Proposal preview

The logistics of globalisation in pre- and early industrial times

The long-term process of globalisation, or in other words: the time during which the world was encompassed, characterises pre- and early industrial times. The impact of globalisation on economy and society has become a well-established topic of historical analysis. The logistics of globalisation, however, have received less scholarly attention. They comprise all deliberate efforts to establish, improve, control and exploit transport infrastructure with the aim of supporting the domestic economy, enhancing international trade and increasing economic and national power. In its long-term development, a general evolution from local (often private) initiatives to transnational policy-making, that was typical of commercial exchange in general, can be observed in the realm of logistics and certainly was an important driving force for globalisation. This session addresses the main components of the ‘discovery of logistics’ during the pre- and early industrial waves of globalisation, such as 1) the development of institutional frameworks for complex international transport operations, 2) the development, use and spread of technical innovations and 3) the emergence of supranational and perhaps even globally operative transportation networks.
The development of institutional frameworks for complex international transport operations covers a wide range of topics, including an internationally accepted legal basis for neutral shipping, the establishment of free ports (porto franco), markets and fairs, the granting of transit rights to certain intermediaries in long-distance trade and the exclusion of others, or the establishment of monopolies or exclusive rights to organise transport services on certain domestic and international routes. Various institutional developments can be identified, that were directly concerned with the establishment, improvement, obstruction or even outright blockade of commodity flows (and thus of transportation) in pre- and early-industrial times. Each of them sheds light on the emergence of novel ways to deal with increased international competition in pre- and early-industrial times. Though individual cases may seem to be very different at first, these institutions literally dealt with and influenced the ‘course of trade’.
The development, use and spread of technical innovations perhaps needs the least introduction: it covers gradual improvements in shipbuilding as well as the more radical introduction of the steamship, but it also covers the construction of canals, roads and railways as initiatives that were expected to have a positive impact on the domestic economic, international and finally on a country’s political power. Each of these ideas and initiatives – regardless of their actual implementation or success – contributed to a better understanding of the role of transportation in the overall economy and thus to an innovation in thinking, which might be pinpointed as the ‘discovery of logistics’.
Finally, the session addresses the emergence of supranational and globally operative transportation networks as another result of the ‘discovery of logistics’. Here, the focus is on the overland and maritime routes along which expansion took place, the networks of carriers that operationalised these routes and the relation between transportation and trade networks.
The aim of the session is to produce new and stimulating insights on the logistics of globalisation by inviting comparative and case-study analyses of pre- and early industrial logistics developments around the world. Papers will be invited which deal with one or more of the main components of the ‘discovery of logistics’ in maritime and overland trade during pre- and early-industrial times.

Organizer(s)

  • Werner Scheltjens University of Leipzig werner.scheltjens@uni-leipzig.de Germany
  • Markus A. Denzel University of Leipzig denzel@rz.uni-leipzig.de Germany
  • Jari Ojala University of Jyväskylä jari.ojala@jyu.fi Finland

Session members

  • Markus A. Denzel, University of Leipzig
  • Apostolos Delis, Foundation of Research and Technology
  • Jari Ojala, University of Jyväskylä
  • Timo Tiainen, University of Jyväskylä
  • Adrian Selin, Higher School of Economics
  • Klas Rönnbäck, Gothenburg University
  • Dimitrios Theodoridis, Gothenburg University
  • Anna Orlowska, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Toshiaki Tamaki, Kyoto Sangyo University
  • Kenji Sakano, Kyoto Sangyo University
  • Gelina Harlaftis, Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Discussant(s)

  • Werner Scheltjens University of Leipzig werner.scheltjens@uni-leipzig.de

Papers

Panel abstract

This session addresses the main components of the ‘discovery of logistics’ during the pre- and early industrial waves of globalisation, such as 1) the development of institutional frameworks for complex international transport operations, 2) the development, use and spread of technical innovations and 3) the emergence of supranational and perhaps even globally operative transportation networks.

