Global History Lecture Series
The 7th lecture
Time & Date: 22:00-24:00 (JST) 14:00-16:00 (German time)
Friday 26th November 2021
Werner Scheltjens (University of Bamberg)
“Trade through the Danish Sound in the aftermath of the ‘year without summer’ (1816-1819)”
Markus Denzel (Leipzig University)
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A paper will be available upon request about one week before the lecture.
The eruption of the Tambora volcano (November 1815) had a dramatic impact on European grain harvests in 1816, a year known in historiography as the ‘year without summer’. The bad grain harvests of 1816 threatened large parts of Europe with famine in 1817 (and 1818). Grain imports from the Baltic Sea region drastically changed their course in the aftermath of the ‘year without summer’. The changes were sudden and seem to have been anomalistic. During one or two years, the Baltic grain export trade obtained an irregular and unpredictable structure. Out of nowhere, the Dutch maritime transport system, which had dominated the Baltic grain trade until their British counterparts took over in the second half of the eighteenth century, resurrected. However, as soon as the crisis was overcome in the course of 1818, the trade resumed its previous course. The paper presents the results of an exploratory analysis of the Danish Sound Toll Registers Online (STRO) during this period, and discusses possible explanations for the pattern changes found in STRO.