Carl Frederik Bricka
Carl Frederik Bricka was a Danish archivist and biographer. Carl Bricka was born in Denmark, his father, Frederik Vilhelm Theodor Bricka, was a medical doctor. He earned his Magister degree from the University of Copenhagen, he became an assistant at the Danish Royal Library in 1871. During the period 1883-97, he was employed in the Danish National Archives, after which he became the department head. Bricka became a member of the board of the Danish Historical Society and edited the historical magazine published by the association, he served as editor of Danske Magazin. From 1885 until his death in 1903, he was the publisher of the Dansk biografisk lexikon: tillige omfattende Norge for Tidsrummet 1537–1814; the first edition of this Danish biographic encyclopedia was published by Gyldendal in 19 volumes between 1887 to 1905. L. L.: Bricka, Carl Frederik, in Blangstrup, Christian: Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon, Copenhagen 1915 – 1930, vol. III, p. 947f. URL last accessed 2007-09-15. Dansk biografisk Lexikon - Project Runeberg
Olaf II of Denmark
Olaf II Haakonsson was King of Denmark as Olaf II and King of Norway as Olaf IV. Olaf was son of King Haakon VI of Norway and the grandson of King Magnus IV of Sweden, his mother was Queen Margaret I of Denmark which made him the grandson of King Valdemar IV of Denmark. In addition to his claim on the thrones of Denmark and Norway, he was in the direct succession line to the throne of Sweden, he became King of Denmark when only five years old and also succeeded his father as King of Norway. When his grandfather Valdemar IV of Denmark died, Olaf was just five years old, he was proclaimed King of Denmark by a Danehof in Slagelse the following year. His mother, Queen Margaret, was to serve as regent due to his young age, his proclamation included the title "true heir of Sweden" added at his mother's insistence since his grandfather had been king of Sweden until forced to abdicate. Olaf was hailed as king in Scania, including the towns controlled by the Hanseatic league since the Treaty of Stralsund in 1370.
Queen Margaret signed a coronation charter on behalf of Olaf, too young to rule until he came of age at fifteen. In the charter Olaf agreed to meet with the Danehof at least once a year and return properties his grandfather Valdemar IV had confiscated during his reign. Olaf became King of Norway on his father's death in 1380; when Olaf reached his majority in 1385, his mother ruled through him. With his ascent to the Norwegian throne and Norway were thus united in a personal union ruled from Denmark. Denmark and Norway would have the same king, with the exception of short interregnums, until Norway's independence in 1814. Despite all the hope Margaret and the peoples of Denmark and Sweden had for Olaf's future, they were never realized, he died unexpectedly in August, 1387 at age 16. He was buried at Sorø Abbey on the Danish island of Zealand where his grandfather and mother was buried. Rumors arose that Olaf had been poisoned which gave rise to many years to the story of "False Olaf". Following his death at Falsterbohus, Olaf's mother was proclaimed "all powerful lady and mistress and the Kingdom of Denmark's Regent".
Denmark had at the time no provision. The next year Norway proclaimed her Norway's "reigning queen". After the defeat and overthrow of King Albert in 1389 she was proclaimed "all powerful lady of Sweden". On 13 June 1397, she was able to unite the three Scandinavian kingdoms in a personal union under one crown for her successor Eric of Pomerania by the Kalmar Union. After Olaf, no Norwegian king was to be born on Norwegian soil for more than 550 years, until prince Harald was born in 1937. Olaf's death was the end of the male line of the Bjelbo dynasty in Sweden. Prussian historian Johan von Posilge reported that in 1402 a "poor sick man came to the country and stayed near the village of Grudziądz. A group of merchants from Denmark asked him if he was not well known in Denmark, since he looked much like the late King Olaf; the merchants left to find another who had returned with him. When the newcomer saw the one they took for Olaf, he cried out, "My lord king!" Many people in Norway did not believe that Olaf had died.
