|Rat del desierto
Posted on 12/26/05 @ 08:13 AM (updated 12/02/06
The campaign has finally arrived!
||Age of Kings 1.0
|Number of scenarios:
Historians generally trace the origins of the League to the foundation of the Northern German town of Lübeck, established in 1158/1159 after the capture of the area from the Count of Schauenburg and Holstein by Henry the Lion, the Duke of Saxony.
Exploratory trading adventures, raids and piracy had occurred earlier throughout the Baltic (see Vikings) — the sailors of Gotland sailed up rivers as far away as Novgorod, for example — but the scale of international economy in the Baltic area remained insignificant before the growth of the Hanseatic League.
German cities achieved domination of trade in the Baltic with striking speed over the next century, and Lübeck became a central node in all the sea-borne trade that linked the areas around the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The 15th century saw the climax of Lübeck's hegemony. (Visby, one of the midwives of the Hanseatic league in 1358, declined to become a member. Visby dominated trade in the Baltic before the Hanseatic league, and with its monopolistic ideology, suppressed the Gotlandic free-trade competition.)
Lübeck became a base for northern German merchants from Saxony and Westphalia to spread east and north. Well before the term Hanse appeared in a document (1267), merchants in a given city began to form guilds or Hansa with the intention of trading with towns overseas, especially in the less-developed eastern Baltic area, a source of timber, wax, amber, resins, furs, even rye and wheat brought down on barges from the hinterland to port markets.
Visby functioned as the leading centre in the Baltic before the Hansa. For a hundred years the Germans sailed under the Gotlandic flag to Novgorod. Sailing east, Visby merchants established a branch at Novgorod. To begin with the Germans used the Gotlandic Gutagard. With the influx of too many merchants the Gotlanders arranged their own trading stations for the German Petershof further up from the river — see a translation of the grant of privileges to merchants in 1229. They helped establish key towns on the east Baltic coast: Danzig (Gdañsk) Reval (Tallinn), Riga and Dorpat (Tartu), all founded (like others on the Baltic coast) under Lübeck law, which provided that they had to appeal in all legal matters to Lübeck's city council. Before the foundation of the Hanseatic league in 1358 the word Hanse did not occur in the Baltic. The Gotlanders used the word varjag.
Hansa societies worked to acquire special trade privileges for their members. For example, the merchants of the Cologne (Köln) Hansa contrived to convince Henry II of England to grant them (in 1157) special trading privileges and market rights which freed them from all London tolls and allowed them to trade at fairs throughout England. The "Queen of the Hansa", Lübeck, where traders trans-shipped goods between the North Sea and the Baltic, gained the Imperial privilege of becoming an Imperial city in 1227, the only such city east of the River Elbe.
Lübeck, which had access to the Baltic and North Sea fishing grounds, formed an alliance in 1241 with Hamburg, another trading city, which controlled access to salt-trade routes from Lüneburg. The allied cities gained control over most of the salt-fish trade, especially the Scania Market; and Cologne joined them in the Diet of 1260. In 1266 Henry III of England granted the Lübeck and Hamburg Hansa a charter for operations in England, and the Cologne Hansa joined them in 1282 to form the most powerful Hanseatic colony in London. Much of the drive for this co-operation came from the fragmented nature of existing territorial government, which failed to provide security for trade. Over the next 50 years the Hansa itself emerged with formal agreements for confederation and co-operation covering the west and east trade routes. The chief city and linchpin remained Lübeck; with the first general Diet of the Hansa held there in 1356, the Hanseatic League acquired an official structure and could date its official founding.
Main trading routes of the Hanseatic League.Lübeck's location on the Baltic provided access for trade with Scandinavia and Russia, putting it in direct competition with the Scandinavians who had previously controlled most of the Baltic trade routes. A treaty with the Visby Hansa put an end to competition: through this treaty the Lübeck merchants also gained access to the inland Russian port of Novgorod, where they built a trading post or Kontor. Other such alliances formed throughout the Holy Roman Empire. The League never became a closely-managed formal organisation. Assemblies of the Hanseatic Towns met irregularly in Lübeck for Hansetag, from 1356 onwards, but many towns chose not to send representatives and decisions did not bind individual cities. Over time, the network of alliances grew to include a flexible roster of 70 to 170 cities .
The league succeeded in establishing additional Kontors in Bruges (in present-day Belgium), Bergen (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark) and London (England). These trading posts became significant enclaves. The London Kontor, established in 1320, stood west of London Bridge near Upper Thames Street. (Cannon Street station occupies the site now.) It grew significantly over time into a walled community with its own warehouses, weighhouse, church, offices and houses, reflecting the importance and scale of the activity carried on. The first reference to it as the Steelyard (der Stahlhof) occurs in 1422. In addition to the major Kontors, individual ports had a representative merchant and warehouse. In England this happened in Boston, Bristol, Bishop's Lynn (now King's Lynn, which features the sole remaining Hanseatic warehouse in England), Hull, Ipswich, Norwich, Yarmouth and York.
The League primarily traded timber, furs, resin (or tar), flax, honey, wheat and rye from the east to Belgium and England with cloth (and, increasingly, manufactured goods) going in the other direction. Metal ore (principally copper and iron) and herring came southwards from Sweden.
Town Hall of Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia).German colonists under strict Hansa supervision built numerous Hansa cities in the Baltic: towns like Reval (Tallinn), Riga, and Dorpat (Tartu), some of which still retain many Hansa buildings and bear the style of their Hanseatic days. Livonia (presently Estonia and Latvia) had its own Hanseatic parliament (diet), and all of its major towns became members of the Hanseatic League. The dominant language of trade was Low German or Nederdiets
The economic crises of the late 14th century did not spare the Hansa. Nevertheless, its eventual rivals emerged in the form of the territorial states, whether new or revived, and not just in the west: Poland triumphed over the Teutonic Knights in 1466; Ivan III of Russia ended the entrepreneurial independence of Novgorod in 1478. New vehicles of credit imported from Italy outpaced the Hansa economy, in which silver coin changed hands rather than bills of exchange.
The Dutch merchants of the county of Holland aggressively challenged the Hansa and met with success. The Hansa cities of Prussia, Livonia and Poland supported Holland against the main cities of the Hansa in northern Germany. After several naval wars between the Burgundian and the Hanseatic fleets, Amsterdam became the leading port for Polish and Baltic grain from the late 15th century onwards. The Dutch regarded grain trade of Amsterdam as the mother of all trades (Moedernegotie). Denmark and England tried to destroy the Netherlands in the early 16th century, but failed.
At the start of the 16th century the League found itself in a weaker position than it had known for many years. The rising Swedish Empire had taken control of much of the Baltic. Denmark had regained control over its own trade, the Kontor in Novgorod had closed and the Kontor in Bruges had become effectively defunct. The individual cities which made up the League had also started to put self-interest before the common good. Finally the political authority of the German princes had started to grow — and so to constrain the independence of action which the merchants and Hanseatic Towns had enjoyed.
The League attempted to deal with some of these issues. It created the post of Syndic in 1556 and elected a permanent official with legal training who worked to protect and extend the diplomatic agreements of the member towns. In 1557 and 1579 revised agreements spelled out the duties of towns and progress occurred. The Bruges Kontor moved to Antwerp and the Hansa attempted to pioneer new routes. However, the League proved unable to halt the progress around it and so its long decline commenced. The Antwerp Kontor closed in 1593, the London Kontor in 1598. The Bergen Kontor continued until 1754: its buildings alone of all the Kontoren survive (see Bryggen).
Take command of Frederick, the son of a trader of Lübeck, who is learning the family business, and guide him to control his own trading flote. You must travel through all the Baltic, but you must be carefull from a lot of enemies in the way.So download this and start to play.Enjoy and feel free of leaving your comments.
I am sorry but some unexpected problems (my computer broke down) made me finish this campaign a little later than I thougth. And also I have to apologise because of the lack of sound in it, because I haven't fixed that yet.
This campaign has a sequel, that will be released in some months. Until then, see you and good luck. Report bugs here, if you find any.