The Hanseatic League is a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns. It dominates Baltic maritime trade along the coast of Northern Europe. Stretching from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland. The League was created to protect the guilds’ economic interests and diplomatic privileges in their affiliated cities and countries, as well as along the trade routes the merchants visit. The Hanseatic cities have their own legal system and furnish their own armies for mutual protection and aid. Despite this, the organization is not a state, nor can it be called a confederation of city-states; only a very small number of the cities within the league enjoy autonomy and liberties comparable to those of a free imperial city.
Rügen was a fief of the Danish crown to 1325. Stralsund joined the 10-year Rostock Peace Treaty in 1283, which was the predecessor of the federation of Wendish towns (1293 onwards). From 1339 to the 17th century, Stralsund was a member of the Vierstädtebund with Greifswald, Demmin and Anklam.
Joined the 10-year Rostock Peace Treaty in 1283, which was the predecessor of the federation of Wendish towns (1293 onwards); since the 14th century gradually adopted the role of a chief city for the Pomeranian Hanseatic towns to its east
Capital of the Prussian, Livonian and Swedish (or East Baltic) Circle. Danzig had been first a part of the Duchy of Pomerelia, a fief of the Polish Crown, with Polish-Kashubian population, then part of the State of the Teutonic Order from 1308 until 1457.
Elbing had originally been part of the territory of the Old Prussians, until the 1230s when it became part of the State of the Teutonic Order.
Toruń was part of the State of the Teutonic Order from 1233 until 1466.
The Steelyard was one of the principal Kontore of the League.
Duchy of Brabant
Antwerp became a major Kontor of the League, particularly after the seaway to Bruges silted up in the 15th century, leading to its fortunes waning in Antwerp’s favour, despite Antwerp’s refusal to grant special privileges to the League’s merchants. Between 1312 and 1406, Antwerp was a margraviate, independent of Brabant.
The Hanseatic Warehouse was constructed in 1475 as part of the Treaty of Utrecht, allowing the League to establish a trading depot in Lynn for the first time. It is the only surviving League building in England.
Skåne was Danish until ceded to Sweden by the 1658 Treaty of Roskilde, during the Second Northern War.
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
In 1398 traders guild with close ties to Hanseatic league appeared in Kaunas. Treaty with Hanseatic league was signed in 1441. The main office was located in the House of Perkūnas from 1441 till 1532.
In the 12th and 13th centuries, Pskov adhered to the Novgorod Republic. It was captured by the Teutonic Order in 1241 and liberated by a Lithuanian prince, becoming a de facto sovereign republic by the 14th century.
Principality of Polotsk
Polotsk was an autonomous principality of Kievan Rus’ until gaining its independence in 1021. From 1240, it became a vassal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, being fully integrated into the Grand Duchy in 1307.