They thought Queen Margaret had poisoned young Olaf to get him out of the way, so she could rule. According to the rumors, young Olaf escaped; the news reached Tyme von der Nelow, who took the man to Gdańsk. The high born of the town welcomed Olaf as the rightful King of Denmark and Norway and gave him fine clothes and presents. A seal was made for him, he wrote to Queen Margaret informing her that he was her son and demanded the restoration of his lands and titles. Queen Margaret wrote back saying that if he could prove himself her son, she would gladly accept him; the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights escorted the pretender to Kalmar to be interviewed by the queen. As soon as the man arrived he was discovered to be an impostor, he could speak not a single word of Danish and on questioning admitted he was a Prussian, the son of peasants: Adolph and Margaret from Eger. The false Olaf was taken to Lund in Scania. There he was condemned to be burned at the stake; the letters he wrote to Queen Margaret were hung around his neck and a mock crown placed on his head before he was lowered into the flames.
His possessions were given to a monastery, the queen had the false Olaf's seal destroyed. The Danish National Council released a detailed explanation of the real Olaf's death in 1387 to contradict the story that had spread around the Baltic. Albrectsen, Esben Danmark-Norge 1380–1814. B. 1 Fællesskabet bliver til: 1380–1536
Pomerania is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in Central Europe, split between Germany and Poland. The name derives from the Slavic po more, meaning "by the sea" or "on the sea". Pomerania stretches from the Recknitz and Trebel rivers in the west to the Vistula river in the east; the largest Pomeranian islands are Usedom/Uznam and Wolin. The largest Pomeranian city is Gdańsk, or, when using a narrower definition of the region, Szczecin. Outside its urban areas, Pomerania is characterized by farmland, dotted with numerous lakes and towns; the region was affected by post–World War I and II border and population shifts, with most of its pre-war inhabitants leaving or being expelled after 1945. Pomerania is the area along the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea between the rivers Recknitz and Trebel in the west and Vistula in the east, it reached as far south as the Noteć river, but since the 13th century its southern boundary has been placed further north. Most of the region is coastal lowland, being part of the Central European Plain, but its southern, hilly parts belong to the Baltic Ridge, a belt of terminal moraines formed during the Pleistocene.
Within this ridge, a chain of moraine-dammed lakes constitutes the Pomeranian Lake District. The soil is rather poor, sometimes sandy or marshy; the western coastline is jagged, with many peninsulas and islands enclosing numerous bays and lagoons. The eastern coastline is smooth. Łebsko and several other lakes were bays, but have been cut off from the sea. The easternmost coastline along the Gdańsk Bay and Vistula Lagoon, has the Hel Peninsula and the Vistula peninsula jutting out into the Baltic; the Pomeranian region has the following administrative divisions: Hither Pomerania in northeastern Germany, stretching from the Recknitz river to the Oder–Neisse line. This region is part of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; the southernmost part of historical Vorpommern is now in Brandenburg, while its historical eastern parts are now in Poland. Vorpommern comprises the historical regions inhabited by Slavic tribes Rugians and Volinians, otherwise the Principality of Rügen and the County of Gützkow.
The West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland, stretching from the Oder–Neisse line to the Wieprza river, encompassing most of historical Pomerania in the narrow sense. The Pomeranian Voivodeship, with similar borders to Pomerelia, stretching from the Wieprza river to the Vistula delta in the vicinity of Gdańsk; the northern half of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, comprising most of Chełmno Land. The bulk of Farther Pomerania is included within the modern West Pomeranian Voivodeship, but its easternmost parts now constitute the northwest of Pomeranian Voivodeship. Farther Pomerania in turn comprises several other historical subregions, most notably the Principality of Cammin, the County of Naugard, the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp, the Lauenburg and Bütow Land. Parts of Pomerania and surrounding regions have constituted a euroregion since 1995; the Pomerania euroregion comprises Hither Pomerania and Uckermark in Germany, West Pomerania in Poland, Scania in Sweden. "Pomerania" and its cognates in other languages are derived from Old Slavic po, meaning "by/next to/along", more, meaning "sea", thus "Pomerania" means "seacoast" or "land by the sea", referring to its proximity to the Baltic Sea.
