The purpose of the proposed project is to analyse the long range trade exchange conducted by Gdańsk merchants in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century. Research questionnaire includes questions about the commodity composition, geographical coverage and origin of contractors, as well as the number of vessels entering or leaving the port in Gdańsk from the 60s of the fifteenth century to the 30s of the sixteenth century. The answer to these questions will determine whether the phenomena observed in the second half of the sixteenth century - increase in grain export volumes in Gdańsk and the related growing importance of Dutch freight in the Baltic trade, were entirely novel and thus revolutionary in their nature, or whether they were a continuation of the phenomena already observed in the first half of the fifteenth century and therefore part of the process of evolution. An integral part of the proposed research project, in addition to the monographic study addressing the issues presented above, will be a database including information about the people engaged in the trade exchange as well as the goods and vessels utilized.
The proposed project consists of two main components: the research module and the database. In the first stage the applicant will make use of Excel spreadsheets. The source material will be processed into tables enabling statistical analysis. This stage will be used for comparative analysis, as the state of research on the Hanseatic trade allows to identify the direction of trade based on the goods being transferred. A characteristic feature of the proposed project lies in the extensive use of quantitative methods that will enable a more comprehensive analysis of
the subject matter than has previously been possible. This analysis will focus on individual periods (years) for which source materials are available. In formulating the thesis, the applicant will also make use of comparative analysis, since only comparing data from consecutive years will provide a dynamic representation of the studied phenomena. The impact of the results Providing an answer to the question about the dynamics and nature of trade relations between
Gdańsk, with its economic base, and Western Europe at the turn of the sixteenth century, would be a starting point for reconsidering economic relations between the East and the West of Europe on the threshold of the modern era, as well as their consequences for the socio-economic structure of the Republic of Poland. The database collecting information about the people and vessels passing through the port of Gdańsk will serve as source material for the developing prosopographical studies and wider comparative examinations, as it will effectively complement the list of available print materials illustrating the movement of vessels through the ports of the Baltic Sea in the late Middle Ages.
Analysis results will be presented along with a comprehensive statistical material (in the form of tables and graphs) and a database which will, on the one hand, enable verification of the obtained results and, on the other, shed more light on the analysed source material and facilitate further studies in this area.