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Title: Dutch merchants and sailors in Malta in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Authors: Zammit, Claire (1998)
Keywords: Merchants -- Netherlands -- History -- 17th century
Merchants -- Netherlands -- History -- 18th century
Sailors -- Netherlands -- History -- 17th century
Sailors -- Netherlands -- History -- 18th century
Netherlands -- Commerce -- Malta
Malta -- Commerce -- Netherlands
Malta -- History -- 17th century
Malta -- History -- 18th century
Malta -- History -- Knights of Malta, 1530-1798
Merchant marine -- Malta -- History
Issue Date: 1998
Citation: Zammit, C. (1998). Dutch merchants and sailors in Malta in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: The present dissertation focuses on the commercial relations that the Dutch held with the Mediterranean, with special attention to Malta. In the Middle Ages the Mediterranean merchant, particularly the Italian one, was the commercial and cultural intermediary between the Levant and the West and between Northern and Southern Europe. The strategic position of the Mediterranean situated between three different continents, Europe, Africa and Asia was the central meeting point, and trade was an important link between these three areas. The Dutch tradesmen’s penetration in the Mediterranean was at first concerned with the provisions of everyday commodities, like grain; by the beginning of the seventeenth century the Dutch, among other Northerners, established an international trade which carried luxury goods from distant lands, like the Far East, to Europe and the Mediterranean. Because of this long-distance trade, the Northerners helped to bring about a change in the commercial and economic balance of the Mediterranean. By the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century, it was the Northerners who took the lead in this long-distance trade, replacing the Italian merchant. What may have been the reason for the dominance of the Northerners was their excellent self-organization and their superiority over the Mediterranean merchants. The Dutch merchant had the incentive, the opportunity and the power to effectively organize long-distance trade as a profitable business, and by the seventeenth century they had 'made themselves the richest and most powerful in the world' . Chapter 1 traces these developments. Chapter 2 concentrates on what Malta had to offer to this 'new dynamic force in the Mediterranean' . Trade was vital for Malta's economy and survival, especially under the Order of St. John where the island's population increased rapidly. I concentrated my efforts on some local archives of the Order of St. John in an endeavour to provide a picture of the Dutch shipping movement in the Mediterranean and, more particularly, Malta in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The local manuscript sources that have been consulted include the Quarantine Registers, the ‘Libretti delle Prattiche dei Bastimenti con la nota del loro Equipaggio e Passeggeri’, the Archives of the Consolato del Mare, the Archives of the Inquisition, and the Archives of the Bishop's Curia. These sources provide a rich and detailed information about Dutch merchants and sailors; their life at sea; the adventures and dangers encountered on their journeys; and the merchandise and passengers they carried on board of their ships. Chapter 3 deals with the role of the Inquisitors to protect the Maltese islands from the influence which foreign heretical sailors and merchants could exert on local inhabitants. A number of 'Dutch' inquisitorial cases are recorded in the archives at Mdina. The majority of these are concerned with heresy and apostasy to Islam. The last chapter is about the Dutch sailors who asked the bishop's permission to get married and settle in Malta. Nothing, as far as I am aware, has ever been written on the Dutch in Malta in early modem times. The present dissertation offers a tentative approach to a difficult subject.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HISTORY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 1998
Dissertations - FacArtHis - 1967-2010

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