The European coffee-house : a political history
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From the early sixteenth century to the Industrial Revolution, coffee-houses spread from the Middle East throughout Europe and grew into important political, economic, and social institutions. This paper investigates the role of the coffee-house in developing and promoting these concepts and relates the ways in which the European coffee-house gave rise to such organizations as the London Stock Exchange and Lloyd's of London. As liberal political ideology developed, the coffee-house, especially in England, became the forum through which the notions of freedom of speech and the public sphere emerged, and this thesis pays particular attention to the impact of coffeehouse culture on the development of these concepts. It also gives an account of the subsequent decline in influence of English coffee-houses, chronicling those cultural, political, and financial changes that transformed the European coffee-house from an epicenter of urban activity into an obsolete institution. Finally, it compares these traditional European coffee-houses with post-WWII coffee bars and twenty-first century "Starbucks revolution"-era coffee shops, contrasting the role of modem coffee-houses with that of their seventeenth and eighteenth century European predecessors.