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The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=
German language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Italy, Italian province of South ...
, Deutsche Hanse; nl, label= Dutch, De Hanze; la, Hansa Teutonica) was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant
guild A guild is an association of artisans and merchants who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as confraternities of tradesmen, belonging to: a professional association A professio ...
s and market towns in Northwestern and
Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a common histo ...
. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great Britain (England and Scotland), Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An epeiric sea, epeiric (or "shelf") sea on the European continental shelf, it conn ...
and inland during the
Late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from AD 1250 to 1500. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the periodization, period of ...
, and diminished slowly after 1450. 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 O ...
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 came to mean a society of merchants or a trader guild. Merchant circles established the league to protect the guilds' economic interests and diplomatic privileges in their affiliated cities and countries, as well as along the trade routes which the merchants used. The Hanseatic cities had their own legal system and operated their own armies for mutual protection and aid. Despite this, the organization was not a state, nor could it be called a confederation of city-states; only a very small number of the cities within the league enjoyed autonomy and liberties comparable to those of a free imperial city.


History

Exploratory trading adventures, raids, and piracy occurred early throughout the Baltic Sea; the sailors of Gotland sailed up rivers as far away as Novgorod. Scandinavians led international trade in the Baltic area before the Hanseatic League, establishing major trading hubs at Birka, Haithabu, and Schleswig by the 9th century CE. The later Hanseatic ports between
Mecklenburg Mecklenburg (; nds, label=Mecklenburgisch dialect, Low German, Mękel(n)borg ) is a historical region in northern Germany comprising the western and larger part of the federal-state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The largest cities of the region are R ...
and Königsberg (present-day 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 in 1159 by the powerful Henry the Lion, Duchy of Saxony, Duke of Saxony and Duchy of Bavaria, Bavaria, after he had captured the area from Adolf II of Holstein, Adolf II, Count of Schauenburg and County of Holstein, Holstein. 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 Baltic maritime trade (c. 1400–1800), 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 Sea, North and Baltic Sea, Baltic seas. The hegemony of Lübeck peaked during the 15th century.


Foundation and formation

Lübeck became a base for merchants from Duchy of Saxony, Saxony and Duchy of Westphalia, Westphalia trading eastward and northward. Well before the term ''Hanse'' appeared in a document in 1267, merchants in different cities began to form guilds, or ''Hansa'', with the intention of trading with towns overseas, especially in the economically less-developed eastern Baltic. This area could supply timber, wax, amber, resins, and furs, along with rye and wheat brought down on barges from the hinterland to port markets. The towns raised their own armies, with each guild required to provide Conscription#Medieval levies, 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 (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 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. 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. That year, the merchants of the Hansa in Imperial Free City of Cologne, Cologne convinced Henry II of England, 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 Holy Roman Empire, imperial privileges to become a free imperial city in 1226, as had 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. The allied cities gained control over most of the curing (food preservation), salt-fish trade, especially the Scania Market; Imperial Free City of Cologne, Cologne joined them in the Diet (assembly), Diet of 1260. In 1266 Henry III of England, King Henry III of England granted the Lübeck and Hamburg Hansa a charter for operations in Kingdom of England, England, and the Cologne Hansa joined them in 1282 to form the most powerful Hanseatic colony in 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 routes. 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 and Kievan Rus' (with its sea-trade center, Veliky Novgorod), 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 merchants gained access to the inland Russian port of Novgorod Republic, Novgorod, where they built a trading post or ''Kontor'' (literally: "office"). Although such alliances formed throughout the Holy Roman Empire, the league never became a closely managed formal organisation. Assemblies of the Hanseatic towns met irregularly in Lübeck for a ''Hansetag'' (Hanseatic day) 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 (County of Flanders, Flanders), Bergen, Norway, Bergen (Norway), and London (England). These trading posts became significant enclaves. 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 near Upper Thames Street, on the site now occupied by 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 (''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 Woodturning, wood-turning. The century-long monopolization of sea navigation and trade by the Hanseatic League ensured that the Renaissance arrived in northern Germany long before it did in the rest of Europe. In addition to the major ''Kontors'', individual Hanseatic ports had a representative merchant and warehouse. In England this happened in Boston, Lincolnshire, Boston, Bristol, Bishop's Lynn (now King's Lynn, which features the sole remaining Hanseatic warehouse in England), Kingston upon Hull, Hull, Ipswich, Norwich, Yarmouth (now Great Yarmouth), and York. The league primarily traded timber, furs, resin (or tar), flax, honey, wheat, and rye from the east to Flanders and England with cloth (and, increasingly, final good, manufactured goods) 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), Thorn (Toruń), Reval (Tallinn), Riga, and Dorpat (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 (''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 of 1435 to incorporated modern-day Estonia and parts of 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, a dialect with significant impact for countries involved in the trade, particularly the larger Scandinavian languages, Estonian language, Estonian, and Latvian language, Latvian.


Zenith

The league had a fluid structure, but its members shared some characteristics; most of the Hansa cities either started as Independent city, independent cities or gained independence through the collective bargaining power of the league, though such independence remained limited. The Hanseatic Free Imperial City, free cities owed allegiance directly to the Holy Roman Emperor, 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. Initially unsuccessful, Hanseatic towns in 1368 allied in the Confederation of Cologne, sacked Copenhagen and Helsingborg, and forced Valdemar IV of Denmark, Valdemar IV, King of Denmark, and his son-in-law Haakon VI of Norway, Haakon VI, King of Norway, to grant the league 15% of the profits from Danish trade in the subsequent Treaty of Stralsund (1370), 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 invented in 1492, 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 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 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 allies 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, 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, 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 the Swedish Empire took more control of much of the Baltic Sea. Denmark had regained control over its own trade, the ''Kontor'' in Novgorod had closed, and the ''Kontor'' in 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 in London 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. Only three (Lübeck, Hamburg and Bremen) remained as members until its demise in 1862 (but still refer themselves as Hansa-town in common day Germany today). A demise in the wake of the creation of the German Empire under William I, German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm I. Hence, only Lübeck, Hamburg, and Bremen 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'', 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 ''Kontore'' 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 Kingdom of England, 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''


Ports with Hansa trading posts

* Berwick-upon-Tweed * Bristol * Boston, Lincolnshire, Boston * Damme * Leith * Kingston upon Hull, Hull * Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle * Great Yarmouth * Kings Lynn * York


Other cities with a Hansa community


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, Demmin, Greifswald, Hamburg, Lübeck, Lüneburg, Rostock, Stade, Stralsund 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, 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, 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 became the first English member of the newly formed new Hanseatic League. It was joined by Hull in 2012 and Boston, Lincolnshire, Boston in 2016.


New Hanseatic League

The ''New Hanseatic League'' was established in February 2018 by finance ministers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden through the signing of
two-page 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.


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 * Lufthansa * Maritime republics * 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 Economic history 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