Hansa Towns - Helen Zimmern



The Hanseatic League was a secretive and venal association of German merchants that gained a monopoly on trade in the Baltic and North Sea during the Middle ages. Methods by which the league maintained power included piracy, bribery, boycotts, and racketerring. The organization controlled dozens of towns and was most noteable during the 13th-15th centuries, but it operated in earlier centuries, and had associated with Dutch and English trading companies in later years. The Hansaetic league and their allies were largely responsible for establishing the diabolical institutions of the 'City of London'.

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[Title Page] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern
[Frontispiece] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern


Preface

In bringing before the public what I believe to be the first History of the Hanseatic League, it gives me pleasure to think that the impetus to write it came from the United States. The work was suggested to me by my valued friend, Mr. G. H. Putnam, of New York, a citizen of the country in which the principle of federation is best understood and most thoroughly carried out. The Hansa was one of the earliest representatives of that federal spirit which will, beyond doubt, some day help to solve many of the heavy and grievous problems with which we of the Old World are struggling ; but that day is not yet, and meantime we have much to learn both from the successes and failures of the past.

I have, of course, assumed in my readers some knowledge of German History, such as they can derive from Professor Bryce's inimitable "Holy Roman Empire," or from Baring-Gould's "Story of Germany," one of the earlier volumes of this series.

In conclusion, I desire to express my very cordial thanks to Dr. Otto Bcnecke, Keeper of the State Archives of the city of Hamburg, and to my uncle, Dr. Carl Leo, Syndic of the same town, for the gfenerosity with which they have accorded me valuable assistance in the preparation of this volume. I have further to thank Miss L. Toulmin Smith for help in revision of the MS., and for many useful suggestions. To my sister. Miss Alice Zimmern, and to Dr. Richard Garnett, of the British Museum, I am indebted for aid in proof-reading.

Florence,
March 1, 1889.

HELEN ZIMMERN.

[Contents, 1 of 5] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern
[Contents, 2 of 5] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern
[Contents, 3 of 5] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern
[Contents, 4 of 5] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern
[Contents, 5 of 5] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern

[Of the architectural views reproduced in this volume some have been copied from prints in the British Museum, others from drawings and photographs in possession of the authoress, and the remainder from various German authorities. The illustrations of German life and manners aie taken from Otto Honne am Rhyn's Cultur Geschichte des deulschcn Volkes to the publisher of which volume our best thanks are due.

T. Fisher Unwin,
G. P. Putnam's Sons.

[Illustrations, 1 of 3] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern
[Illustrations, 1 of 3] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern
[Illustrations, 1 of 3] from The Hansa Towns by Helen Zimmern