Early Modern Mobility

Roads have always been an important component of the existence and maintenance of communities, economies, and governments: without roads, information cannot be communicated, and resources cannot be transmitted.

What do the methods and patterns of transportation reveal about the early modern period (1500-1800)? This is the main research question that Early Modern Mobility, a transregional study of mobility, wishes to address. Studying the history of mobility as the patterns through which individuals travel and the methods by which they navigate reveals much about society at the time. The evolution of systems of mobility therefore reflects changes of political and economic possibilities of contemporary societies. Additionally, knowledge of the routes and roads by which people travel is crucial in developing a conception of the space in which individuals lived. In the early modern period, such routes were charted in sources like itineraries, whose gradual international development at the time reflected the increasing conception of a connected, globalized Europe.