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Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Commerce is a division of trade or production which deals with the exchange of goods and services from producer to final consumer OR commerce is the exchage of goods and services from the producer to the consumer. It comprises the trading of something of economic value such as goods, services, information, or money between two or more entities. Commerce functions as the central mechanism which drives capitalism and certain other economic systems (but compare command economy, for example). Commercialization or commercialisation consists of the process of transforming something into a product, service or activity which one may then use in commerce. Commerce involves trade and aids to trade which help in the exchange of goods and services.

Word usage

Commerce primarily expresses the fairly abstract notions of buying and selling, whereas trade may refer to the exchange of a specific class of goods ("the sugar trade", for example), or to a specific act of exchange (as in "a trade on the stock-exchange").

Business can refer to an organization set up for the purpose of engaging in manufacturing or exchange, as well as serving as a loose synonym of the abstract collective "commerce and industry".

History

Cherry peddler in Bucharest, around 1869.

Some commentators trace the origins of commerce to the very start of communication 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 dates the history of long-distance commerce from circa 150,000 years ago. [1]

In historic times, the introduction of currency as a standardized money facilitated a wider exchange of goods and services. Numismatists have collections of these monies, which include coins from some Ancient World large-scale societies, although initial usage involved unmarked lumps of precious metal. [2] The circulation of a standardized currency provides the major advantage to commerce of overcoming the "double coincidence of wants" necessary for barter trades to occur. For example, if a man who makes pots for a living needs a new house, he may wish to hire someone to build it for him. But he cannot make an equivalent number of pots to equal this service done for him, because even if the builder could build the house, the builder might not want the 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 several providers.

Today commerce includes a complex system of companies that try to maximize their profits by offering products and services to the market (which consists both of individuals and other companies) at the lowest production-cost. There exists a system of International trade, which some argue has gone too far. But in the recent times commerce has taken shape to help in the development of the world economy.

See also

References

  1. ^ Watson, Peter (2005). Ideas : A History of Thought and Invention from Fire to Freud. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-621064-X.  Introduction.
  2. ^ Gold served especially commonly as a form of early money, as described in "Origins of Money and of Banking" Davies, Glyn (2002). Ideas : A history of money from ancient times to the present day. University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-1717-0. 

Categories


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From Wikiquote

Trade is the voluntary exchange of goods, services, or both, also called commerce. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and services. Modern traders instead generally negotiate through a medium of exchange, such as money.

Sourced

  • Our wants are various, and nobody has been found able to acquire even the necessaries without the aid of other people, and there is scarcely any Nation that has not stood in need of others. The Almighty himself has made our race such that we should help one another. Should this mutual aid be checked within or without the Nation, it is contrary to Nature.
  • Empirical evidence tends to show that trade liberalisation may entail non-trivial adjustment costs for certain groups.
  • Every individual necessarily labors to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally indeed neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good."
  • Where wealth and freedom reign contentment fails,
    And honour sinks where commerce long prevails.

Unsourced

  • Trade is not something imaginary or descriptive, but something real and profitable.
  • Commerce links all mankind in one common brotherhood of mutual dependence and interests.

External links

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Travel guide

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From Wikitravel

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Commerce [1] is a city in Los Angeles County in Southern California.

Get in

From Los Angeles or Orange County, take a train to Commerce.

  • Super 8 Motel - Commerce, 7810 E, Telegraph Road, 1-800-687-9656, [3]. Find superb hotel comfort and relaxation at Los Angeles Super 8 Hotel. Enjoy dining, recreation and nearby attractions including Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Staples Center and Los Angeles Convention Center.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel, 6121 E. Telegraph Rd, +1 323 728-3600, [4].
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1911 encyclopedia

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Sale or exchange of goods, generally on a large scale. During the Biblical period the Hebrews in Palestine had what is known as a natural self-sufficing economy (Benzinger, "Arch." p. 213)—that is, each household grew or made all the food, tools, and clothing it needed. A few articles of luxury or necessity, such as gold, silver, iron, and salt, which could not be found on the Israelitish farms, were supplied by merchants, who carried them round the country, and for that reason were known as "soḥer" (from a root meaning "to wander"). These merchants were almost exclusively Canaanites, probably Philistines. Hence, when the goodwife sells her wool (Prov 31:24) she disposes of it to the Canaanites (A. V. "merchants"). The Israelite tribes were mainly settledon the uplands of Palestine, and therefore were not touched by the streams of commerce which flowed by the two great caravan routes along the coast, through Tyre, Acco, and Gaza, to Egypt, and from South Arabia, through Petra on the east side of the Jordan, to Damascus (Herzfeld, "Handelsgeschichte der Juden," pp. 22, 23).

Contents

Solomon's Foreign Commerce.

The chief references to commerce in the Old Testament are, accordingly, to that of other than Israelitish peoples—to Ishmaelites (Gen 37:25) and Phenicians (Isa. xxiii.; Ezek 27:27). It is only with the reign of Solomon that any signs are given of extensive external trade on the part of the Israelites. Solomon was himself a large exporter of wheat and oil, which he paid to Hiram, King of Tyre, for timber and the use of skilled workmen (1 Kg 5:25 [Hebr.]; I Kings vii.). He doubtless obtained horses and chariots from Egypt (1 Kg 10:28, 29) by similar payments. It is even recorded of Solomon that he sent ships of Tharshish every three years from Ezion-geber to Ophir, whence the fleet brought back gold, silver, iron, apes, and peacocks (1 Kg 10:22). Solomon's example evidently led to a general development of trading (1 Kg 10:15), but it was not followed up by his successors. Jehoshaphat tried in vain to revive the voyages to Ophir (1 Kg 22:48), and the Prophets when speaking of merchants identify them with Canaanites or Philistines (Hos 12:7; Isa 23:11; Zeph 1:11; compare Job 41:6). It has been assumed from the songs of Deborah, Jacob, and Moses (Jdg 5:17; Gen 49:13; Deut 33:18, 19) that the tribes of Dan, Zebulun, and Issachar were connected with the Mediterranean trade; but there is very little evidence of this, and the ships used were known by a foreign name as "ships of Tharshish."

