Approaching Europe: The merchant networks between Finland and Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
Finland offers a good opportunity to study how international trade contacts were established and how they developed. Having been denied trading rights, several Finnish ports were granted direct access to foreign trade in 1765. The hypothesis is that the old business relations with Stockholm traders, the role played by the shipmaster and the government-based consulate networks were crucial in the development of the merchant network abroad during the eighteenth century. Business networks developed from interpersonal contacts towards interorganisational relationships during the nineteenth century. The business networks were in many cases, especially in the home town and with neighbouring towns, based on kinship or family relations, and they were long-term by nature.
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