1st half

Insuring the transport over sea: The Hamburg marine insurance, 1730s to 1850s, as a case study

Markus A. Denzel

Throughout the eighteenth century, the Entry Books of the Admiralty and Convoy Duties of Hamburg are the central serial source for German import trade from overseas, which was executed, if not entirely, then at least for a large part, in Hamburg. In this paper, the origins and central content of this source is outlined first. Then, a general overview of the source base is carried out employing the goods of trade, ports and regions of origin as central variables. Finally, the value of the source is assessed, i.e. it is asked what part of total overseas (import) trade of Hamburg is depicted by it. Even when the entry books capture only part of Hamburg’s overseas import trade, they remain the only source that allows for the reconstruction of a relatively long ‚data series‘ of about 70 years, which makes it possible to discern business cycles.

Throughout the eighteenth century, the Entry Books of the Admiralty and Convoy Duties of Hamburg are the central serial source for German import trade from overseas, which was executed, if not entirely, then at least for a large part, in Hamburg. In this paper, the origins and central content of this source is outlined first. Then, a general overview of the source base is carried out employing the goods of trade, ports and regions of origin as central variables. Finally, the value of the source is assessed, i.e. it is asked what part of total overseas (import) trade of Hamburg is depicted by it. Even when the entry books capture only part of Hamburg’s overseas import trade, they remain the only source that allows for the reconstruction of a relatively long ‚data series‘ of about 70 years, which makes it possible to discern business cycles.

The advent of steam navigation in Greece in the nineteenth century: a case of innovation or failure?

Apostolos Delis

In 1856, just two and a half decades after the foundation of the Greek Kingdom, the first Greek steam navigation company was founded in Syros. A company that was instrumental in the unification of Greece’s fragmented communications and in the spreading of the passenger practices and culture across the country. Despite that, Greek historiography treated the case of the Hellenic Steam Navigation Company almost as a case of failure due to the bankruptcy of the company 37 years later in 1893. However, recent evidence has shown that the Hellenic Steam Navigation Company introduced a new, innovative and long lasting fleet of passenger steamers. This fleet managed to alter the seaborne communications domestic landscape and to establish passenger shipping, along with modern shipbuilding, during a critical period of continuous expansion and experimentation of the steamship and of the steam line transportation.

In 1856, just two and a half decades after the foundation of the Greek Kingdom, the first Greek steam navigation company was founded in Syros. A company that was instrumental in the unification of Greece’s fragmented communications and in the spreading of the passenger practices and culture across the country. Despite that, Greek historiography treated the case of the Hellenic Steam Navigation Company almost as a case of failure due to the bankruptcy of the company 37 years later in 1893. However, recent evidence has shown that the Hellenic Steam Navigation Company introduced a new, innovative and long lasting fleet of passenger steamers. This fleet managed to alter the seaborne communications domestic landscape and to establish passenger shipping, along with modern shipbuilding, during a critical period of continuous expansion and experimentation of the steamship and of the steam line transportation.

Swedish Trade to the North and Mediterranean Seas in the Early Modern Period, 1721-1815: The Rise and Fall of Swedish ‘Bilayer Trade’

Toshiaki Tamaki, Kenji Sakano

Eighteenth-century Western Europe witnessed the rise of the connections with Atlantic economies. Sweden, however, did not participate in this development except for acquiring St. Barthelemy. However, Sweden contributed to the rise of the Atlantic economy by providing naval stores – iron. Instead, Sweden expanded trade and shipping to Southern Europe. In the early eighteenth century, the defeat of the Great Northern War by Russia forced Sweden to lose its hegemonic power in the Baltic. ‘The Age of Greatness‘ passed and Sweden became a small country or periphery in Northern Europe. In state politics, Swedish influence to other countries decreased, but in economic sphere, Sweden developed its trade and shipping centered on Stockholm in the eighteenth century. Swedish trade with England and the Netherlands was very active in the seventeenth century mainly because of its exports of iron to these countries. In the course of the eighteenth century, its trade with...

