History of the Germans

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Date Title & Description Contributors

  Hermann von Salza

“.. the far-sighted planning of Grand Master Brother Hermann von Salza had so strengthened the Teutonic Order that it had many members and such power, riches and honour that word of its fame and good reputation had spread the length and breadth of the ...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  Episode 128 - A Chivalric Order

Hello and welcome to a new season of the History of the Germans, the Teutonic Knights or to give them their full title, the knights of the hospital of St. Mary of the House of the Germans in Jerusalem. Even though the state they had created in Prussia ...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  An Interview with Carsten Jahnke

Professor Carsten Jahnke, one of the leading historians on the Hanse has kindly granted us an interview where we discuss how the Hanse network functioned and how the perception of the Hanse has changed dramatically over the last 200 years, a story that...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  The Art and Culture of the Hanse

Our history of the Hanse has come to an end, not with a bang but with a whimper. Of the things that have remained we have already talked a lot, the ideal of the honourable Hanseatic merchant, the cultural and political links to Scandinavia and the stor...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  A Brief History of Bremen

Bremen was geographically and politically quite different from the other cities, ploughing its own furrow. In response the other Hansards did not trust the citizens of Bremen. There is also the minor issue that Bremen sheltered a lot of pirates. Still ...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  The Rise of Hamburg

The last two episodes may have left you with a sense of gloom and foreboding about the great Hanseatic cities. But here is the counterintuitive fact, the Hanse may continuously loose political power and economic relevance, but the cities that make up t...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  Decline and Fall (Part 2)

1531-1535, a period of just 4 years is enough to capsize Lübeck’s position as the diplomatic heart of the Baltic Sea, general secretary of the Hanse, ally of both the king of Denmark and the king of Sweden and early member of the Schmalkaldic League. H...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  Decline and Fall (Part 1)

1474-1531 was a time of immense change and upheaval for the Hanseatic League, and not just for them. The Habsburg empire is bedded into being, England’s war of the Roses is over, in the North the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth stretches all the way fro...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  Calamitous Victories

In 1435 the Hanse can look back at a string of successes. Another war with Denmark won, the patrician regime in Lübeck and elsewhere restored, conflicts with Burgundy and England settled in their favour. But as Winston Churchill once remarked, “The pro...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author

  A Constitutional Crisis

By the end of the 14th century the Hanse is at the top of its game. The Cologne Confederation had shown that they could act in unison if the need arises, can defeat the largest and best run kingdom in Scandinavia. And even the mighty duke of Burgundy h...
  Dirk Hoffmann-Becking author