According to our interpretation, modern trade fairs started in Europe during the First World War and in its immediate aftermath. With the closing of trade movements during the war, many cities had to resort to the old medieval tradition of providing especial permits to traders to guarantee them personal protection during their trade meetings. During the tough post war crisis many more cities –typically industrial districts- discovered in the creation of trade fairs a powerful competitive tool to attract market transactions. We compare these developments with the remote origins of fairs, as, in both cases, trade fair development is a reaction to the closing of free markets under the pressure of political violence.
Trade fairs, modern trade fairs, markets, industrial districts, international trade, First World War
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