HOME

TheInfoList




The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=
Modern German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language German (: , ) is a mainly spoken in . It is the most widely spoken and or co-official language in , , , , and the province of . It ...

Modern German
, Deutsche Hanse; nl, label=
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
, De Hanze; la, Hansa Teutonica) was a
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
commercial and defensive confederation of merchant
guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional ...
s and
market town A market town is a European that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the , a market right, which allowed it to host a regular ; this distinguished it from a or . In Britain, small rural towns with a hinterland of villages are still com ...
s in
central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and generalised locations * Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa ...

central
and northern
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
. Growing from a few
north German Northern Germany (german: Norddeutschland) is the region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), and the interaction of humanity ...
towns in the late 12th century, the League ultimately encompassed nearly 200 settlements across seven modern-day countries; at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries, it stretched from the Netherlands in the west to Russia in the east, and from Estonia in the north to Kraków, Poland in the south. The League originated from various loose associations of German traders and towns formed to advance mutual commercial interests, such as protection against piracy and banditry. These arrangements gradually coalesced into the Hanseatic League, whose traders enjoyed
duty-free File:Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, Departure Hall.jpg, Duty-free stores at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel in Oslo, Norway Duty-free shops (or stores) are retailing, retail outlets whose goods are exempt from the payment of certain local ...
treatment, protection, and diplomatic privileges in affiliated communities and their trade routes. Hanseatic cities gradually developed a common legal system governing their merchants and goods, even operating their own armies for mutual defense and aid. Reduced barriers to trade resulted in mutual prosperity, which fostered economic interdependence, kinship ties between merchant families, and deeper political integration; these factors solidified the League into a cohesive political organization by the end of the 13th century. During the peak of its power, the Hanseatic League had a virtual monopoly over maritime trade in the
North North is one of the four compass points The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydro ...

North
and
Baltic seas
Baltic seas
. Its commercial reach extended as far as
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
,
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
,
Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative centerAn administrati ...
, and
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...
, with trading posts, factories, and mercantile "branches" established in numerous towns and cities across Europe. Hanseatic merchants were widely renowned for their access to a variety of commodities and manufactured goods, subsequently gaining privileges and protections abroad, including
extraterritorial In international law, extraterritoriality is the state of being exempted from the jurisdiction of local law, usually as the result of diplomatic negotiations. Historically, this primarily applied to individuals, as jurisdiction was usually clai ...
districts in foreign realms that operated almost exclusively under Hanseatic law. This collective economic influence made the League a powerful force, capable of imposing blockades and even waging war against kingdoms and principalities. Even at its zenith, the Hanseatic League was never more than a loosely aligned confederation of
city-states A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin Latin (, or ...
. It lacked a permanent administrative body, treasury, and standing military force; only a very small number of members enjoyed autonomy and liberties comparable to those of neighboring free imperial cities. By the mid-16th century, these tenuous connections left the Hanseatic League vulnerable to rising competitors such as England, the Netherlands, and Russia. External pressures steadily eroded the confederation's unity, while rising local parochialism and political disputes from within frustrated the League's foundational principles of common purpose and mutuality. The League gradually unraveled as members departed or became consolidated into other realms, ultimately disintegrating in 1669. Despite its inherent structural weaknesses. the Hanseatic League managed to endure and thrive for centuries under a quasi-legislative ''
diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition) In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for #Health, health or #Weight management, weight-mana ...
'' that operated on deliberation and
consensus Consensus decision-making or consensus politics (often abbreviated to ''consensus'') is group decision-making processes in which participants develop and decide on proposals with the aim, or requirement, of acceptance by all. The focus on es ...
. Members united on the basis of mutual interest and comity, working together to pool resources, raise levies, and amicably resolve disputes to further common goals. The League's long-lived success and unity during a period of political upheaval and fragmentation has led to it being described as the most successful trade alliance in history, while its unique governance structure has been identified as a precursor to the supranational model of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
.


Etymology

Although some historians identify as originally meaning ''An-See'', or "on the sea", it is the
Old High German Old High German (OHG, german: Althochdeutsch, German abbr. ) is the earliest stage of the German language, conventionally covering the period from around 750 to 1050. There is no standardised or supra-regional form of German at this period, and ...
word for a band or troop. This word was applied to bands of merchants traveling between the Hanseatic cities — whether by land or by sea. in
Middle Low German Middle Low German or Middle Saxon (autonym: ''Sassisch'', i.e. "Saxon", Standard German, Standard High German: ', Dutch language, Modern Dutch: ') is a developmental stage of Low German. It developed from the Old Saxon language in the Middle ...
came to mean a society of merchants or a trader guild.


History

Exploratory trading adventures, raids, and piracy occurred early throughout the Baltic Sea; the sailors of
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
sailed up rivers as far away as
Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative centerAn administrati ...

Novgorod
. Scandinavians led international trade in the Baltic area before the Hanseatic League, establishing major trading hubs at
Birka Birka (''Birca'' in medieval sources), on the island of Björkö (literally: "Birch Island") in present-day Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries ...

Birka
,
Haithabu Hedeby (, Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian was a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their Viking expansion, overseas settlements from about the 7th to ...
, and
Schleswig The Duchy of Schleswig ( da, Hertugdømmet Slesvig; german: Herzogtum Schleswig; Low German: ''Hartogdom Sleswig''; North Frisian language, North Frisian: ''Härtochduum Slaswik'') was a duchy in Southern Jutland (''Sønderjylland'') covering the ...
by the 9th century CE. The later Hanseatic ports between
Mecklenburg Mecklenburg (; nds, label=Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic languages, Germanic , fam3 = West Germanic languages, West Ge ...

Mecklenburg
and
Königsberg Königsberg (, , ) was the name for the historic Prussian city that is now Kaliningrad, Russia. Königsberg was founded in 1255 on the site of the ancient Old Prussian settlement ''Twangste'' by the Teutonic Knights during the Northern Crusade ...

Königsberg
(present-day
Kaliningrad Kaliningrad ( ; rus, Калининград, p=kəlʲɪnʲɪnˈɡrat, links=y), until 1946 known as Königsberg (, ), is the largest city and the administrative centreAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local gover ...

