England's relationship with the Baltic trading area has remained a generally neglected aspect of English commercial development in the seventeenth century. The spectacular colonial ventures have traditionally attracted more historical attention, although the Baltic trade in this period was more fundamental to the English economy: it supplied precisely those naval commodities, such as flax, hemp, timber, pitch and tar, which facilitated the creation of fleets for the colonial trades. Medieval English trade had been conditioned by a search for markets, and the predominantly agricultural economy of the Polish Commonwealth proved to be an ideal target for cloth exports. By the early seventeenth century, however, this traditional relationship was changing. The growing English fleets demanded steady supplies of naval stores which Poland was increasingly unable to supply, while the Polish economy, weakened by wars and entering a period of decline, could no longer afford the luxury of cloth imports from England.
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(228mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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