- Trade around the Baltic Sea has been important since the Middle Ages, when Hansa was a major power. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Dutch contacts with Baltic countries and cities (e.g., Danzig) were intensive. Dutch merchants and artisans were active in many towns, for instance, in Gothenburg, Sweden, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Entrepreneurs such as Louis de Geer and Balthasar de Moucheron (1552–1630) ran mines and factories in the Scandinavian countries and in Russia. Trade with Russia (Mus covy) flourished. Dutch ships also sailed to the seaport of Archangelsk in the north, although St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea became the main destination of Dutch merchants after the beginning of the 18th century. Later in that century, linen traders from Twente in the provinceof Overijssel, especially from Vriezenveen, made an annual journey by wagon to Moscow to sell their products. Some Amsterdam entrepreneurs (such as the Marselis family) operated ironworks in Russia. At the end of the 18th century, the Baltic trade declined as a result of increasing competition and wars in Europe and the end of Amsterdam as an important staples market.
Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. EdwART. 2012.
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