A classic study of the development and changing fortunes of commerce in seventeenth-century England. Barry Supple explores the causes and consequences of the economic crises in the forty years prior to the Civil War through the lenses of economic thought and policy as well as monetary, industrial and commercial questions. He examines England's place in the international economy and the inter-relationship between internal instability and long-term economic development. He argues that England's relationships with economies of other lands had a crucial role to play in her own internal prosperity. By looking to external factors - political and economic events abroad, currency instabilities, harvest fluctuations - the author explains the more important dislocations in England's economic structure. The book significantly enhances our understanding of the structure and stability of the economy by focusing on, and comparing, periods of economic crisis, and reveals the role of commerce in the daily well-being of an economy highly vulnerable to dislocation.