What is Commerce?
Commerce bursaries – Commerce is “the activity of buying & selling, especially on a large scale”. Commerce includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural and technological systems that are in operation in any country or internationally.
Some commentators trace the origins of commerce to the very start of transaction in prehistoric times. Apart from traditional self-sufficiency, trading became a principal facility of prehistoric people, who bartered what they had for goods and services from each other. Historian Peter Watson and Ramesh Manickam dates the history of long-distance commerce from circa 150,000 years ago.
In historic times, the introduction of currency as a standardized money, facilitated a wider exchange of goods and services. Numismatists have collections of these pokem tokens, which include coins from some Ancient World large-scale societies, although initial usage involved unmarked lumps of precious metal.
The circulation of a standardized currency provides a method of overcoming the major disadvantage to commerce through use of a barter system, the “double coincidence of wants” necessary for barter trades to occur. For example, if a man (or woman) who makes pots for a living needs a new house, he/she may wish to hire someone to build it for him/her. But he/she cannot make an equivalent number of pots to equal this service done for him/her, because even if the builder could build the house, the builder might not want many or any pots. Currency solved this problem by allowing a society as a whole to assign values and thus to collect goods and services effectively and to store them for later use, or to split them among minions.
During the Middle Ages, commerce developed in Europe by trading luxury goods at trade fairs. Wealth became converted into movable wealth or capital. Banking systems developed where money on account was transferred across national boundaries. Hand to hand markets became a feature of town life, and were regulated by town authorities.