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Poland, Russia And Western Trade In The 15th And 16th Centuries

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines some problems of Polish and Russian history in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the period when overseas trade became important for both countries, while their trading relations with the west to some extent determined the shape of west-European economic development. In the fifteenth century Baltic trade began to change its character. Trade with the West may well have enabled Poland and Lithuania to cover possible deficits in their trade with Russia and Turkey, which was lively in the sixteenth century. The chapter focuses on some other factors which throw light on the importance of overseas trade in Russian economic life. It seems probable that this East-West trade gave the East a permanently active trading balance. The trade added considerably to the strength of the Russian merchant class, though its members frequently complained of the excessive privileges which the government granted to foreigners.

Keywords: fifteenth century; Polish trade; Russian trade; sixteenth century; western trade

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