This volume brings together a leading group of scholars to offer a new perspective on the history of conflicts and trade, focusing on the role of small and medium, or "weak", and often neutral states. Existing historiography has often downplayed the importance of such states in world trade, during armed conflicts, and as important agents in the expanding trade and global connections of the last 250 years. The country studies demonstrate that these states played a much bigger role in world and bilateral trade than has previously been assumed, and that this role was augmented by the emergence of truly global conflicts and total war.

In addition to careful country or comparative studies, this book provides new data on trade and shipping during wars and examines the impact of this trade on the individual states’ economies. It spans the period from the late 18th century to the First and Second World Wars and the Cold War of the 20th century, a crucial period of change in the concept and practice of neutrality and trade, as well as periods of transition in the nature and technology of warfare.

This book will be of great interest to scholars of economic history, comparative history, international relations, and political science.

chapter 1|26 pages


ByJari Eloranta, Peter Hedberg, Maria Cristina Moreira, Eric Golson

part I|112 pages

Interplay of trade and conflicts in the long run

chapter 2|23 pages

Trade and the new republic

American trade during the Napoleonic Wars, 1783–1830
ByJeremy Land, Jari Eloranta, Maria Cristina Moreira

chapter 4|22 pages

Commercial relations between Portugal and Russia

Neutrality, trade, and finance (1770–1850)
ByMaria Cristina Moreira, Rita Martins de Sousa, Werner Scheltjens

chapter 5|21 pages

Taxation in Brazil in the Napoleonic Wars

Neutrality, economy and the outcomes of a royal court in transit
ByRodrigo da Costa Dominguez, Angelo Alves Carrara

chapter 6|23 pages

Wartime trade and tariffs in Sweden from the Napoleonic Wars to World War I

ByPeter Hedberg, Henric Häggqvist

part II|98 pages

Trade and neutrality in conflicts

chapter 7|14 pages

Small states in harm’s way

Neutrality in war
ByEric Golson

chapter 8|18 pages

The Atlantic orientation

Norway and the western blockade of Germany, 1914–1918
ByKnut Ola Naastad Strøm

chapter 9|23 pages

What was the impact of World War I on Swedish economic and business performance?

A case study of the ball bearings manufacturer SKF
ByEric Golson, Jason Lennard

chapter 10|17 pages

The macroeconomic effects of neutrality

Evidence from the Nordic countries during the wars
ByJason Lennard, Eric Golson

chapter 11|18 pages

No room for neutrality?

The uncommitted European nations and the economic Cold War in the 1950s
ByNiklas Jensen-Eriksen

chapter 12|6 pages

Bicycles in rush hour

Concluding neutrality and war
ByToshiaki Tamaki, Jari Ojala