There seem to have been some attempts to encourage foreign trade in the northern kingdom, as Ahab is reported to have obtained from Ben-hadad the right to have "ḥuẓot" in Damascus (1 Kg 20:34); in other words, the Israelites were allowed a special street or bazaar in the market of Damascus. A somewhat similar activity on the part of Judah is indicated in Isa 2:6 (Hebr.), where the "contracts made with the sons of aliens" refer, according to Cheyne, to the renewed commercial activity of the reigns of Uzziah and Jotham (2Kg 14:22, xvi. 6). The treasures of the kings must have been obtained indirectly from commerce; the tribute of Hezekiah to Sennacherib, which, according to the Taylor cylinder, amounted to 30 talents of gold and 800 of silver, besides precious stones, must have been secured in this way. The luxurious feminine apparel indicated in Isa 3:18-24 must also have been obtained by commerce. Notwithstanding this, the merchant's profession was despised (Hos 12:7; compare Ecclus. [Sirach] xxvi. 29, xxvii. 2). The few laws relating to business in the Pentateuch and dealing with weights (Lev 19:35, 36), loans to the poor (ib. xxv. 36, 37), usury (Deut 23:20), debts in the Sabbatical year (Deut 15:2), and slave-trading (Lev 25:44, 45), show that very little business was done. The fact that even tribute was paid in kind (1Sam 16:20, xvii. 18) proves that not much attention was paid to commerce, as is also proved by the fact that no coined money was made till the time of the Maccabees (see Money).

Exports and Imports.

The highlands of Palestine in Bible times do not seem to have supplied very much material for foreign commerce. Honey, balsam, wheat, and oil were forwarded to Phenicia (1 Kg 5:11; Ez 3:7; Ezek 27:17), while spices, balm, myrrh, honey, pistachio nuts, almonds, and oil were forwarded to Egypt (Gen 37:25; Hos 12:1). In return timber was sent from Phenicia (1 Kg 5:11); corn, horses, and chariots from Egypt (Gen 41:57; 1 Kings x. 29); gold, silver, spices, precious stones, ivory, apes, peacocks, armor, and mules from Arabia, Ophir, and other Eastern countries. Wool and sheep were sent as tribute from Moab (2Kg 3:4). Within Palestine itself salt was sent from the Dead Sea, cattle and wool from the pastures beyond the Jordan, corn chiefly from the plain of Esdraelon. These were sent up to the markets, one of which seems to have been at Jerusalem, at a place called "Maktesh" (Zeph 1:11); later on there was a market even in the Temple precincts (Jn 2:14).

Merchants carried wares to their customers or to the markets (Neh 13:16) by caravans of camels, asses, mules, or oxen (Gen 24:10, xlii. 26, xliii. 18; 1 Kg 5:7; 1Chr 12:40); sometimes merchandise was carried by slaves (2Kg 5:28).

After the Exile.

After the return from the Exile the small and impoverished Jewish community had little business to transact except at Jerusalem, and even there it was conducted mainly by Phenicians (Neh 3:31, 32; xiii. 15-20). When Jonah sailed for Tarshish he had to embark in a Gentile vessel, showing that little maritime trade was undertaken by the Jews. With the spread of Hellenism in the East, however, there were Greek mercantile settlements in Ptolemais, with connections with the coast of Palestine along the Gaza, Ashkelon, and Dor route (Schürer, "Geschichte," ii. 15); and by the time of Hyrcanus I. Athenian merchants came regularly to Judea (Josephus; "Ant." xiv. 8, § 5; "Corp. Insc. Att." ii., No. 470). It was with the intention of developing the foreign trade of Judea that Simon Maccabeus took Joppa (1Macc 14:5), and similarly Herod built Cæsarea for a port (Josephus, l.c. xv. 9, § 6).

Markets.

By Maccabean times, indeed, it seems to have become a custom for the villagers to carry their products into towns once a month (1Macc 1:58). Later on this became extended to twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays being traditionally set aside as market days; and the custom of having special services in synagogues on these days can be traced back to this period. Jerusalem became the commercial center of the whole country, and mention is made there of markets for horses and wool ('Er. x. 9), for ironware, clothing, lumber (Josephus, "B. J." ii. 19, § 4; v. 8, § 1), and for fruit (Beẓah v. 8). Besides these, there were markets at Hebron, Emmaus, Lydda, Antipatris, Haishub, Patris, Beth Hino, Sepphoris, Tiberias, Scythopolis, and Botna, the last three being especially devoted to cereals, which were exportedthrough Kesib to Tyre (Yer. Dem. i. 3), and from Arab in Galilee to Sepphoris (Yer. Ta'an. iv. 1); olives were sent to Italy (Shab. 26a; Josephus, l.c. ii. 22, § 2), and olive-oil was sent to Syria and Egypt (Pliny, "Historia Naturalis," xii. 54). The main ports engaged in these exports were Ashkelon, Joppa, Gaza, Ptolemais, Rephia, Yabne, Cæsarea, Dor, and Haifa.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
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Simple English

Commerce is another word for trade or business, and can mean simply the buying and selling of goods and services. It can also refer to the world of high finance and big companies and organisations.









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