chapter  5
40 Pages

Doing Business: The Invisible Diplomacy of Merchants, 1776-1800

While the citizens of the Hanseatic cities were as interested as other Germans in the scholarly and philosophical writings about America, the Hanse had an additional and much more concrete stake in the new United States. Since the days of smuggling and other illicit German

trade with the American colonies, the interest of the Hanseatic cities in America was overwhelmingly commercial. The independence of the United States was a portentous event in Bremen and Hamburg: the first opportunity for German merchants to trade directly with a “co lo n ia l” market.3 It was, declared Senator C.A. Heineken of Bremen, “ the sunrise of a glorious period” for trade.4