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Chapter Summary

Netherlandish merchants succeeded in establishing themselves as a dominant commercial force in Venice between 1590 and 1650, when the city finally lost its control over international commerce. The arrival and presence of the Netherlanders in Venice illustrates the consequences of the changing balance of European trade around 1600 on a local level. In this case, trade in Baltic grain proved a decisive factor, conforming to the picture Fernand Braudel painted for the entire Mediterranean region. The Netherlanders in Venice formed a community that was partly based on natural ties such as provenance, and partly constructed through marriage bonds and the exchange of personal gifts. The strong cohesion among the members of the nazione fiamminga, moreover, was an important instrument in their interaction with the Venetian authorities. The Netherlandish nation successfully directed their petitions at the Venetian government, negotiating collective tax reductions or other types of commercial rights.

Keywords: Baltic grain; European trade; Fernand Braudel; international commerce; Netherlandish merchants



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