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Economic Growth

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During the second half of the 16th century trade and shipping was intensified in the Sound region. The cause was a general boom simultaneously with the fact that raw materials from the Baltic area became more important. In the economic centre of the Europe around the English Channel the demand for wood, copper and iron increased.

Economic Boom
The reasons for the increased wealth of the aristocracy can be found in the economic role that the Sound and Baltic regions played in the economic boom, which marked all of Europe during most of the 16th century and to the middle of the 17th century.
The increased access to precious metals, caused by the great voyage of discoveries, was to a considerable extent a stimulus on the economic development.
The new world and its riches brought with it a more intensive trade and the economic centre of gravity moved from the Mediterranean area to Western Europe. The harbours on the Atlantic coast and around the English Channel developed into important trade centres. The growth in these areas brought with it an increased demand for goods, not least to the shipyards. This gave an increased importance to the Baltic area with its wood and iron products. And the importance of the Sound grew.
The favourable market conditions naturally influenced the towns in the Sound area. The development in craft and trade was consolidated and there was a massive immigration, not least to Elsinore, which was called ”Little Amsterdam” in Europe.

The Sound Region with Increasing Activity
In Denmark the growing economy was felt under Christian III (1534-59). The royal power had been strengthened through the taking over of the church´s property and through the rise in income from the Sound duty, thanks to the increasing traffic on the Sound. In 1550 the Sound was passes by 3000 ships and in 1590 it had increased to 5000. The relationship to the aristocracy was balanced by means of new entailed estate laws by which the nobility had an increased share of the growing wealth.
The corn and above all the cattle export grew constantly and from the middle of the 16th century the prices on these products rose heavily. The price was doubled from the 1520´s to the 1560 and doubled again to 1590´s.
Øresund
Øresund
Sea Map 1585
Sea Map 1585
Detail of Sea Map 1585
Detail of Sea Map 1585
Detail of Sea Map 1585
Detail of Sea Map 1585
Customs House, Elsinor
Customs House, Elsinor

©  Øresundstid 2009