The Rise of the European Economy: An Economic History of Continental Europe from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century

By Hermann Kellenbenz; Gerhard Benecke | Go to book overview

IV Service Industries

I. COMMUNICATIONS

A. Technological development

One of the most startling technological developments of the sixteenth century came in ship-building. Boats increased in size as trade became more lucrative, especially in bulk goods between Baltic, Atlantic and Mediterranean. Boat-building was not standardized, however, the Baltic continuing to favour LübeckKrawels (carvels), which were copied farther west as Hulks and North SeaRahsegler. Henry VIII built up his fleet mainly by buying ships from the Baltic for use as patterns by English ship-builders. In the Baltic a tonnage of 300 Last (600 tons) was the maximum possible, since the heavier west and south European carracks or galleons could not be used in the shallower waters of the Baltic. In 1585 the papal legate at the Polish court explained that large Spanish ships would hardly be able to enter the Baltic, because their deep draught made it difficult to pass through the Sound. Baltic harbour and river mouths were also treacherous for ships with excessive draught.

In German and Dutch waters the small tub-like Bojer was developed for maximum carrying on minimum draught. In the 1620s the Hamburgers used these boats to trade with Zeeland, England, Scotland, Norway and across the Baltic. Towards the end of the sixteenth century the Bojer plied to Spain. By now they were built with two masts, the second a small mizzen with lateen sail. The advantage of these ships lay in their economy. Whereas a threemaster of 100 Last needed a complement of fourteen men, a Bojer of 50 Last could manage with five or six men. A Dutch Rahsegel would usually make only one sailing to the Baltic each year, and one to Brouage. Exceptionally, it

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The Rise of the European Economy: An Economic History of Continental Europe from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Rise of the European Economy *
  • Contents *
  • Foreword *
  • Introduction *
  • Part One- The Economic Development of Continental Europe 1500- 1630 *
  • I- Population Movements *
  • II- Organization of Production *
  • III- Production *
  • IV- Service Industries *
  • V- Prices and Wages *
  • Part Two- The Economic Development of Continental Europe 1630-1750 194
  • I- Intellectual Movements *
  • II- Population Movements *
  • III- State Planning and the Economy *
  • IV- Production *
  • Service Industries *
  • VI- Money, Credit and Insurance *
  • VII- Conclusion *
  • Select Bibliography *
  • Index *
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