of the 19th century, there were no national economies with central monetary control (Bank of issue); therefore in our period the term does not refer to capital exports and imports of entire national economies but to capital transfers between geographically separated business locations, especially between different financial and trade centers. Michael North 2. Trade In…
Date: 2019-03-20

Capital (monetary)

(13 words)

See Capital market | Capital mobility | Capital, accumulation of
Date: 2019-03-20


(762 words)

Author(s): Hohrath, Daniel
1. Definition In the early modern period, the term  capitulation generally referred to a treaty or  of mutual obligation, in which one party undertook certain obligations or made concessions to the other party. On the level of constitutional law, an example is electoral capitulation, in which, for example, the individual to be elected Roman emperor recognized the special rights of the electors (Elector) and the other Reichsstände (Reichstag; Estates, assembly of). A capitulation could also regulate the l…
Date: 2019-03-20


(4 words)

See Visionary architecture
Date: 2019-03-20

Captivity in war

(8 words)

See War, captivity in
Date: 2019-03-20

Caravan trade

(1,468 words)

Author(s): Häberlein, Mark
1. Introduction Before the innovations in navigation technology in the 14th and 15th centuries and the subsequent voyages of discovery, long-distance trade between global regions mostly took the land route. The arid regions of the Asian interior, the Orient, and the Sahara presented considerable obstacles here, and traders had to deal with extreme fluctuations of temperature, scarcity of food and water, and a terrain that generally offered few navigational landmarks. From Antiquity until the 20th…
Date: 2019-03-20
▲   Back to top   ▲