Kaliningrad
) originally formed part of the Scandinavian-led Baltic trade-system. Historians generally trace the origins of the Hanseatic League to the rebuilding of the north German town of
Lübeck Lübeck (; Low German also ; da, Lybæk ), officially the Hanseatic City of Lübeck (german: Hansestadt Lübeck), is a city in Northern Germany. With around 217,000 inhabitants, Lübeck is the second-largest city on the German Baltic Sea, Balt ...

Lübeck
in 1159 by the powerful
Henry the Lion Henry the Lion (german: Heinrich der Löwe; 1129/1131 – 6 August 1195) was a member of the Welf dynasty and Duke of Saxony, as Henry III, from 1142, and Duke of Bavaria, as Henry XII, from 1156, the duchies which he held until 1 ...

Henry the Lion
,
Duke of Saxony This article lists dukes, electors, and kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the beginning of the Saxon Duchy in the 9th century to the end of the German monarchies in 1918. The electors of Saxony from John the Steadfast (o ...
and
Bavaria Bavaria (; German language, German and Bavarian language, Bavarian: ''Bayern'' ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (German and Bavarian: ''Freistaat Bayern''; ), is a Landlocked country, landlocked Federated state, state (''States of Germany ...
, after he had captured the area from Adolf II,
Count of Schauenburg Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility ...
and
Holstein Holstein (; nds, label=Northern Low Saxon, Holsteen; da, Holsten; Latin and historical en, Holsatia, italic=yes) is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider (river), Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost S ...
. More recent scholarship has deemphasized the focus on Lübeck due to its having been designed as one of several regional trading centers. German cities achieved domination of trade in the Baltic with striking speed during the 13th century, and Lübeck became a central node in the seaborne trade that linked the areas around the
North North is one of the four compass points The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydro ...

North
and
Baltic seas
Baltic seas
. The hegemony of Lübeck peaked during the 15th century.


Foundation and formation

Lübeck became a base for merchants from
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...
and
Westphalia Westphalia (; german: Westfalen ; nds, Westfalen ) is a region of northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of and 7.9 million inhabitants. The territory of the region ...
trading eastward and northward. Well before the term ''Hanse'' appeared in a document in 1267, merchants in different cities began to form
guilds A guild is an association of s and s who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as organizations of tradesmen, belonging to: a , a , a , and/or a . They sometimes depended on grants ...
, or ''Hansa'', with the intention of trading with towns overseas, especially in the economically less-developed eastern Baltic. This area could supply
timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...

timber
,
wax Waxes are a diverse class of organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon s), millions of organic compounds are known. The study of the properties, ...
,
amber Amber is fossil A fossil (from Classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was ...

amber
,
resin In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or highly Viscosity, viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic compounds. This article focus ...

resin
s, and furs, along with
rye Rye (''Secale cereale'') is a grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. It includes the cereal grasses, bamboo Bamboos are a diverse group of ev ...

rye
and
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'' ...

wheat
brought down on barges from the hinterland to port markets. The towns raised their own armies, with each guild required to provide levies when needed. The Hanseatic cities came to the aid of one another, and commercial ships often had to be used to carry soldiers and their arms.
Visby Visby () is an urban area in Sweden and the seat of Gotland Municipality in Gotland County on the island of Gotland with 24,330 inhabitants . Visby is also the episcopal see for the Diocese of Visby. The Hanseatic League, Hanseatic city of ...

Visby
(on the island of Gotland) functioned as the leading centre in the Baltic before the Hansa. Sailing east, Visby merchants established a trading post at
Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative centerAn administrati ...

Novgorod
called ''Gutagard'' (also known as ''Gotenhof'') in 1080. Merchants from northern Germany also stayed there in the early period of the Gotlander settlement. Later they established their own trading station in Novgorod, known as , which was further up-river, in the first half of the 13th century. In 1229 German merchants at Novgorod were granted certain privileges that made their positions more secure. The granting of privileges was enacted by the current ruler of Novgorod, a Rus' prince,
Michael of Chernigov Saint Michael of Chernigov (russian: Михаи́л Черни́говский, uk, Миха́йло Все́володович Чернігівський) or Mikhail Vsevolodovich (russian: Михаил Всеволодович, uk, Михайл ...

Michael of Chernigov
. Hansa societies worked to remove restrictions on trade for their members. The earliest extant documentary mention, although without a name, of a specific German commercial federation dates from 1157 in
London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary down to the North Sea, and has b ...

London
. That year, the merchants of the Hansa in
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany, Germany's most populous States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city and one of t ...
convinced
King Henry II
King Henry II
of England to exempt them from all tolls in London and allow them to trade at fairs throughout England. The "Queen of the Hansa", Lübeck, where traders were required to trans-ship goods between the North Sea and the Baltic, gained
imperial Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial or The Imperial may also refer to: Places United States * Imperial, California * Imperial, Missouri * Imperial, Nebraska * Imperial, Pennsylvania * Imperial, Texas * ...
privileges to become a
free imperial city In the Holy Roman Empire, the collective term free and imperial cities (german: Freie und Reichsstädte), briefly worded free imperial city (', la, urbs imperialis libera), was used from the fifteenth century to denote a self-ruling city that h ...
in 1226, as had
Hamburg
Hamburg
in 1189. In 1241 Lübeck, which had access to the Baltic and North seas' fishing grounds, formed an alliance—a precursor to the League—with Hamburg, another trading city, which controlled access to salt-trade routes from
Lüneburg Lüneburg (officially the ''Hanseatic City of Lüneburg'', German: ''Hansestadt Lüneburg'', , Low German ''Lümborg'', Latin ''Luneburgum'' or ''Lunaburgum'', Old High German ''Luneburc'', Old Saxon ''Hliuni'', Polabian language, Polabian ''Glai ...

Lüneburg
. The allied cities gained control over most of the salt-fish trade, especially the
Scania Market Scania ( sv, Skåne ()), is the southernmost of the historical provinces (''landskap'') of Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in ...
;
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany, Germany's most populous States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city and one of t ...
joined them in the
Diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition) In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for #Health, health or #Weight management, weight-mana ...
of 1260. "In 1266
King Henry III
King Henry III
of England granted the Lübeck and Hamburg Hansa a charter for operations in
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
, and the Cologne Hansa joined them in 1282 to form the most powerful Hanseatic colony in
London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary down to the North Sea, and has b ...

