Old Hansa
December 29, 2012 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Networks of the Hanseatic League - The Hanseatic League was a late-medieval network of economically largely independent long-distance trade merchants which was based on trust, reputation and reciprocal relations. The informal cooperation among its members kept transactional, informational and organizational costs low, allowing the Hanse merchants to make good profits from the long-distance trade between the Baltic and the North Seas. Thanks to personal and institutional links with confederations of towns, the Hanse merchants were initially able to strengthen their international position of power. Since the late 15th century, however, the transaction costs of long-distance trade increased as a result of growing exclusivity and formalization efforts in the Hanseatic league. Moreover, changes in the European economic structure, triggered by the discovery of America, and internal conflicts ultimately led to the disintegration of the Hanseatic networks.
posted by infini (14 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
There seems to be a Hansa renaissance in the Shipping world.
posted by adamvasco at 8:34 AM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know what the state of the series is, but the Patrician computer games used to be a good and very detailed simulation of being a trader in this world.
posted by selfnoise at 8:42 AM on December 29, 2012

Oh yeah, here's the one I had. Yours for three bucks!
posted by selfnoise at 8:46 AM on December 29, 2012

Trivia: The Hanseatic League lives on in German license plates. The initial letters on the plate give the city or region in which the car is registered, and cities that were members of the league get an extra much-coveted "H" (for "Hansestadt") in front of their initials -- hence "HH" for Hamburg, or "HL" for Lübeck. See http://userpage.chemie.fu-berlin.de/diverse/doc/kfz.html for a comprehensive list of all German license plate city abbreviations, if that's the sort of thing that floats your boat.
posted by ariel_caliban at 9:15 AM on December 29, 2012 [6 favorites]

The Hanseatic League also lives on in the air.
posted by neroli at 9:45 AM on December 29, 2012

still making pretty yachts
posted by jannw at 9:55 AM on December 29, 2012

The Hanseatic League lives on in German license plates.

Lufthansa - Hanseatic Air
posted by IndigoJones at 10:07 AM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ye Olde Hansa is what got me intrigued. This could have been a mega post but the author of the linked history has done a far better, more articulate and concise job than I ever could have done.
posted by infini at 10:37 AM on December 29, 2012

This game totally owns. Got it for Christmas.
posted by georg_cantor at 10:44 AM on December 29, 2012

Let us not forget Hansa Yellow, first developed in Germany before WWI.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:18 AM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

What If... Glenn Danzig were a member of the Hanseatic League?
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:28 PM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you're interested in learning more, Philippe Dollinger's The German Hansa is considered the standard work.
posted by orrnyereg at 1:02 PM on December 29, 2012

It is currently retailing on Amazon at @ £149.00! !! thank god for EGO then
posted by infini at 2:01 PM on December 29, 2012

Lufthansa - Hanseatic Air

I had never made that connection! Now to put the link into Instapaper.
posted by immlass at 5:08 PM on December 29, 2012

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