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Individual And Collective Strategies

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Chapter Summary

Venetian laws aimed to control the trade of non-Venetian merchants, yet even within this framework the Netherlanders, as individuals and as collective, adopted different strategies to counter existing restrictions. Non-Venetians who had resided in Venice for a period of ten consecutive years could request the cittadinanza de intus, which gave access to the guilds and the right to trade under the same conditions as a native merchant in the city itself. The cittadinanza de intus et extra offered the opportunity to participate in international trade on the same terms and conditions as native Venetians, giving foreigners privileges such as access to Venetian-Levantine commerce and lower customs tax rates for the import and export with both the Levant and the Ponente. In between official diplomatic affairs, the agenda of the ambassador was filled with get-togethers and social gatherings involving the merchants.

Keywords: international trade; Netherlanders; Venetian-Levantine commerce

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