Riga was undoubtedly the major port city in the eastern Baltic and consequently
the gateway for Lithuanian trade with Western Europe. This contribution focuses
on Riga’s commercial role in the first half of the seventeenth century when the city
became a part of the Swedish empire and the city’s relationship with the Lithuanian
hinterland, still a part of Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth, became much
more complicated. The article stresses the economic reasons for Swedish political
and military engagements in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which peaked with the
Union of Kodainiai in 1655. From a historiographical perspective, this paper begins
with the argument by the Swedish historian Arthur Attman that Swedish interest
in the eastern Baltic territories began with trade. The paper will suggest that the
Lithuanian nobility and merchants were also interested in establishing a good relationship
with Sweden because Swedish power guaranteed political stability accompanied
by commercial development, this being reflected in the success of Riga’s
merchants during the 1630s and 1640s.
Hilversum: Verloren , 2007. 240-249 p.
Lithuanian-Swedish economic relations, Sweden as a Great Power, Riga's trade under Swedish rule, Belarus