Eighteenth-century Western Europe witnessed the rise of the connections with Atlantic economies. Sweden, however, did not participate in this development except for acquiring St. Barthelemy. However, Sweden contributed to the rise of the Atlantic economy by providing naval stores – iron. Instead, Sweden expanded trade and shipping to Southern Europe. In the early eighteenth century, the defeat of the Great Northern War by Russia forced Sweden to lose its hegemonic power in the Baltic. ‘The Age of Greatness‘ passed and Sweden became a small country or periphery in Northern Europe. In state politics, Swedish influence to other countries decreased, but in economic sphere, Sweden developed its trade and shipping centered on Stockholm in the eighteenth century. Swedish trade with England and the Netherlands was very active in the seventeenth century mainly because of its exports of iron to these countries. In the course of the eighteenth century, its trade with France and Southern Europe developed. In this paper, Swedish trade with England and the Netherlands is termed as ‘old layer trade’ and the trade with France and the Southern Europe is called ‘new layer trade’. Swedish state policy played an important role for the development of ‘new layer trade’, which consisted of Mercantilism and neutral policy. The Swedish governments promoted shipping industry and so Swedish ships sailed from Stockholm to the Mediterranean. Swedish consuls were established in the Mediterranean. As Swedish iron exports to England from 1760s, Stockholm developed trade with France and southern Europe. As a result, Swedish trade came to be composed of two layers of ‘old’ and ‘new’ centered in Stockholm in the eighteenth century. In addition, Swedish ships were used for tramping shipping as well as trade in the Mediterranean Sea by making use of its neutrality. The above-mentioned arguments would suggest that ‘Swedish bilayer trade’ reflected one of its important commercial features, namely its neutrality in the eighteenth-century as was not the case in the seventeenth century. Although defeated by Russia in 1721 and lost the position as a great country, Sweden formed a trading system which was born for neutral state in the eighteenth century. The formation of this trade played an important role of the Swedish commercial policies. Stockholm was in the center of Swedish trade. Sweden pursued economic growth of countries in backwardness by making use of Stockholm as a trading center. In the age of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, however, ‘Swedish bilayer trade’ began to be broken down. On the other hand, Swedish trade with America developed during the Napoleonic wars. The core of this trade was Gothenburg. Much of Swedish iron was exported from Gothenburg to America. This means that ‘Swedish bilayer trade’ declined and new trading system of Sweden centered in Gothenburg started to establish during the Napoleonic Wars.

Factors of change on common market. The annual fairs network of the Greater Poland in 15th–17th century

Anna Orlowska

Annual fairs were among the most important institutions of the institutional framework for international transport operations in Central-Eastern Europe in the premodern time. The aim of this paper is to examine the factors that determined changes in the network of annual fairs in the Greater Poland in the Early Modern time. The network of annual fairs in Poland, formed in the Middle Ages, has undergone structural changes in the Early Modern period. Multiple royal privileges, issued usually on the plea of towns, altered the date of the annual fairs, probably in order for better adjustment of the annual fair to the changing flow of the merchandise. The main change in the flow of goods was probably resulting from the different paste speed, due to technical solutions on the one hand and to alterations in commodities dominating on the market on the other hand. The case study is based on the...

Annual fairs were among the most important institutions of the institutional framework for international transport operations in Central-Eastern Europe in the premodern time. The aim of this paper is to examine the factors that determined changes in the network of annual fairs in the Greater Poland in the Early Modern time. The network of annual fairs in Poland, formed in the Middle Ages, has undergone structural changes in the Early Modern period. Multiple royal privileges, issued usually on the plea of towns, altered the date of the annual fairs, probably in order for better adjustment of the annual fair to the changing flow of the merchandise. The main change in the flow of goods was probably resulting from the different paste speed, due to technical solutions on the one hand and to alterations in commodities dominating on the market on the other hand. The case study is based on the region of the Greater Poland. It is a province of Poland with stable national affiliation and a relatively well-developed urban network, what eliminates many factors of urban network development, which could have an impact on results. Moreover Greater Poland has a very favorable geographical location in Western Poland, in direct neighborhood with such important and developed areas as Silesia, Pomerania, and Saxony, due to which it was strong integrated into the European trade system. Additionally, the data covering the territory of the whole Polish Crown should be used in particular cases in order to avoid distortions due to too narrow research perspective. The investigation covers relatively stable period of Polish preindustrial economic development and therefore ends in 1655 – a year in which military conflicts on this territory marked the beginning of severe changes in an economic structure.

