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The Topography Of The Early Modern Iron Trade, C. 1730

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses Baltic iron trade in northern Europe and North American colonies and voyage of Baltick Merchant of Graffin Prankard. The shifting horizon of Bristol’s commerce from the Bay of Biscay, to the Mediterranean, to the Chesapeake and Caribbean reflected a search for high-value products that could be exchanged for English cloth, fish, and agricultural produce. Calabar, on the Bight of Biafra, offers an equatorial vantage point from which to scrutinise the Atlantic economy. Charleston, the colonial port, was the most regular destination for Prankard’s ships. More than half of the iron export from Stockholm to reach England in 1700 was landed at London. Leufsta, with its blast furnace and four forges, was among the largest bruk in Sweden. The huge importation of Swedish and Russian iron, an affront to mercantilist sensibilities, would cease to be a necessity and Britain’s relationship with the Baltic would be transformed.

Keywords: Baltick Merchant; Bristol; Calabar; Charleston; early modern iron trade; Graffin Prankard; Leufsta bruk; Stockholm



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