datum 12 july 2011
The Hanseatic League (also known as the Hanse or Hansa) was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. It stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages and early modern period (ca 13th–17th centuries).
Today this northeuropean Hansa Region is one of the best performing regions regarding sustainability, renewable energy, education and innovation.
The League was created to protect commercial interests and privileges granted by foreign rulers in cities and countries the merchants visited. The Hanseatic cities had their own legal system and furnished their own protection and mutual aid. Despite this, the organization was not a city-state, nor can it be called a confederation of city-states; only a very small number of the cities within the league enjoyed autonomy and liberties comparable to those of a free imperial city.
The legacy of the Hansa is remembered today in several names, for example the German airline Lufthansa (i.e., 'Air Hansa') and the Hanze University Groningen in the Netherlands.