North Eurasian Trade in World History, 1660–1860
The Economic and Political Importance of the Baltic Sea
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This book offers the first long-term analysis of the protracted struggle between Britain, France, Prussia, Russia and Sweden for economic power and political influence in the northern part of the Eurasian continent between 1660 and 1860. The book shows how their commercial, diplomatic and military entanglements determined the course of Baltic trade from the late 17th to the mid-19th century, provoking, among other things, the decline of the Dutch Republic and the partitions of Poland-Lithuania.
The author conceptualizes the Baltic Sea as one of North Eurasia’s western border basins, alongside the White, Black and Caspian Seas, and employs novel statistical series of Baltic trade as a proxy for the long-term development of North Eurasian trade in world history. Based on extensive quantitative evidence and sources for the history of international relations, the book outlines how North Eurasian trade became an object of growing tensions between various larger and smaller powers with a stake in North Eurasia’s riches. The book addresses the long-term impact of mercantilist policies, territorial greed, and military conflicts in North Eurasia’s border basins, and accentuates the significance of developments in the preindustrial transport and commercial infrastructure of the North Eurasian landmass. Employing the concept of North Eurasia and its different borderlands and border basins, the book overcomes previous limitations in the historiography of globalization and sheds light on a large, continental landmass, which researchers tend to leave aside for the benefit of a predominant maritime perspective in historical studies of globalization.
North Eurasian Trade in World History, 1660–1860 will be invaluable reading for students and scholars interested in world history, East European history, and the history of international relations and trade.
Table of Contents
1. An Exploratory Analysis of Trade through the Danish Sound, 1670–1856
2. The Baltic as Arena of a Quest for North Eurasian Trade
3. The Emergence of the Baltic as a Privileged Outlet for North Eurasian Trade, 1670–1721
4. The Consolidation of the Baltic’s Special Role in North Eurasian Trade, 1703–1766
5. The Culmination of Conflicting Commercial and Political Interests in North Eurasian Trade, 1764–1814
6. The Reconfiguration of North Eurasian Trade in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century
Appendix: A Note on Statistics
Werner Scheltjens is Professor of Digital History at the University of Bamberg, Germany.