Denise Bischof–Nelly Eisenreich–Nadja Gsaller, “Nur die Hinterländer der Weltmeere? Kontinentaleuropäischer Handel im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert”, in: H-Soz-Kult (26.04.2024).

Peter Rauscher, Kontinentaleuropa 1600–1850. In: Mark Häberlein, Markus A. Denzel (Hgg.), Handbuch globale Handelsräume und Handelsrouten. Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, Berlin/Boston 2024, 437–473,
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110428032-012

Ongoing since 2008, the project cluster “The Danube Trade” makes essential sources on the economic history of Austria during the 17th and 18th centuries available by way of open-access databases. The focus is on the trade history of the Baroque era between ca. 1650 and 1750, but individual sub-projects go beyond this century. Thus, the projects deal with a period that has been neglected in economic historiography compared to other epochs and topics such as the “Age of the Fuggers” or the intensification of transcontinental and global trade relations. This is especially true for the continental European interior, in which the imperial residence city of Vienna developed into the preeminent metropolis and all-embracing center of consumption.

So far, the project cluster consists of three individual projects: In a first step, the role of the city of Krems as the most important trading center on the Austrian Danube alongside Linz and Vienna was investigated. Since 2013, 28 volumes of the “Krems Weighing and Warehouse Books” for the period between 1621 and 1737 have been completely recorded in a database; indices of mentioned persons and places were added to this in 2017/18; a fundamental update takes place in spring/summer 2023.

In 2013 the staff of the Danube River Trade project began processing the most extensive and significant serial sources on early modern trade history in the Upper Danube area, the “Aschach Toll Registers (1627–1775)”. The previously usable demo version was replaced by a full version by May 2023. A comprehensive database of placenames, which will also be put online in 2023, will provide detailed information on the economic area of the Upper Danube and will serve as a basis for further research on this region.

In a third step, the merchants operating in Vienna have been researched since 2021. The data basis is formed by the entries in the first Viennese mercantile protocol, in which the trading companies located in Vienna were registered from 1725 onwards. In addition to a full-text edition of this source, studies on the structure and economic activity of the multi-layered Viennese merchant class will be presented.

In addition to the indexing of the sources in the form of databases or full texts, we offer public and free access to their digital copies in cooperation with the respective archives and Phaidra (Collection “The Danube Trade”). Furthermore, an extensive Bibliography and Link Collection on Upper German trade history of the early modern period as well as Publications resulting from the project can be accessed via the project website.

Peter Rauscher and Andrea Serles

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