London
. Much of the drive for this co-operation came from the fragmented nature of existing territorial governments, which failed to provide security for trade. Over the next 50 years, the Hansa solidified with formal agreements for confederation and co-operation covering the west and east
trade route A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can also be used to refer to trade over bodies of water. Allowing goods In economics Economics ( ...
s. The principal city and linchpin remained Lübeck; with the first general diet of the Hansa held there in 1356, the Hanseatic League acquired an official structure."


Commercial expansion

Lübeck's location on the Baltic provided access for trade with
Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a in , with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' can refer to , , and , sometimes more narrowly to the , or more broadly to include , th ...

Scandinavia
and
Kievan Rus' Kievan Rus' ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") or Kyivan Rus', was a loose of , and in and from the late 9th to the mid-13th century,John Channon & Robert Hudson, ''Penguin Historical Atlas of Russia'' (Penguin, 1995), p.16.Veliky Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative centerAn administrati ...
), putting it in direct competition with the Scandinavians who had previously controlled most of the Baltic trade-routes. A treaty with the Visby Hansa put an end to this competition: through this treaty the
Lübeck Lübeck (; Low German also ; da, Lybæk ), officially the Hanseatic City of Lübeck (german: Hansestadt Lübeck), is a city in Northern Germany. With around 217,000 inhabitants, Lübeck is the second-largest city on the German Baltic Sea, Balt ...

Lübeck
merchants gained access to the inland Russian port of
Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative centerAn administrati ...
, where they built a trading post or ''
Kontor in King's Lynn is the only surviving Hanseatic League building in England Image:Hansehausantwerpen.jpg, The Oostershuis, headquarters of the Hanseatic League in Antwerp A ''kontor'' () was a foreign trading post of the Hanseatic League. In add ...

Kontor
'' (literally: "office"). Although such alliances formed throughout the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
, the league never became a closely managed formal organisation. Assemblies of the Hanseatic towns met irregularly in Lübeck for a ''Hansetag'' (Hanseatic Diet) from 1356 onwards, but many towns chose not to attend nor to send representatives, and decisions were not binding on individual cities. Over the period, a network of alliances grew to include a flexible roster of 70 to 170 cities. The league succeeded in establishing additional ''Kontors'' in
Bruges Bruges ( , nl, Brugge ; ; german: Brügge ) is the capital and largest city of the Provinces of Belgium, province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country, and the seventh-largest city of the country b ...

Bruges
(
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...
),
Bergen Bergen (), historically Bjørgvin, is a city and municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national a ...

Bergen
(Norway), and London (England). These
trading post A trading post, trading station, or trading house, also known as a factory, was an establishment or settlement where goods and services could be traded. Typically the location of the trading post would allow people from one geographic area to tr ...
s became significant
enclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly ...

enclave
s. The London ''Kontor'', first alluded to by crusaders from Lübeck for whom the Kontor arranged the purchase of a replacement cog-ship in Summer 1189, formally established in 1320, stood west of
London Bridge Several bridges named London Bridge have spanned the River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England Southern England, or the South of England, als ...

London Bridge
near
Upper Thames Street Thames Street, divided into Lower and Upper Thames Street, is a road in the City of London, the historic and financial centre of London. It forms part of the busy A roads in Zone 3 of the Great Britain numbering scheme, A3211 route (prior to being ...
, on the site now occupied by
Cannon Street station Cannon Street station, also known as London Cannon Street, is a London station group, central London railway terminus and connected London Underground station in List of stations in London fare zone 1, Travelcard zone 1 located on Cannon Street ...

Cannon Street station
. It grew into a significant walled community with its own warehouses, weighhouse, church, offices and houses, reflecting the importance and scale of trading activity on the premises. The first reference to it as the
Steelyard 160px, Caius Gabriel Cibber: Arms of the Hanseatic League () on display in the Museum of London The Steelyard, from the Middle Low German , was the main trading base () of the Hanseatic League in London during the 15th and 16th centuries. Lo ...

Steelyard
(''der Stahlhof'') occurs in 1422. Starting with trade in coarse woollen fabrics, the Hanseatic League had the effect of bringing both commerce and industry to northern Germany.Frederick Engels "The Peasant War in Germany" contained in the ''Collected Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Volume 10'' (International Publishers: New York, 1978) p. 400. As trade increased, newer and finer woollen and linen fabrics, and even silks, were manufactured in northern Germany. The same refinement of products out of cottage industry occurred in other fields, e.g. etching, wood carving, armour production, engraving of metals, and
wood-turning
wood-turning
. The century-long monopolization of sea navigation and trade by the Hanseatic League ensured that the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
arrived in northern Germany long before it did in the rest of Europe. A legacy of the period is a regional style of architecture known the
Weser Renaissance File:Hann Münden Rathaus 2007.jpg, 300px, The town hall (''Rathaus'') in Hann. Münden Weser Renaissance is a form of Northern Renaissance architectural style that is found in the area around the River Weser in central Germany and which has been ...
, typified by the embellished facade added to the Bremen Rathaus in 1612. In addition to the major ''Kontors'', individual Hanseatic ports had a representative merchant and warehouse. In England this happened in
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...
,
Bristol Bristol () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routle ...

Bristol
, Bishop's Lynn (now
King's Lynn King's Lynn, known until 1537 as Bishop's Lynn and colloquially as Lynn, is a port and market town in Norfolk, England, north of London, north-east of Peterborough, north-north-east of Cambridge and west of Norwich. The population is 42,800. ...
, which features the sole remaining Hanseatic warehouse in England),
Hull Hull may refer to: Structures * Chassis, of an armored fighting vehicle * Fuselage, of an aircraft * Hull (botany), the outer covering of seeds * Hull (watercraft), the body or frame of a ship * Submarine hull Mathematics * Affine hull, in affin ...
,
Ipswich Ipswich () is a large port town and borough in Suffolk Suffolk () is a ceremonial Counties of England, county of England in East Anglia. It borders Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lie ...

Ipswich
,
Norwich Norwich () is a city and district of Norfolk Norfolk () is a rural and non-metropolitan county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary ...

Norwich
, Yarmouth (now
Great Yarmouth Great Yarmouth, often called Yarmouth, is a seaside resort A seaside resort is a resort town, town, village, or hotel that serves as a Resort, vacation resort and is located on a coast. Sometimes the concept includes an aspect of official accr ...