Pomerania was first mentioned in an imperial document of 1046, referring to a Zemuzil dux Bomeranorum. Pomerania is mentioned in the chronicles of Adam of Bremen and Gallus Anonymous; the term "West Pomerania" is ambiguous, since it may refer to either Hither Pomerania or to the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. The term "East Pomerania" may carry different meanings, referring either to Farther Pomerania, or to Pomerelia or the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Settlement in the area called Pomerania for the last 1,000 years started by the end of the Vistula Glacial Stage, some 13,000 years ago. Archeological traces have been found of various cultures during the Stone and Bronze Age, Baltic peoples, Germanic peoples and Veneti during the Iron Age and, in the Dark Ages, Slavic tribes and Vikings. Starting in the 10th century, early Polish dukes on several occasions subdued parts of the region from the southeast, while the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark augmented their territory from the west and north. In the 12th century, narrow Pomerania became Christian under saint Otto of Bamberg.
Since the Griffin Duchy of Pomerania stayed with the Holy Roman Empire and the Principality of Rugia with Denmark, while Pomerelia, under the ruling of Samborides, was a part of Poland. Pomerania, during its alliance in the Holy Roman Empire, shared borders with Slavic state Oldenburg, as well as Poland and Brandenburg; the Teutonic Knights succeeded in integrating Pomerelia into their monastic state in the early 14th century. Meanwhile, the Ostsiedlung started to turn Slavic narrow Pomerania into an German-settled area. In 1325 the line of the pri
Slavs are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic linguistic group. They are native to Eurasia, stretching from Central and Southeastern Europe all the way north and eastwards to Northeast Europe, Northern Asia, Central Asia, as well as in Western Europe and Western Asia. From the early 6th century they spread to inhabit the majority of Central and Southeastern Europe. Today, there is a large Slavic diaspora throughout North America in the United States and Canada as a result of immigration. Slavs are the largest ethno-linguistic group in Europe. Present-day Slavic people are classified into East Slavs, West Slavs, South Slavs. Slavs can be further grouped by religion. Orthodox Christianity is practiced by the majority of Slavs; the Orthodox Slavs include the Belarusians, Macedonians, Russians, Rusyns and Ukrainians and are defined by Orthodox customs and Cyrillic script, as well as their cultural connection to the Byzantine Empire.
Their second most common religion is Roman Catholicism. The Catholic Slavs include Croats, Kashubs, Poles, Slovaks and Sorbs and are defined by their Latinate influence and heritage and connection to Western Europe. There are substantial Protestant and Lutheran minorities among the West Slavs, such as the historical Bohemian Hussites; the second-largest religion among the Slavs after Christianity is Islam. Muslim Slavs include the Bosniaks, Gorani, Torbeši, other Muslims of the former Yugoslavia. Modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are diverse both genetically and culturally, relations between them – within the individual groups – range from ethnic solidarity to mutual hostility; the oldest mention of the Slavic ethnonym is the 6th century AD Procopius, writing in Byzantine Greek, using various forms such as Sklaboi, Sklabēnoi, Sthlabenoi, or Sklabinoi, while his contemporary Jordanes refers to the Sclaveni in Latin. The oldest documents written in Old Church Slavonic, dating from the 9th century, attest the autonym as Slověne.
These forms point back to a Slavic autonym which can be reconstructed in Proto-Slavic as *Slověninъ, plural Slověne. The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is considered a derivation from slovo denoting "people who speak", i. e. people who understand each other, in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people, namely *němьcь, meaning "silent, mute people". The word slovo and the related slava and slukh originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew-, cognate with Ancient Greek κλέος, as in the name Pericles, Latin clueo, English loud. Ancient Roman sources refer to the Early Slavic peoples as Veneti, who dwelled in a region of central Europe east of the Germanic tribe of Suebi, west of the Iranian Sarmatians in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD; the Slavs under name of the Antes and the Sclaveni first appear in Byzantine records in the early 6th century. Byzantine historiographers under emperor Justinian I, such as Procopius of Caesarea and Theophylact Simocatta describe tribes of these names emerging from the area of the Carpathian Mountains, the lower Danube and the Black Sea, invading the Danubian provinces of the Eastern Empire.
Jordanes, in his work Getica, describes the Veneti as a "populous nation" whose dwellings begin at the sources of the Vistula and occupy "a great expanse of land". He describes the Veneti as the ancestors of Antes and Slaveni, two early Slavic tribes, who appeared on the Byzantine frontier in the early 6th century. Procopius wrote in 545 that "the Sclaveni and the Antae had a single name in the remote past; the name Sporoi derives from Greek σπείρω. He described them as barbarians, who lived under democracy, believe in one god, "the maker of lightning", to whom they made sacrifice, they lived in scattered housing, changed settlement. In war, they were foot soldiers with small shields and battle axes clothed, some entering battle naked with only genitals covered, their language is "barbarous", the two tribes are alike in appearance, being tall and robust, "while their bodies and hair are neither fair or blond, nor indeed do they incline to the dark type, but they are all ruddy in color. And they live a hard life, giving no heed to bodily comforts..."
