Pre-modern and early modern
Pre-modern and early modern business history has traditionally received relatively little attention compared to the period from 1750 onwards. Most standard business history books begin their analysis with the start of the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century, and consider the rise and spread of methods of organisation such as factories and joint-stock companies (Wilson, 1995; Jones and Zeitlin, 2007). The Industrial Revolution is often promoted as the starting point for the rise of the large modern corporation, due to the inuence of Chandler (Chandler, 1977). However, a focus on corporations can downplay the signicance of individual enterprise in the foundation and direction of business.