Great Yarmouth
), and
York York is a cathedral city City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United ...

York
. The league primarily traded timber, furs, resin (or tar), flax, honey, wheat, and rye from the east to
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...

Flanders
and England with cloth (and, increasingly,
manufactured goods Manufacturing is the creation or production of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distr ...
) going in the other direction. Metal ore (principally copper and iron) and herring came southwards from Sweden. German colonists in the 12th and 13th centuries settled in numerous cities on and near the east Baltic coast, such as Elbing (
Elbląg Elbląg (; german: Elbing; Old Prussian language, Old Prussian: ) is a city in northern Poland on the eastern edge of the Żuławy region with 119,317 inhabitants (December 2019). It is the capital of Elbląg County and has been assigned (since 1 ...
), Thorn (
Toruń Toruń (, , ; german: Thorn) ** Latin: ''Thorunium'', ''Thorunia'' is a historical city on the Vistula River in north-central Poland and a World Heritage Sites of Poland, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its population was 198,613 as of December 2020. ...

Toruń
), Reval (
Tallinn Tallinn (; ) is the most populous, primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biol ...

Tallinn
),
Riga Riga (; lv, Rīga , liv, Rīgõ, ) is the capital of Latvia and is home to 614,618 inhabitants (2021), which is a third of Latvia's population. Being significantly larger than List of cities and towns in Latvia#Cities, other cities of Latvi ...

Riga
, and Dorpat (
Tartu Tartu (, South Estonian: ''Tarto'') is the second-largest city in Estonia, after the political and financial capital, Tallinn. It is southeast of Tallinn and 245 kilometres (152 miles) northeast of Riga, the capital of Latvia. Tartu lies on th ...

Tartu
), which became members of the Hanseatic League, and some of which still retain many Hansa buildings and bear the style of their Hanseatic days. Most were granted
Lübeck law The Lübeck law (german: Lübisches (Stadt)Recht) was the family of codified municipal law developed at Lübeck Lübeck (; Low German also ; da, Lybæk ), officially the Hanseatic City of Lübeck (german: Hansestadt Lübeck), is a city in North ...
(''Lübisches Recht''), after the league's most prominent town. The law provided that they had to appeal in all legal matters to Lübeck's city council. The
Livonian Confederation Terra Mariana (Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rom ...
of 1435 to incorporated modern-day
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
and parts of
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
and had its own Hanseatic parliament (diet); all of its major towns became members of the Hanseatic League. The dominant language of trade was
Middle Low German Middle Low German or Middle Saxon (autonym: ''Sassisch'', i.e. "Saxon", Standard German, Standard High German: ', Dutch language, Modern Dutch: ') is a developmental stage of Low German. It developed from the Old Saxon language in the Middle ...
, a dialect with significant impact for countries involved in the trade, particularly the larger
Scandinavian languages The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is also r ...
,
Estonian Estonian may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Estonia, a country in the Baltic region in northern Europe *Estonians, people from Estonia, or of Estonian descent *Estonian language *Estonian cuisine *Estonian culture See also

* * La ...
, and Latvian.


Zenith

The league had a fluid structure, but its members shared some characteristics; most of the Hansa cities either started as independent cities or gained independence through the collective bargaining power of the league, though such independence remained limited. The Hanseatic free cities owed allegiance directly to the
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as ...
, without any intermediate family tie of obligation to the local nobility. Another similarity involved the cities' strategic locations along trade routes. At the height of their power in the late-14th century, the merchants of the Hanseatic League succeeded in using their economic power and, sometimes, their military might—trade routes required protection and the league's ships sailed well-armed—to influence imperial policy. The league also wielded power abroad. Between 1361 and 1370 it waged war against
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
. Initially unsuccessful, Hanseatic towns in 1368 allied in the Confederation of Cologne, sacked
Copenhagen Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of 1 January 2021, the city had a population of 799,033 (638,117 in Copenhagen Municipality, 103,677 in Frederiksberg Municipality, 42,670 in Tårnby Municipal ...

Copenhagen
and
Helsingborg Helsingborg (, , , ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...

Helsingborg
, and forced
Valdemar IV, King of Denmark Valdemar IV Atterdag (the epithet meaning "Return of the Day"), or Waldemar (132024 October 1375 was King of Denmark from 1340 to 1375. He is mostly known for his reunion of Denmark after the bankruptcy and mortgaging of the country to finance war ...
, and his son-in-law Haakon VI, King of Norway, to grant the league 15% of the profits from Danish trade in the subsequent peace treaty of Stralsund in 1370, thus gaining an effective trade and economic monopoly in Scandinavia. This favourable treaty marked the height of Hanseatic power. After the Danish-Hanseatic War (1426–1435), Danish-Hanseatic War and the Bombardment of Copenhagen (1428), Bombardment of Copenhagen, the Treaty of Vordingborg renewed the commercial privileges in 1435. The Hansa also waged a vigorous campaign against pirates. Between 1392 and 1440 maritime trade of the league faced danger from raids of the Victual Brothers and their descendants, privateers hired in 1392 by Albert, King of Sweden, Albert of Mecklenburg, King of Sweden, against Margaret I of Denmark, Margaret I, Queen of Denmark. In the Dutch–Hanseatic War (1438–1441), the merchants of Amsterdam sought and eventually won free access to the Baltic and broke the Hanseatic monopoly. As an essential part of protecting their investment in ships and their cargoes, the League trained pilot (harbour), pilots and erected lighthouses. Most foreign cities confined the Hanseatic traders to certain trading areas and to their own trading posts. They seldom interacted with the local inhabitants, except when doing business. Many locals, merchant and noble alike, envied the power of the League and tried to diminish it. For example, in London, the local merchants exerted continuing pressure for the revocation of privileges. The refusal of the Hansa to offer reciprocal arrangements to their English counterparts exacerbated the tension. King Edward IV of England reconfirmed the league's privileges in the Treaty of Utrecht (1474), Treaty of Utrecht despite the latent hostility, in part thanks to the significant financial contribution the League made to the Yorkist side during the Wars of the Roses of 1455–1487. In 1597 Queen Elizabeth I of England, Elizabeth of England expelled the League from London, and the Steelyard closed the following year. Tsar Ivan III of Russia closed the Hanseatic ''Kontor'' at Novgorod in 1494. The very existence of the League and its privileges and monopolies created economic and social tensions that often crept over into rivalries between League members.


