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Dutch Deltas

Emergence, Functions and Structure of the Low Countries’ Maritime Transport System, ca. 1300-1850

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Werner Scheltjens

In Dutch Deltas, Werner Scheltjens examines the emergence, functions and structure of the Low Countries’ maritime transport system between ca. 1300 and 1850. Scheltjens introduces the delta as a suitable geographical unit of analysis for understanding the regional economic origins of communities of maritime transporters. The author proves that changes in maritime trade networks and in the structure of regional economies entailed a process of specialisation, which led to the emergence of ‘professional’ maritime transport communities and the development of an integrated maritime transport market with Amsterdam and Rotterdam as its main centres.

Dutch Deltas offers the first comprehensive study of the economic geography of the Low Countries’ maritime transport sector and its long-term development between 1300 and 1850.