Andrea Barbarigo, Merchant of Venice
Andrea Barbarigo was one of the most notable merchants of Venice. Throughout his life, he was considered a member of the merchant elite. He was born in 1399 ina noble Venetian family. After being blamed for negligence for a ship wrecking, Barbarigo was fined thousands of Ducati that destroyed his family’s entire wealth. After working for years, AndreaBarbarigo used his great business skills and his intelligence to restore his family’s wealth and achieve great success.
The main characteristic of the Republic of Venice in the 15th Century was that itwas absolutely dependent on trade and commerce. Until the beginning of the 16th century, Venice was an oligarchy. Merchants were always at the top of the social economic, and political hierarchy inVenice. Commerce and Trade were so important to Venice that there was a ritual ceremony in Venice called Ascenscion’s Day. During this day, the Head of the State, the Doge, would throw a golden ringinto the Canal Grande to celebrate the marriage between Venice and the Sea. At that time, Venetian traders could have been found all over the world doing business.
As commerce expanded, it becameimpossible for a merchant to travel alone and do his business alone. Merchants no longer traveled any more, and instead, had others do the work for them. In order to do this, the merchant had to hireagents and make contracts with them that included fees by the agency. Andrea Barbarigo relied on many friends and family to do this for him and that gave him an advantage over other merchants.
Becausetrade was so important to Venice, the government had to make sure that trade in Venice remained safe. When traders did business in some countries, the government of Venice gave its merchant fullprotection. However, in other places, when trade wasn’t under direct control, the government took over the management of the entire business transaction.
In the 19th century, the...
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