Early Modern Technology and European Integration

  • Popplow, Marcus Wolf, (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


The project is structured according to three main research questions:
1. To which extent and in which branches did technical knowledge and technical devices circulate in Europe in the early modern period, which were the motivations of the respective actors and which strategies – like secrecy, espionage, and voluntary knowledge exchange – were employed to block or to foster such processes?
2. Which knowledge systems were involved in processes of technology transfer, which media and institutions were employed in the early modern period to foster it, and to which extent did „cultures of innovation”, established to systematize such traditionally „spontaneous” processes, take on a homogeneous structure in different European territories?
3. How were transfer processes on these factual, medial and institutional levels shaped by political, cultural, and military competition among European territories?

The project 'Early Modern Technology and European Integration' aims to shed new light on how territorial competition, in the early modern period (c. 1500-1800), contributed to shaping a coherent and self-sustaining path of technological development in Europe's economically most successful territories. Special emphasis is devoted to the establishment of 'cultures of innovation' to promote technological change, e.g. the emergence of the patent system, scientific academies and economic societies, and intensive communication networks. The envisioned outcome of the project is a study that argues for the importance of territorial competition in shaping a coherent development path of European technology in the early modern period and thus integrates research results of economic history and the history of technology and science into the mainstream of historical research.
Effective start/end date1/12/1014/09/12

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2002

  • 6513 Modern history