Rise of rival powers

The Great Bullion Famine, economic crises of the late 15th century did not spare the Hansa. Nevertheless, its eventual rivals emerged in the form of the nation state, territorial states, whether new or revived, and not just in the west: Ivan III of Russia, Ivan III, Grand Prince of Moscow, ended the entrepreneurial independence of Hansa's Novgorod ''Kontor'' in 1478—it closed completely and finally in 1494. New medium of exchange, vehicles of credit were imported from Italy, where Double-entry bookkeeping system, double-entry book-keeping was popularly formalized in 1494, and outpaced the Hansa economy, in which silver coins changed hands rather than bills of exchange. In the 15th century, tensions between the Prussia (region), Prussian region and the "Wendish" cities (Lübeck and its eastern neighbours) increased. Lübeck was dependent on its role as centre of the Hansa, being on the shore of the sea without a major river. It was on the entrance of the land route to Hamburg, but this land route could be bypassed by sea travel around Denmark and through the Kattegat. Prussia's main interest, on the other hand, was the export of bulk products like grain and timber, which were very important for England, the Low Countries, and, later on, also for Spain and Italy. In 1454, the year of the marriage of Elisabeth of Austria (1436–1505), Elisabeth of Austria to King-Grand Duke Casimir IV Jagiellon of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Poland-Lithuania, the towns of the Prussian Confederation rose up against the dominance of the Teutonic Order and asked Casimir IV for help. Gdańsk (Danzig), Thorn and Elbing became part of the Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569), Kingdom of Poland, (from 1466 to 1569 referred to as Royal Prussia, region of Poland) by the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), Second Peace of Thorn. Poland in turn was heavily supported by the Holy Roman Empire through family connections and by military assistance under the Habsburgs. Kraków, then the capital of Poland, had a loose association with the Hansa. The lack of customs borders on the River Vistula after 1466 helped to gradually increase Polish grain exports, transported to the sea down the Vistula, from per year, in the late 15th century, to over in the 17th century. The Hansa-dominated maritime grain trade made Poland one of the main areas of its activity, helping Danzig to become the Hansa's largest city. The member cities took responsibility for their own protection. In 1567, a Hanseatic League agreement reconfirmed previous obligations and rights of league members, such as common protection and defense against enemies. The Prussian Quartier cities of Thorn, Elbing,
Königsberg Königsberg (, , ) was the name for the historic Prussian city that is now Kaliningrad, Russia. Königsberg was founded in 1255 on the site of the ancient Old Prussian settlement ''Twangste'' by the Teutonic Knights during the Northern Crusade ...

Königsberg
and Riga and Dorpat also signed. When pressed by the King of Polish–Lithuanian union, Poland–Lithuania, Danzig remained neutral and would not allow ships running for Poland into its territory. They had to anchor somewhere else, such as at Puck, Poland, Pautzke (Puck). A major economic advantage for the Hansa was its control of the shipbuilding market, mainly in Lübeck and in Danzig. The Hansa sold ships everywhere in Europe, including History of Italy (1559–1814), Italy. They drove out the Dutch, because Holland wanted to favour
Bruges Bruges ( , nl, Brugge ; ; german: Brügge ) is the capital and largest city of the Provinces of Belgium, province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country, and the seventh-largest city of the country b ...

Bruges
as a huge staple market at the end of a trade route. When the Dutch started to become competitors of the Hansa in shipbuilding, the Hansa tried to stop the flow of shipbuilding technology from Hanseatic towns to Holland. Danzig, a trading partner of Amsterdam, attempted to forestall the decision. Dutch ships sailed to Danzig to take grain from the city directly, to the dismay of Lübeck. Hollanders also circumvented the Hanseatic towns by trading directly with north German princes in non-Hanseatic towns. Dutch freight costs were much lower than those of the Hansa, and the Hansa were excluded as middlemen. When Bruges, Antwerp and Holland all became part of the Burgundian Netherlands, Duchy of Burgundy they actively tried to take over the monopoly of trade from the Hansa, and the staples market from Bruges was transferred to Amsterdam. The Dutch merchants aggressively challenged the Hansa and met with much success. Hanseatic cities in Prussia, Livonia, supported the Dutch against the core cities of the Hansa in northern Germany. After several naval wars between Burgundy and the Hanseatic fleets, Amsterdam gained the position of leading port for Polish and Baltic grain from the late 15th century onwards. The Dutch regarded Amsterdam's grain trade as the ('':nl:Moedernegotie, Moedernegotie''). Nuremberg in Franconia developed an overland route to sell formerly Hansa-monopolised products from Frankfurt via Nuremberg and Leipzig to Poland and Russia, trading Flemish cloth and French wine in exchange for grain and furs from the east. The Hansa profited from the Nuremberg trade by allowing Nurembergers to settle in Hanseatic towns, which the Franconians exploited by taking over trade with Sweden as well. The Nuremberger merchant Albrecht Moldenhauer was influential in developing the trade with Sweden and Norway, and his sons Wolf Moldenhauer and Burghard Moldenhauer established themselves in Bergen and Stockholm, becoming leaders of the local Hanseatic activities.


End of the Hansa

At the start of the 16th century, the Hanseatic League found itself in a weaker position than it had known for many years. In the Swedish War of Liberation 1521-1523 the Hanseatic League was successful in opposition in an economic conflict it had over the trade, mining and metal industry in Bergslagen (the main mining area of Sweden in the 16th century) with Jakob Fugger (early extremely rich industrialist in the mining and metal industry on the continent) and his unfriendly business take-over attempt. Fugger allied with his financially dependent pope Leo X, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Christian II of Denmark/Norway. Both sides made huge costly investments in support of larger amounts of expensive hired mercenaries to win the war. The Hanseatic League fully restored its power in Gustav Vasa's Sweden and Frederick I of Denmark, Frederick I's
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
, 1523 after the war. However the Hanseatic League ended up on the wrong side 1536, after Christian III's victory in the Count's Feud in Scania and
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
, with Sweden as his ally, money was gone, the Hanseatic League's influence in the Nordic countries was over. After that the Hanseatic League was only seen as an unwanted competitor by Denmark and Sweden. Later in the 16th century, Denmark took control of much of the Baltic Sea. Sweden had regained control over its own trade, the ''Kontor'' in Novgorod had closed, and the ''Kontor'' in
Bruges Bruges ( , nl, Brugge ; ; german: Brügge ) is the capital and largest city of the Provinces of Belgium, province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country, and the seventh-largest city of the country b ...

