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The internationalisation of the Baltic market
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3593-4076
2016 (English)In: The Cambridge History of Scandinavia / [ed] Kouri, E.I. and Olesen, J.E., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016, 213-228 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The term ‘internationalisation’ is difficult to use without some consideration of its meaning. As far as human exchange of goods goes, internationalisation can be regarded as a truly original human characteristic. Very few cultures in the past as well as in the present can be described as totally isolated from the rest of the world. This is also true for the Baltic Sea region: although not a well-integrated part of the classical cultures of the Mediterranean, the most northern part of Europe had commercial and other ties to both Greeks and Romans. Implicitly we usually add a quantitative aspect to attribute ‘internationalised’ to a culture or an economy. The regions to become parts of Denmark and Sweden can hardly be described as internationalised in any sensible meaning of the word in the classical age just because Roman glass is found in Scandinavia and amber from the Baltic can be excavated in Italy and Greece. Although there is no shortage of internationalisation theories, there are no generally accepted definitions of what constitutes internationalisation other than the obvious fact that it has to be a process and not a condition. In this chapter some of the main features of the process of how the Baltic market – geographically limited and mainly in contact with other North European regions – was expanded and connected to an international trading community stretching all over the globe will be pointed out. The timeframe will stretch from the late Middle Ages and into the nineteenth century but with an emphasis on the two most crucial centuries in this regard, the sixteenth and seventeenth.

The Hanseatic dominion

Up to the sixteenth century the Baltic market was mainly controlled by German merchants. This had been the case ever since the German push to the east along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea began in the twelfth century. The Baltic market, that is to say the goods produced mainly in Russia but also in other areas surrounding the brackish water of the Baltic Sea, must in medieval times be characterised as a North European regional business.

The formation of the Hanseatic League from the thirteenth century confirmed and consolidated the domination of German-speaking tradesmen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 213-228 p.
, The Cambridge History of Scandinavia
Keyword [en]
Early modern Baltic Market, internationalisation, trade, conflict, international politics
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302546DOI: 10.1017/CHO9781139031639.014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-302546DiVA: diva2:958079
Available from: 2016-09-06 Created: 2016-09-06 Last updated: 2016-09-08Bibliographically approved

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Sandström, Åke
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