Legal history can help to date shifts in social attitudes, because it shows how, when, and often also why norms changed. We demonstrate this by examining when consumer credit became widely accepted in the Netherlands and Belgium, because general access to credit may serve as a good indicator of the advent of a consumer society. That shift in attitudes happened in both countries during the 1960s, when legislators came to accept that credit is part and parcel of modern life for everybody. The consequent equality of consumers before the law then became more and more fragmented in European regulation, sacrificed to its leading principle, the idea that well-informed consumers choose rationally and are therefore responsibly for their choices.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/115900
Journal Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden (online)
Citation
Joncker, J., Milo, M., & Vannerom, J.L.E. (2017). From Hapless Victims of Desire to Responsibly Choosing Citizens. The Emancipation of Consumers in Low Countries' Consumer Credit Regulation. Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden (online), 132(3), 115–138. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/115900