Bruges
had become effectively moribund. The individual cities making up the league had also started to put self-interest before their common Hanseatic interests. Finally, the political authority of the German princes had started to grow, constraining the independence of the merchants and Hanseatic towns. The league attempted to deal with some of these issues: it created the post of Syndic in 1556 and elected Heinrich Sudermann as a permanent official with legal training, who worked to protect and extend the diplomatic agreements of the member towns. In 1557 and 1579 revised agreements spelled out the duties of towns and some progress was made. The Bruges ''Kontor'' moved to Antwerp and the Hansa attempted to pioneer new routes. However the league proved unable to prevent the growing mercantile competition, and so a long decline commenced. The Antwerp ''Kontor'' closed in 1593, followed by the London ''Kontor'' in 1598. The Bergen ''Kontor'' continued until 1754; of all the ''Kontore'', only its buildings, the ''Bryggen'', survive. The gigantic warship ''Adler von Lübeck'' was constructed for military use against Swedish Empire, Sweden during the Northern Seven Years' War (1563–70) but was never put to military use, epitomizing the vain attempts of Lübeck to uphold its long-privileged commercial position in a changing economic and political climate. By the late 17th century, the league had imploded and could no longer deal with its own internal struggles. The social and political changes that accompanied the Protestant Reformation included the rise of Dutch and English merchants and the pressure of the Ottoman Empire upon the Holy Roman Empire and its trade routes. In 1666, the Hanseatic
Steelyard 160px, Caius Gabriel Cibber: Arms of the Hanseatic League () on display in the Museum of London The Steelyard, from the Middle Low German , was the main trading base () of the Hanseatic League in London during the 15th and 16th centuries. Lo ...

Steelyard
in London was burned down by the Great Fire of London. The Kontor-manager sent a letter to Lübeck appealing for immediate financial assistance for a reconstruction. Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck called for a Hanseatic Day in 1669. Only a few cities participated and those who came were very reluctant to contribute financially to the reconstruction. It was the last formal meeting. Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck remained as the only members until the League's demise in 1862, on the eve of the founding of the German Empire under William I, German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm I. Today, these three cities are the only ones that retain the words "Hanseatic City" in their official German titles.


Organization

The members of the Hanseatic League were Low German merchants, whose towns were, with the exception of Dinant, where these merchants held citizenship. Not all towns with Low German merchant communities were members of the league (e.g., Emden, Memel (today Klaipėda), Viborg (today Vyborg) and Narva never joined). However, Hanseatic merchants could also come from settlements without German town law—the premise for league membership was birth to German parents, subjection to German law, and a commercial education. The league served to advance and defend the common interests of its heterogeneous members: commercial ambitions such as enhancement of trade, and political ambitions such as ensuring maximum independence from the noble territorial rulers.The Hanseatic League was by no means a monolithic organization or a 'state within a state' but rather a complex and loose-jointed confederation of protagonists pursuing their own interests, which coincided in a shared program of economic domination in the Baltic region. Decisions and actions of the Hanseatic League were the consequence of a consensus-based procedure. If an issue arose, the league's members were invited to participate in a central meeting, the ''Tagfahrt'' ("meeting ride", sometimes also referred to as ''Hansetag'', since 1358). The member communities then chose envoys (''Ratssendeboten'') to represent their local consensus on the issue at the ''Tagfahrt''. Not every community sent an envoy; delegates were often entitled to represent a set of communities. Consensus-building on local and ''Tagfahrt'' levels followed the Low Saxon tradition of ''Einung'', where consensus was defined as absence of protest: after a discussion, the proposals which gained sufficient support were dictated aloud to the scribe and passed as binding ''Rezess'' if the attendees did not object; those favouring alternative proposals unlikely to get sufficient support were obliged to remain silent during this procedure. If consensus could not be established on a certain issue, it was found instead in the appointment of a number of league members who were then empowered to work out a compromise. The Hanseatic ''Kontore'', which operated like an early stock exchange, each had their own treasury, court and seal. Like the guilds, the ''Kontore'' were led by ''Ältermänner'' ("eldermen", or English aldermen). The Stalhof ''Kontor'', as a special case, had a Hanseatic and an English ''Ältermann''. In 1347 the ''Kontor'' of Brussels modified its statute to ensure an equal representation of the league's members. To that end, member communities from different regions were pooled into three circles (''Drittel'' ("third [part]"): the Germania Slavica, Wendish and Duchy of Saxony, Saxon Drittel, the Westphalian and Prussia (region), Prussian Drittel as well as the Gothlandian, Livonian and History of Sweden, Swedish Drittel. The merchants from their respective ''Drittel'' would then each choose two ''Ältermänner'' and six members of the Eighteen Men's Council (''Achtzehnmännerrat'') to administer the ''Kontor'' for a set period of time. In 1356, during a Hanseatic meeting in preparation of the first ''Tagfahrt'', the league confirmed this statute. The league in general gradually adopted and institutionalized the division into ''Drittel'' (see table). The ''Tagfahrt'' or ''Hansetag'' was the only central institution of the Hanseatic League. However, with the division into ''Drittel'' (= ''Thirds''), the members of the respective subdivisions frequently held a ''Dritteltage'' ("''Drittel'' meeting") to work out common positions which could then be presented at a ''Tagfahrt''. On a more local level, league members also met, and while such regional meetings were never formalized into a Hanseatic institution, they gradually gained importance in the process of preparing and implementing ''Tagfahrt'' decisions.


Quarters

From 1554, the division into ''Drittel'' was modified to reduce the circles' heterogeneity, to enhance the collaboration of the members on a local level and thus to make the league's decision-making process more efficient. The number of circles rose to four, so they were called ''Quartiere'' (quarters): This division was however not adopted by the ''Kontore'', who, for their purposes (like ''Ältermänner'' elections), grouped the league members in different ways (e.g., the division adopted by the Stahlhof in London in 1554 grouped the league members into ''Dritteln'', whereby Lübeck merchants represented the Wendish, Pomeranian Saxon and several Westphalian towns, Cologne merchants represented the Duchy of Cleves, Cleves, County of Mark, Mark, Berg (state), Berg and Dutch towns, while Danzig merchants represented the Prussian and Livonian towns).


Lists of former Hansa cities

The names of the Quarters have been abbreviated in the following table: * Wendish: Wendish and Pomeranian (or just Wendish) Quarter * Saxon: Saxon, Thuringian and Brandenburg (or just Saxon) Quarter * Baltic: Prussian, Livonian and Swedish (or East Baltic) Quarter * Westphalian: Rhine-Westphalian and Netherlands (including Flanders) (or Rhineland) Quarter ''Kontor'': The ''
Kontor in King's Lynn is the only surviving Hanseatic League building in England Image:Hansehausantwerpen.jpg, The Oostershuis, headquarters of the Hanseatic League in Antwerp A ''kontor'' () was a foreign trading post of the Hanseatic League. In add ...

Kontor
e'' were foreign trading posts of the League, not cities that were Hanseatic members, and are set apart in a separate table below. The remaining column headings are as follows: * "City" is the name, with any variants. * "Territory" indicates the jurisdiction to which the city was subject at the time of the League. * "Now" indicates the modern nation-state in which the city is located. * "From" and "Until" record the dates at which the city joined and/or left the league.


Hansa Proper

}) for some years for having supported
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
; Dortmund was made capital of the Circle. Cologne also was called "Electorate of Cologne" (German: Kurfürstentum Köln or Kurköln). In June 1669 the last Hanseday was held in the town of Lübeck by the last remaining Hanse members, amongst others Cologne. , , - valign="top" , Westphalian , , , , , , style="font-size: 90%;" , After Cologne was excluded after the Anglo-Hanseatic War (1470–74), Dortmund was made capital of the Rhine-Westphalian and Netherlands Circle. , , - valign="top" , Westphalian , , , , , , style="font-size: 90%;" , , , - valign="top" , Westphalian , , , , , , style="font-size: 90%;" , , , - valign="top" , Westphalian , , , , , , , , - valign="top" , Westphalian , , , , , , style="font-size: 90%;" , , , - valign="top" , Westphalian , , , , 12th century , , style="font-size: 90%;" , , , - valign="top" , Westphalian , , , , , , style="font-size: 90%;" , The city was a part of the Electorate of Cologne until acquiring its freedom in 1444–49, after which it aligned with the Duchy of Cleves. ,


''Kontore''

(Foreign trading posts of the League)


Ports with Hansa trading posts

* Berwick-upon-Tweed *
Bristol Bristol () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routle ...

Bristol
*
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...
* Damme * Leith *
Hull Hull may refer to: Structures * Chassis, of an armored fighting vehicle * Fuselage, of an aircraft * Hull (botany), the outer covering of seeds * Hull (watercraft), the body or frame of a ship * Submarine hull Mathematics * Affine hull, in affin ...
* Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle *
Great Yarmouth Great Yarmouth, often called Yarmouth, is a seaside resort A seaside resort is a resort town, town, village, or hotel that serves as a Resort, vacation resort and is located on a coast. Sometimes the concept includes an aspect of official accr ...

Great Yarmouth
*
King's Lynn King's Lynn, known until 1537 as Bishop's Lynn and colloquially as Lynn, is a port and market town in Norfolk, England, north of London, north-east of Peterborough, north-north-east of Cambridge and west of Norwich. The population is 42,800. ...
*
York York is a cathedral city City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United ...

York


Other cities with a Hansa community

* Aberdeen * Åbo (Turku) * Arnhem * Avaldsnes * Bolsward * Bordeaux * Brae * Doesburg * Elburg * Fellin (Viljandi) * Goldingen (Kuldīga) * Göttingen * Grindavík * Grundarfjörður * Gunnister * Haapsalu * Hafnarfjörður * Hamelin * Hanover * Harderwijk * Harlingen, Friesland, Harlingen * Haroldswick * Hasselt, Overijssel, Hasselt * Hattem * Herford * Hildesheim * Hindeloopen (Hylpen) * Kalmar * Kokenhusen (Koknese) * Krambatangi * Snæfellsnes, Kumbaravogur * Kulm (Chełmno) * Livorno, Leghorn * Lemgo * Lemsal (Limbaži) * Lippe * Lisbon * Lunna Ness, Lunna Wick * Messina * Minden * Naples * Nantes * Narva * Nijmegen * Nordhausen, Thuringia, Nordhausen * Nyborg * Nyköping * Oldenzaal * Ommen * Paderborn * Pernau (Pärnu) * Roermond * Roop (Straupe) * Scalloway * Smolensk * Stargard * Stavoren (Starum) * Tórshavn * Trondheim * Tver * Uelzen * Venlo * Vilnius * Walk (Valka) * Weißenstein (Paide) * Wenden (Cēsis) * Wesel * Wesenberg (Rakvere) * Windau (Ventspils) * Wolmar (Valmiera) * Zutphen * Zwolle


Legacy Hanseatic connections

Despite its collapse, several cities still maintained the link to the Hanseatic League. Dutch cities including Groningen, Deventer, Kampen (Overijssel), Kampen, Zutphen and Zwolle, and a number of German cities including Bremen, Buxtehude, Demmin, Greifswald, ,
Lübeck Lübeck (; Low German also ; da, Lybæk ), officially the Hanseatic City of Lübeck (german: Hansestadt Lübeck), is a city in Northern Germany. With around 217,000 inhabitants, Lübeck is the second-largest city on the German Baltic Sea, Balt ...

Lübeck
,
Lüneburg Lüneburg (officially the ''Hanseatic City of Lüneburg'', German: ''Hansestadt Lüneburg'', , Low German ''Lümborg'', Latin ''Luneburgum'' or ''Lunaburgum'', Old High German ''Luneburc'', Old Saxon ''Hliuni'', Polabian language, Polabian ''Glai ...

