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New routines, growing interference and operational efficiency gains: the influence of Czar Peter the Great's economic policy on Dutch maritime shipping with Russia, 1709-1724

Scheltjens, Werner (2009): New routines, growing interference and operational efficiency gains: the influence of Czar Peter the Great's economic policy on Dutch maritime shipping with Russia, 1709-1724.

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Abstract

This paper is an attempt to analyze how the Dutch shipping and trade system reacted to the profound changes that occurred in Dutch-Russian trade relations in the first two decades of the eighteenth century. It will be substantiated that the changes that occurred had complex underlying causes: it is in fact the combination of far-reaching protectionist measures aimed at the polarization of St. Petersburg, changes in product demand in the Netherlands and the weakened position of Dutch maritime shipping as opposed to its direct competitors (primarily English shipping). In this paper, the primary focus will be on the effects of the polarization of St. Petersburg. It will be argued that Czar Peter the Great's foreign and domestic economic policies led to the emergence of new routines, the abandonment of the traditional Archangel route, growing interference between nearby destinations in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland and operational efficiency gains in goods transportation to and from Russia. The paper challenges the traditional view of maritime shipping as a spin-off effect of trade and embraces a more comprehensive analytical point of view that has its foundations in evolutionary economic theory.

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