Hanze

   Since the 13th century, a league of towns existed in northern Germany with the aim of de fending their commercial interests in foreign countries. The term also designated the societies of German merchants in foreign towns. The influence of the Hansa extended from London and Bruges to Bergen, Stockholm, Riga, and Novgorod. Several towns in the Low Coun tries were members of this league, such as Groningen, Kampen, Zwolle, and Deventer. Political decisions were made in periodic as semblies (Rezesse). The emergence of more powerful states dimin ished the significance of the Hansa beginning in the late Middle Ages.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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