Trust, Norms of Cooperation and the Rural Credit Market in Early Modern France

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper looks at trust as an object of historical analysis in micro-credit exchanges at the village level before the advent of capitalism. Based on the examination of loans recorded by the notary over the course of the eighteenth century, this paper seeks to shed light not only on the mechanisms of norms of cooperation and trust but also, and more importantly, on the paradigm of trust over time. In early modern France, the traditional local credit market was based on strong norms of cooperation and reciprocity, in which trust was taken for granted. When this market experienced several important changes and transitions over the course of the eighteenth century, the fragile social equilibrium was disturbed and the old pattern of trust was challenged. As a result, trust migrated in several new directions.


  • Elise Dermineur
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History


  • trust, credit market, credit, cooperation, pre capitalism, peasants, rural history, eighteenth century, France, debt
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-506
JournalJournal of Interdisciplinary History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch