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Rotterdam's wine traders and their business environment

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Chapter Summary

The men who imported wines into the Dutch Republic were 'grands négociants' in the true sense of the word; the records inevitably give them the title of 'coopman' merchant. The occasional widow wine merchant was identified by her title of 'coopvrouw'. As the Ode to Rotterdam points out, the merchants dealt in a wide range of commodities from various parts of the world and they often owned all or parts of the ships that transported their goods. Their participation in the coastal trade in bulk goods, such as wine and brandy, formed the relatively stable basis on which they could anchor riskier investments in trans-oceanic trade. In the early part of the seventeenth century, a growing and increasingly well-to-do population plus the sailors of the mercantile and naval fleets expanded the Dutch consumer base and spurred the demand for wines and brandies from France.

Keywords: brandy; Dutch Republic; France; Rotterdam; trans-oceanic trade; wine



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