Hanseatic-English War, 1470-1474

In 1468, English authorities confiscated Hanseatic goods and partially destroyed the Hanseatic Steelyard. When King Christian I. of Denmark, in retaliation to English merchant vessels sailing to Iceland (and thus violating an old Norwegian monopoly) in 1470 ordered English ships to be taken, England interpreted this measure to be instigated by the Hanseatic League, and war ensued, mainly in form of the confiscation of goods, either on land or on ships at sea.
Among the Hanseatic League, Lübeck and Danzig were most active, while the cities of the Teutonic Order and the city of Cologne were inactive. The England trade was of great importance to Cologne, and the city refused to follow the decisions of the Hanseatic assembly; the city was excluded from the Hanse (1471).
Neither side attempted to force a military victory. The fact that England was living through the Wars of the Roses only complicated the matter. In 1471 England and Burgundy concluded an alliance directed against France, and the war against the Hanse only diverted attention; the main English protagonists for a conflict with the Hanseatic League, were, with the aid of the Wendian and Prussian Hanseatic cities, ousted (1471). Hostile activity ebbed down; negotiations began in Utrecht in July 1473; peace was concluded in the Treaty of Utrecht February 1474, on terms favourable to the Hanseatic League.

Der Friede von Utrecht 1474 - Eine Epochengrenze (The Treaty of Utrecht, a turning point sepataing eras ?), from Erlanger Historikerseite, by Stuart Jenks, in German
Die Hanse, from Krefelder Referate Homepage, in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on April 2nd 2004, last revised on November 17th 2004

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