This book explains the formation of the Dutch world entrepôt at the end of the sixteenth century, and its subsequent development, in rather different terms from those of Fernand Braudel and others who place the main emphasis on Dutch bulk freightage. The book argues that the post-1590 ascendancy of the Dutch entrepôt over the mechanisms of world trade cannot be explained in terms of anything that happened in the Baltic, or in terms of Dutch Baltic bulk freightage, and that it is also an error to see the Dutch world entrepôt as declining after 1650. In place of this rise-and-fall rhythm linked to the ups and downs of the Baltic grain trade, the book notes a more complex pattern, a sequence of seven phases, commencing with the breakthrough to world primacy during what it termed Phase One and ending with the disintegration of the seventeenth-century Dutch trading system termed Phase Seven.
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