Navigation Acts and the integration of North Baltic shipping in the early nineteenth century
Ojala, J., & Räihä, A. (2017). Navigation Acts and the integration of North Baltic shipping in the early nineteenth century. International Journal of Maritime History, 29 (1), 26-43. doi:10.1177/0843871416678166
Published inInternational Journal of Maritime History
© The Author(s) 2017. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by SAGE Publications. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This article discusses how Navigation Acts affected shipping and commodity trade from and to the Northern Baltic during the early nineteenth century. We use Finnish shipping and foreign trade as an example of trade integration at the time. Finland can be used as a ‘laboratory case’ to study the importance of the Navigation Acts, as the eastern part of the area followed Russian legislation without the Navigation Act to restrict shipping to domestic vessels, while the western part followed Swedish legislation with strict protection through the Swedish version of the Act (Produktplakat). The article argues that the role played by foreign vessels in shipments of Finnish export goods was far more significant during the period than has been noted before. Also, we argue that British shipping was of decisive importance in these trades, especially from the south-eastern parts of Finland, most notably the city of Vyborg. The literature so far has emphasised both endogenous causes (e.g. structural change in the Finnish economy, the role played by Swedish and Russian legislation in Finland) and exogenous causes (e.g. changes in British customs duties and the repeal of the Navigation Acts) for changes in shipping and trade patterns. Until recently, the big picture of this trade has been rather difficult to form due to shortcomings in the sources. This study overcomes these challenges by using both Danish Sound Toll data and local archival sources to trace patterns of trade. ...