Just Published: North Eurasian Trade in World History, 1660-1860 (London: Routledge 2021)

This book offers the first long-term analysis of the protracted struggle between Britain, France, Prussia, Russia, and Sweden for economic power and political influence in the northern part of the Eurasian continent between 1660 and 1860. This book shows how their commercial, diplomatic, and military entanglements determined the course of Baltic trade from the late seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century, provoking, among other things, the decline of the Dutch Republic and the partitions of Poland-Lithuania.

The author conceptualizes the Baltic Sea as one of North Eurasia’s western border basins, alongside the White, Black, and Caspian Seas, and employs novel statistical series of Baltic trade as a proxy for the long-term development of North Eurasian trade in world history. Based on extensive quantitative evidence and sources for the history of international relations, this book outlines how North Eurasian trade became an object of growing tensions between various larger and smaller powers with a stake in North Eurasia’s riches. The book addresses the long-term impact of mercantilist policies, territorial greed, and military conflicts in North Eurasia’s border basins, and accentuates the significance of developments in the preindustrial transport and commercial infrastructure of the North Eurasian landmass. Employing the concept of North Eurasia and its different borderlands and border basins, this book overcomes previous limitations in the historiography of globalization and sheds light on a large, continental landmass, which researchers tend to leave aside for the benefit of a predominant maritime perspective in historical studies of globalization.

North Eurasian Trade in World History, 16601860 will be invaluable reading for students and scholars interested in world history, East European history, and the history of international relations and trade.

About the research

Research at the Professorship of Digital History focuses on the application and development of digital tools and methods in the realm of (handwritten) text recognition, semantic annotation, relational databases, digital scholarly editing and ontology design.

These methods are used to analyse and publish non-narrative sources, such as

  • customs and account registers
  • historical reference works, e.g. dictionaries, lexicons and encyclopaedia
  • historical newspapers (in particular: advertisements)

Ongoing research projects deal with topics of preindustrial economic history in Western Europe, The Baltic and North Eurasia from the sixteenth to nineteenth century (see Projects).

The Professorship has a special interest on historical metrology, the study of pre-modern weights and measures (see CIMH and Digital Noback Project).