By Donald Harreld

The Companion to the Hanseatic League discusses the significance of the Hanseatic League for the social and financial background of pre-modern northern Europe. proven already as early because the 12th century, the cities that shaped the Hanseatic League created an immense community of trade in the course of the Baltic and North Sea quarter. From Russia within the east, to England and France within the west, the towns of the Hanseatic League created an unlimited northern maritime alternate community. the purpose of this quantity is to provide a "state" of the sector English-language quantity by way of the most revered Hanse students. participants are Mike Burkhardt, Ulf Christian Ewert, Rolf Hammel-Kiesow, Donald J. Harreld, Carsten Jahnke, Michael North, Jurgen Sarnowsky and Stephan Selzer.

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58 The Christianization of Livonia began a short time later. 59 All the crusaders and their materials were shipped by way of Lübeck to Gotland and then on to Livonia. 60 In 1201, the city of Riga, seat of a bishopric and chapter of a cathedral, developed next to an older domestic settlement, like almost all cities in the Baltic region. In 1211, the settlement in Riga lured numerous merchants by granting them privileges. Riga was the second German city founded in the Baltic region; operating in the double function typical of this time and area, it served both as a support for the Christian mission as well as for the expansion of a trading sphere for the merchants.

Consequently, Denmark, in possession of both Sund and Belt, ruled the entry and exit into and out of the Baltic Sea. Beginning in the fourteenth century (until recently Denmark was often called the ‘fateful power of the Hanse’), this would become of great political importance to the trade traffic of the Hanseatic Cities. From the late twelfth century on, the herring market of Schonen became extremely important to the economy of the Wendish Hanse cities. Schleswig lost its function as a supra-regional fair and market to the East-West international trade fair that had been developing in Schonen since the first half of the twelfth century.

86 Friedland, Hanse, 99; Franz Irsigler, “Jahrmärkte und Messesysteme im westlichen Reichsgebiet bis ca. , Europäische Messen und Märktesysteme in Mittelalter und Neuzeit, Städteforschung A, vol. 39 (Cologne: BöhlauVerlag, 1996), 1–33. 87 hub 1, no. 232. 89 In this way, they essentially declared that their members were connected, not through local or regional origin, but by virtue of belonging to the Empire and in consequence of their shared trading destination, Gotland, the central gather point for the Eastern trade.

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