Jordanes described the Sclaveni having forests for their cities. Another 6th-century source refers to them living among nearly impenetrable forests, rivers and marshes. Menander Protector mentions a Daurentius who slew an Avar envoy of Khagan Bayan I for asking the Slavs to accept the suzerainty of the Avars. According to eastern homeland theory, prior to becoming known to the Roman world, Slavic-speaking tribes were part of the many multi-ethnic confederacies
Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans; the English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages. Since the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation within the Holy Roman Empire, German society has been characterized by a Catholic-Protestant divide. Of 100 million native speakers of German in the world 80 million consider themselves Germans. There are an additional 80 million people of German ancestry in the United States, Argentina, South Africa, the post-Soviet states, France, each accounting for at least 1 million. Thus, the total number of Germans lies somewhere between 100 and more than 150 million, depending on the criteria applied. Today, people from countries with German-speaking majorities most subscribe to their own national identities and may or may not self-identify as ethnically German.
The German term Deutsche originates from the Old High German word diutisc, referring to the Germanic "language of the people". It is not clear how if at all, the word was used as an ethnonym in Old High German. Used as a noun, ein diutscher in the sense of "a German" emerges in Middle High German, attested from the second half of the 12th century; the Old French term alemans is taken from the name of the Alamanni. It was loaned into Middle English as almains in the early 14th century; the word Dutch is attested in English from the 14th century, denoting continental West Germanic dialects and their speakers. While in most Romance languages the Germans have been named from the Alamanni, the Old Norse and Estonian names for the Germans were taken from that of the Saxons. In Slavic languages, the Germans were given the name of němьci with a meaning "foreigner, one who does not speak "; the English term Germans is only attested from the mid-16th century, based on the classical Latin term Germani used by Julius Caesar and Tacitus.
It replaced Dutch and Almains, the latter becoming obsolete by the early 18th century. The Germans are a Germanic people. Part of the Holy Roman Empire, around 300 independent German states emerged during its decline after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 ending the Thirty Years War; these states formed into modern Germany in the 19th century. The concept of a German ethnicity is linked to Germanic tribes of antiquity in central Europe; the early Germans originated on the North German Plain as well as southern Scandinavia. By the 2nd century BC, the number of Germans was increasing and they began expanding into eastern Europe and southward into Celtic territory. During antiquity these Germanic tribes remained separate from each other and did not have writing systems at that time. In the European Iron Age the area, now Germany was divided into the La Tène horizon in Southern Germany and the Jastorf culture in Northern Germany. By 55 BC, the Germans had reached the Danube river and had either assimilated or otherwise driven out the Celts who had lived there, had spread west into what is now Belgium and France.
Conflict between the Germanic tribes and the forces of Rome under Julius Caesar forced major Germanic tribes to retreat to the east bank of the Rhine. Roman emperor Augustus in 12 BC ordered the conquest of the Germans, but the catastrophic Roman defeat at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest resulted in the Roman Empire abandoning its plans to conquer Germania. Germanic peoples in Roman territory were culturally Romanized, although much of Germania remained free of direct Roman rule, Rome influenced the development of German society the adoption of Christianity by the Germans who obtained it from the Romans. In Roman-held territories with Germanic populations, the Germanic and Roman peoples intermarried, Roman and Christian traditions intermingled; the adoption of Christianity would become a major influence in the development of a common German identity. The first major public figure to speak of a German people in general, was the Roman figure Tacitus in his work Germania around 100 AD; however an actual united German identity and ethnicity did not exist and it would take centuries of development of German culture until the concept of a German ethnicity began to become a popular identity.
