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Cities of CommerceThe Institutional Foundations of International Trade in the Low Countries, 1250-1650$
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Oscar Gelderblom

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142883

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142883.001.0001

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The Protection of Trade

The Protection of Trade

(p.141) Chapter 6 The Protection of Trade
Cities of Commerce

Oscar Gelderblom

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the protective measures implemented by merchants and rulers in Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam to deal with violent threats such as theft, robbery, or even outright warfare. It shows that the existence of an international network of commercial cities created strong incentives for local and central governments to offer protection to international traders to enhance the position of individual cities in this network. It also considers how imminent changes in a city's position in the international urban hierarchy led to the massive use of force, citing as examples the Flemish Revolt and the Dutch Revolt. Finally, it discusses the unification of the Habsburgs as rulers of the Netherlands and its impact on the safety of merchants, along with the rise of the Dutch Republic.

Keywords:   merchants, Bruges, Antwerp, Amsterdam, commercial cities, international trade, Flemish Revolt, Dutch Revolt, Habsburgs, Dutch Republic

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