2nd half

Swedish salt and tar monopolies and the Finnish foreign trade c. 1550 – 1850

Timo Tiainen, Jari Ojala

Established monopolies controlled the exports of tar and imports of salt in Sweden-Finland 1648-1717. These monopolies, in turn, were in hands of large, Stockholm-based trading houses. (Samuelsson 1951; Müller 1998) The granting of these transit rights affected largely to the long-distance trade of Sweden and Finland by redirecting trade flows of these goods. Tar and salt monopolies were samples of early modern institutional arrangements to grant exclusive rights to trade for small group of beneficiaries in order to organize international trade efficiently. (North 1990) Already contemporaries saw challenges in this type of arrangements; thus, both tar and salt monopolies were eventually abolished (Carlén 1997). For Finland – as a part of Swedish kingdom – tar and salt monopolies were especially important, as salt was the most important import item and tar most important export good in the Finnish foreign trade. Thus, the existence of these monopolies affected on trade of...

Established monopolies controlled the exports of tar and imports of salt in Sweden-Finland 1648-1717. These monopolies, in turn, were in hands of large, Stockholm-based trading houses. (Samuelsson 1951; Müller 1998) The granting of these transit rights affected largely to the long-distance trade of Sweden and Finland by redirecting trade flows of these goods. Tar and salt monopolies were samples of early modern institutional arrangements to grant exclusive rights to trade for small group of beneficiaries in order to organize international trade efficiently. (North 1990) Already contemporaries saw challenges in this type of arrangements; thus, both tar and salt monopolies were eventually abolished (Carlén 1997). For Finland – as a part of Swedish kingdom – tar and salt monopolies were especially important, as salt was the most important import item and tar most important export good in the Finnish foreign trade. Thus, the existence of these monopolies affected on trade of the early modern businessmen, but they have made it difficult also to more contemporary researchers to assess the growth of Finnish exports during the period. The data available in the Danish Sound Toll Tables (STT) and Sound Toll Registers online collection (STRO) enables us to (1) re-evaluate the role played by the tar and salt monopolies (and other institutional arrangements at the time) and (2) present the first estimates of Finnish foreign trade from 1550s to 1850s. This paper is a part of larger project to compile aggregate time series of the Finnish early modern economy (c. 1500 – 1860). Exports of tar from Finnish ports can be found from Sound Toll Tables (STT) from 1557 to 1783, whilst STRO extends to 1856. The cargoes carried by the Swedish and Finnish vessels were not registered in the Danish Sound during the period of 1645–1721 due to the customs freedom for Swedish trade in Denmark (including the Sound). This, in turn, makes it challenging to assess effect of monopolies to Finnish foreign trade – as the domestic trade flows (i.e. from Finland to Sweden) were not recorded (or the records have not been preserved). There are, however, some useful ways to solve this problem of missing trade. Namely, Sound Toll Registers contain information about trade flows also before 1648 and after 1717. Furthermore, monopoly rights were temporarily abolished in 1682-89; thus, giving us a reference point. By using STT data prior to 1648 and STRO data after 1717, we can estimate time trend in 1648-1717, and deviation from this trend can be interpreted to be this redirected or ‘missing trade’ of tar. Unfortunately, both STT and STRO reports import ports only after 1667, so then there are only ex post time trend to extend backwards to get ‘missing’ salt trade. Our new estimates of Finnish exports are valuable also for future research: estimation of “missing” Swedish trade from the STRO enables future research to make new time series for whole Baltic-North Sea trade during the time period. For example, the model made in the paper might be used also in estimating the timber exports from Finland – though exports this commodity was not controlled by monopolies.

Factor endowments, ghost acreages and international trade networks: a study of land embodied in Baltic trade, 1750-1850

Dimitris Theodoridis, Klas Rönnbäck, Werner Scheltjens

The Baltic region was important in pan-European trade networks. A high land/labour-ratio in many countries in the Baltic region ought in theory to have allowed these countries to export land-intensive commodities, in exchange for more labour- and capital-intensive goods. In this paper, we estimate quantitatively the land embodied in the trade of the most important traded commodities that passed through the Sound. The results indicate that, as would be expected from Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory, on aggregate there was a positive net balance of land embodied in goods being transported westwards through the Sound. The results do however also show that there are some highly land-intensive commodities, such as salt, which were transported eastwards through the Sound. The results caution against making too stylized assumptions when analyzing the complex trade networks at work in the early modern world.

The Baltic region was important in pan-European trade networks. A high land/labour-ratio in many countries in the Baltic region ought in theory to have allowed these countries to export land-intensive commodities, in exchange for more labour- and capital-intensive goods. In this paper, we estimate quantitatively the land embodied in the trade of the most important traded commodities that passed through the Sound. The results indicate that, as would be expected from Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory, on aggregate there was a positive net balance of land embodied in goods being transported westwards through the Sound. The results do however also show that there are some highly land-intensive commodities, such as salt, which were transported eastwards through the Sound. The results caution against making too stylized assumptions when analyzing the complex trade networks at work in the early modern world.

Borderland as a local market on its way to become global: 17th century Ingermanland Case

Adrian Selin

The development of the maritime transport system of the northern Black Sea coast, 1770s-1850s

Gelina Harlaftis

This paper examines the first eighty years of the Black Sea that witnessed its transformation from a sea of isolation, described often as “Ottoman lake”, to a sea of internationalization. Within this period the northern coast of the Black Sea had become one the main providers of grain for the industrializing western Europe, integrated to the global markets. This was a formidable achievement for an area that was only a land of steppes in 1770s, sparsely populated with almost no port-city in the area. Every sea at crucial moments of change has its seafarers that develop maritime transport systems mechanisms with which they were able to integrate the produce of the hinterland to foreland, with the global markets. By establishing a network of communication within, between and beyond the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean maritime regions they were able to create the logistics that led the Black Sea ports to...

This paper examines the first eighty years of the Black Sea that witnessed its transformation from a sea of isolation, described often as “Ottoman lake”, to a sea of internationalization. Within this period the northern coast of the Black Sea had become one the main providers of grain for the industrializing western Europe, integrated to the global markets. This was a formidable achievement for an area that was only a land of steppes in 1770s, sparsely populated with almost no port-city in the area. Every sea at crucial moments of change has its seafarers that develop maritime transport systems mechanisms with which they were able to integrate the produce of the hinterland to foreland, with the global markets. By establishing a network of communication within, between and beyond the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean maritime regions they were able to create the logistics that led the Black Sea ports to become export gateways. This process started from the 1770s, after the conquest of the Russians of the northern coast. This area was a frontier zone and market of an expanding Russian Empire. The main cargoes transported from the Eastern Mediterranean to the West were grain, cotton and olive oil. The opening of the Black Sea market after the two Russo-Ottoman wars of 1769-1774 and 1788-1792, the penetration of the Russians to the northern coast of the Black Sea and the imperial Russian policy to draw Greek settlers from the Greek archipelago to southern Russia increased the sea trade from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Without really a merchant fleet, Russia gave privileges to seafaring and trading populations of the Ottoman and Venetian Greeks to its newly conquered northern coastline. This paper will discuss the creation of maritime transport systems that made trade and shipping in the area happen.