The Germanic peoples during the Migrations Period came into contact with other peoples. The Limes Germanicus was breached in AD 260. Migrating Germanic tribes commingled with the local Gallo-Roman populations in what is now Swabia and Bavaria; the arrival of the Huns in Europe resulted in Hun conquest of large parts of Eastern Europe, the Huns were allies of the Roman Empire who fought against Germanic tribes, but the Huns cooperated with the Germanic tribe of the Ostrogoths, large numbers of Germans lived within the lands of the Hunnic Empire of
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, diminished after 1450. Hanse spelled as Hansa, was the Old High German word for a convoy, this word was applied to bands of merchants traveling between the Hanseatic cities - whether by land or by sea. Merchant circles established the league to protect the guilds' economic interests and diplomatic privileges in their affiliated cities and countries, as well as along the trade routes which the merchants used; the Hanseatic cities had their own legal system and operated their own armies for mutual protection and aid. Despite this, the organization was not a state, nor could it be called a confederation of city-states.
Historians trace the origins of the Hanseatic League to the rebuilding of the north German town of Lübeck in 1159 by the powerful Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, after he had captured the area from Adolf II, Count of Schauenburg and Holstein. Exploratory trading adventures and piracy had occurred earlier throughout the Baltic region—the sailors of Gotland sailed up rivers as far away as Novgorod, for example—but the scale of international trade in the Baltic area remained insignificant before the growth of the Hanseatic League. German cities achieved domination of trade in the Baltic with striking speed during the 13th century, Lübeck became a central node in the seaborne trade that linked the areas around the North and Baltic seas; the hegemony of Lübeck peaked during the 15th century. Lübeck became a base for merchants from Westphalia trading eastward and northward. Well before the term Hanse appeared in a document in 1267, merchants in different cities began to form guilds, or Hansa, with the intention of trading with towns overseas in the economically less-developed eastern Baltic.
This area was a source of timber, amber and furs, along with rye and wheat brought down on barges from the hinterland to port markets. The towns raised their own armies, with each guild required to provide levies; the Hanseatic cities came to the aid of one another, commercial ships had to be used to carry soldiers and their arms. Visby functioned as the leading centre in the Baltic before the Hansa. Sailing east, Visby merchants established a trading post at Novgorod called Gutagard in 1080. Merchants from northern Germany stayed in the early period of the Gotlander settlement, they established their own trading station in Novgorod, known as Peterhof, further up river, in the first half of the 13th century. In 1229, German merchants at Novgorod were granted certain privileges that made their positions more secure. Hansa societies worked to remove restrictions to trade for their members. Before the official foundation of the league in 1356, the word Hanse did not occur in the Baltic language. Gotlanders used the word varjag.
The earliest remaining documentary mention, although without a name, of a specific German commercial federation is from London in 1157. That year, the merchants of the Hansa in Cologne convinced Henry II, King of England, to free them from all tolls in London and allow them to trade at fairs throughout England; the "Queen of the Hansa", Lübeck, where traders were required to trans-ship goods between the North Sea and the Baltic, gained imperial privileges to become a free imperial city in 1226, as its potential trading partner Hamburg had in 1189. In 1241, Lübeck, which had access to the Baltic and North seas' fishing grounds, formed an alliance—a precursor to the league—with Hamburg, another trading city, that controlled access to salt-trade routes from Lüneburg; the allied cities gained control over most of the salt-fish trade the Scania Market. In 1266, Henry III of England granted the Lübeck and Hamburg Hansa a charter for operations in England, the Cologne Hansa joined them in 1282 to form the most powerful Hanseatic colony in London.
Much of the drive for this co-operation came from the fragmented nature of existing territorial governments, which failed to provide security for trade. Over the next 50 years the Hansa itself emerged with formal agreements for confederation and co-operation covering the west and east trade routes; the principal city and linchpin remained Lübeck. Lübeck's location on the Baltic provided access for trade with Scandinavia and Kievan Rus' with its sea trade center Veliky Novgorod, putting it in direct competition with the Scandinavians who had controlled most of the Baltic trade routes. A treaty with the Visby Hansa put an end to this competition: through this treaty the Lübeck merchants gained access to the inland Russian port of Novgorod, where they built a trading post or Kontor. Although such alliances formed throughout the Holy Roman Empire, the league never became a managed formal organisation. Assemblies of the Hanseatic towns met irregularly in Lübeck for a Hansetag, from 1356 onwards, but many towns chose not to attend nor to send representatives and decisions were not binding on individual cities.
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