Economic history and the history of economic thought are subjects of different academic disciplines, and usually are only loosely interrelated in academic writing. The present article takes this observation as its starting point in order to examine the relationship of economic semantics, institutional development, and varying economic practices in history. On the basis of several examples, especially from early modern history, it is shown that without consideration of the adjustment of the relevant economic semantics, those processes that finally culminated in modern capitalism cannot be understood. Economic History, in particular if it employs institutional theory in its perspective, therefore necessarily must include the history of economic thought in shaping its analytical framework.
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