Lüneburg
, Rostock, Stade, Stralsund, Uelzen and Wismar still call themselves ''Hanse'' cities (their car license plates are prefixed ''H'', e.g. –''HB''– for "Hansestadt Bremen"). Hamburg and Bremen continue to style themselves officially as "free Hanseatic cities", with Lübeck named "Hanseatic City" (Rostock's football team is named F.C. Hansa Rostock in memory of the city's trading past). For Lübeck in particular, this anachronistic tie to a glorious past remained especially important in the 20th century. In 1937, the Nazi Party removed this privilege through the Greater Hamburg Act possibly because the ''Senat'' of Lübeck did not permit Adolf Hitler to speak in Lübeck during his 1932 election campaign. He held the speech in Bad Schwartau, a small village on the outskirts of Lübeck. Subsequently, he referred to Lübeck as "the small city close to Bad Schwartau." After the EU enlargement to the East in May 2004 there were some experts who wrote about the resurrection of the Baltic Hansa. The legacy of the Hansa is remembered today in several names: the German airline Lufthansa (lit. "Air Hansa"); F.C. Hansa Rostock; Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, Netherlands; Hanze oil production platform, Netherlands; the Hansa Brewery in Bergen and the Hanse Sail in Rostock. DDG Hansa was a major German shipping company from 1881 until its bankruptcy and takeover by Hapag-Lloyd in 1980. Hansabank in the Baltic states, which has been rebranded into Swedbank. Hansa-Park, one of the biggest theme parks in Germany. There are two museums in Europe dedicated specifically to the history of the Hanseatic League: the European Hansemuseum in Lübeck and the Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene in Bergen.


Modern versions of the Hanseatic League


"City League The Hanse"

In 1980, former Hanseatic League members established a "new Hanse" in Zwolle. This league is open to all former Hanseatic League members and cities that share a Hanseatic Heritage. In 2012 the New Hanseatic league had 187 members. This includes twelve Russian cities, most notably
Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative centerAn administrati ...

Novgorod
, which was a major Russian trade partner of the Hansa in the Middle Ages. The "new Hanse" fosters and develops business links, tourism and cultural exchange. The headquarters of the New Hansa is in
Lübeck Lübeck (; Low German also ; da, Lybæk ), officially the Hanseatic City of Lübeck (german: Hansestadt Lübeck), is a city in Northern Germany. With around 217,000 inhabitants, Lübeck is the second-largest city on the German Baltic Sea, Balt ...

Lübeck
, Germany. The current President of the Hanseatic League of New Time is Jan Lindenau, Mayor of Lübeck. Each year one of the member cities of the New Hansa hosts the Hanseatic Days of New Time international festival. In 2006
King's Lynn King's Lynn, known until 1537 as Bishop's Lynn and colloquially as Lynn, is a port and market town in Norfolk, England, north of London, north-east of Peterborough, north-north-east of Cambridge and west of Norwich. The population is 42,800. ...
became the first English member of the newly formed new Hanseatic League. It was joined by Hull in 2012 and
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...
in 2016.


New Hanseatic League

The ''New Hanseatic League'' was established in February 2018 by finance ministers from
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
,
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Ireland,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden through the signing of a foundational document which set out the countries' "shared views and values in the discussion on the architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union, EMU".


Historical maps

File:First.Crusade.Map.jpg, Europe in 1097 File:Europe in 1430.PNG, Europe in 1430 File:Europe in 1470.png, Europe in 1470 File:Carta Marina.jpeg, ''Carta marina'' of the Baltic Sea region (1539)


In popular culture

* In the ''The Patrician (video game), Patrician'' series of trading simulation video games, the player assumes the role of a merchant in any of several cities of the Hanseatic League. * In the ''The Saga of Seven Suns, Saga of Seven Suns'' series of space opera novels by American writer Kevin J. Anderson, the human race has colonized multiple planets in the Spiral Arm, most of which are governed by the powerful Terran Hanseatic League (Hansa). * In the ''Metro 2033'' series of novels and video games, The Commonwealth of the Stations of the Ring Line, or the Hanseatic League (more commonly known as Hansa, Hanza, or Hanse) is a trading alliance comprising several stations, making up a large area of the metro. * ''Hansa Teutonica'' is a German style board game, German board game designed by Andreas Steding and published by Argentum Verlag in 2009.


See also

* Baltic maritime trade (c. 1400–1800) * Bay Fleet * Brick Gothic * Company of Merchant Adventurers of London * Hanseatic Cross * Hanseatic Days of New Time * Hanseatic flags * Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene * Hanseatic Trade Center *History of Bremen (city), History of Bremen (City) * Lufthansa * Maritime republics * Dithmarschen, Peasants' Republic * Schiffskinder * Thalassocracy * The Patrician (video game), The Patrician * Hansa Records


References


Further reading

* * * * Halliday, Stephen. "The First Common Market?" ''History Today'' 59 (2009): 31–37. * * * * * * * * Wubs-Mrozewicz, Justyna, and Stuart Jenks, eds. '' The Hanse in Medieval and Early Modern Europe'' (Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV, 2013).


Historiography

* Cowan, Alexander. "Hanseatic League: Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide" (Oxford University Press, 2010
online
* Harrison, Gordon. "The Hanseatic League in Historical Interpretation." ''The Historian'' 33 (1971): 385–97. . * Szepesi, Istvan. "Reflecting the Nation: The Historiography of Hanseatic Institutions." ''Waterloo Historical Review'' 7 (2015)
online


External links


29th International Hansa Days in Novgorod

30th International Hansa Days 2010 in Parnu-Estonia

Chronology of the Hanseatic League

Hanseatic Cities in the Netherlands

Hanseatic League Historical Re-enactors

Hanseatic Towns Network
* s:de:Hanse, Hanseatic League related sources in the German Wikisource
Colchester: a Hanseatic port
nbsp;– Gresham
The Lost Port of Sutton: Maritime trade
{{Authority control Hanseatic League, Northern Europe Former monopolies Trade monopolies Early Modern Holy Roman Empire Former confederations Early Modern history of Germany Early Modern Netherlands Economy of the Holy Roman Empire Economic history of the Netherlands History of international trade Free imperial cities, *Hanseatic League International trade organizations Baltic Sea Brandenburg-Prussia Gotland Guilds Northern Renaissance History of Prussia 1862 disestablishments in Europe 14th century in Europe 15th century in Europe 16th century in Europe Medieval Germany