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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 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 mother of all trades 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.
At the start of the 16th century, the league found itself in a weaker position than it had known for many years. The rising Swedish Empire had taken 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: In and 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 , followed by the London Kontor in The Bergen Kontor continued until ; of all the Kontore , only its buildings, the Bryggen , survive.
The gigantic warship Adler von Lübeck was constructed for military use against Sweden during the Northern Seven Years' War —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 16th 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 incursion of the Ottoman Empire upon the Holy Roman Empire and its trade routes.
Only nine members attended the last formal meeting in and only three Lübeck, Hamburg and Bremen remained as members until its demise in , in the wake of the creation of the German Empire under Kaiser Wilhelm I.
Despite its collapse, several cities still maintained the link to the Hanseatic League. Hamburg and Bremen continue to style themselves officially as "free Hanseatic cities", with Lübeck named "Hanseatic City" Rostock's football team is named F. 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 , 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 election campaign. Subsequently, he referred to Lübeck as "the small city close to Bad Schwartau. After the EU enlargement to the East in May there were some experts who wrote about the resurrection of the Baltic Hansa.
The legacy of the Hansa is remembered today in several names: DDG Hansa was a major German shipping company from until its bankruptcy in There are two museums in Europe dedicated specifically to the history of the Hanseatic League: 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.
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: 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 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: 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. In 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 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 , 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. From , 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.
This division was however not adopted by the Kontore , who, for their purposes like Ältermänner elections , grouped the league members in different ways e. The Kontore were foreign trading posts of the League, not cities that were Hanseatic members, and are set apart in a separate table below. This league is open to all former Hanseatic League members and cities that once hosted a Hanseatic kontor.
The latter include 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.
Carta marina of the Baltic Sea region From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the trade group from the 14th to 17th centuries. For the modern business association, see Hanseatic Parliament. Handbuch zur niederdeutschen Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft. Retrieved 9 June A comparative study of thirty city-state cultures: Copenhagen Polis Centre Historisk-filosofiske Skrifter Archived from the original on 7 March Retrieved 10 December Privileges Granted to German Merchants at Novgorod, ".
Retrieved 20 July European Journal of Social Sciences. Archived from the original PDF on 19 February Retrieved 26 July The Perspective of the World. Civilization and Capitalism, 15th—18th century. Volume 10 International Publishers: New York, p. The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically Arranged. Atlas of Medieval Europe.
Retrieved 30 April Seafarers, Merchants and Pirates in the Middle ages. Kraków jego dzieje i sztuka: Praca zbiorowa [ Krakow's history and art: A history of Poland, Volume 1: The Origins to Retrieved 5 May Europe à la Carte.
Die Hanse in German. Encyclopedia of World Trade: From Ancient Times to the Present. To facilitate trade in foreign countries, the Hansa established counters Kontore [ Encyclopedia of Baltic History group research project. Städtebünde im deutschen Spätmittelalter. Die Geschichte der Hanse in German. Atlas of Maritime History.
Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht. A History of Modern Germany: Retrieved 15 May In Schlögel, Karl; Halicka, Beata. Blicke auf einen europäischen Strom in German. Problems and Suggestions" PDF. Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 1: Archaeologies of the Early Modern North Atlantic: Archived from the original PDF on 24 July Retrieved 28 December Trade and urban development in Poland.
An economic geography of Cracow, from its origins to , Volume Cambridge studies in historical geography. From Prehistory to the end of the Habsburg era ]. Crusader castles of the Teutonic Knights: The stone castles of Latvia and Estonia — The Hanseatic Expansion in the North Atlantic". Archived from the original on 27 July Archived from the original on 12 August Retrieved 1 May Retrieved 2 May National Bank of Latvia.
Archived from the original on 26 September Lettland [ Lithuania ]. Archived from the original on 24 July Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. The following cities were also connected with the League, but did not have representation in the Diet, nor responsibility: Archived from the original PDF on 13 January Archived from the original on 17 August Archived from the original on 13 May Retrieved 23 August Find more about Hanseatic League at Wikipedia's sister projects.
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Archived from the original PDF on 24 July 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.
Much of the drive for this co-operation came from the fragmented nature of existing territorial governments, which failed to provide security for trade.