The Hanseatic League and the European Union

3350 Words May 27th, 2011 14 Pages

On 25 March 2017, the European Union will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its existence. Nevertheless, the European Council and the presidents of the twenty seven member states are aware that it is not a perfect union.
The Hanseatic League is probably the oldest trace of city alliances in Europe that actually started as a merchant’s society in the Middle Ages.
The main interest of this work is to analyse this trade alliance from three different points of view to outline the similarities and differences in contrast to the European Union. To figure out about the initially mentioned question it is planned to start with the economic point of view in the first part. The second part will deal with the political aspects whilst the
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Trade and Cities
With the time the Hanse strengthened it position up to a trade monopoly especially in the north of Europe though they had to face fierce competition from other countries such as Italy (McCarthy 2006).
The articles they traded with were mainly timber and wax fur from Russia; cloth from the Netherlands; fish, corn and butter from Denmark, wine and olives from southern Europe, beer, salt and glassware from Germany, manmade products from France and Italy and expensive spices from the Orient transported via Venice end Genoa (Etting 2007). The German traders had the main influence and control on the economic daily life.
Two major types of towns could be distinguished. One is the formal recognized hansatown such as Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck, Cologne, Magdeburg in know Germany; Bergen in Norway; Danzig, Stettin and Cracow and Torun in know Poland, Riga in know Latvia and Tallinn, Estonia. The other type is the non hansatown but with a connection to the Hanse League. Those were Amsterdam, Bruges and Ghent in the west; Copenhagen and Göteborg in the north; the Steelyard in London in the west, and Novgorod, Psokv and Vilna in the east.
The most important hanseatic town due to its position at the Baltic Sea was Lübeck. It was of strategically importance as a hub between Novgorod in the east and all the other cities. Lübeck had the presiding over all the towns (McCarthy 2006).

Economic Integration

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