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Trade and war in the North Sea: Antwerp's struggle concerning trade tariffs during and after the Dutch revolt
Limberger, M. (2014). Trade and war in the North Sea: Antwerp's struggle concerning trade tariffs during and after the Dutch revolt, in: Schottenhammer, A. (Ed.) Tribute, trade, and smuggling: commercial, scientific and human interaction in the middle period and early modern world. pp. 95-108

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Author keywords
    Antwerp, tariffs, history, Trade, war

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  • Limberger, M.

    During the sixteenth century Antwerp was the major commercial and financial centre of the North Sea area. Due to its favorable location, the city was a staple market for colonial goods and commodities from the Low Countries as well as a major money market. However, the international character of the Antwerp market made it dependent of the developments of international commerce and finance and political change. Due to the political circumstances of the Dutch Revolt that the Golden Age of Antwerp came to a sudden end in the late sixteenth century. During the decades, and in fact the centuries that followed, Antwerp struggled in vain to maintain its position as a trade centre and to re-establish its former economic situation. The new staple market of the North Sea was Amsterdam, the main port and economic centre of the Dutch Republic, which established a highly successful commercial system of its own. This chapter analyzes the different ways in which the Eighty Years’ war of the Dutch Revolt affected the commercial activity in Antwerp, from the first signs of religious and social unrest, to the immediate effects of warfare, the impact of the so-called closure of the river Scheldt by the Dutch, war tariffs and the different political relations after the war. At the same time, the efforts of the city government to maintain the economic position of the city and to re-establish the commercial activity of its port during and after the war will be shown.

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