The Baltic Economic Zone
in the Research of Henryk Samsonowicz Cover Image

Bałtycka strefa gospodarcza w badaniach Henryka Samsonowicza
The Baltic Economic Zone in the Research of Henryk Samsonowicz

Author(s): Grzegorz Myśliwski
Subject(s): Social history
Published by: Towarzystwo Naukowe w Toruniu
Keywords: the Baltic Sea; Eastern Pomerania; Gdańsk; long-distance trade; financial turnover; economic institutions; economic culture; merchant mentality; economic zone; economic historiography;

Summary/Abstract: The article discusses long-term research made by a Polish outstanding historian Henryk Samsonowicz (1930–2021) on the Baltic economic zone. The publication is divided into three parts. The first part presents the historiographical tradition in which Samsonowicz’s research was embedded, as well as the research background that was contemporary with him. The second part features a chronological description of the historian’s findings, with a particular focus on the subject matter undertaken by Sam- sonowicz as well as the intensity of the research and its place in the broad spectrum of his interests. It has been established that the research on the economy of the Baltic zone in the period from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries was an important area of Samsonowicz’s output. Samsonowicz conducted his research on the issue from the mid-1950s to the 2010s, although his interests greatly expanded from the late 1960s and early 1970s. He particularly focused on the issues of long-distance trade, financial turnover, institutions and the socio-cultural context of economic life in the Baltic Sea basin. The third part of the article presents Samsonowicz’s theoretical and historical reflections on the theory of large economic zones, including the Baltic region, which he shared with Antoni Mączak. It provides an analysis of the findings on the changing composition and boundaries of the Baltic zone, and a comparison of Samsonowicz’s theory with Marian Małowist’s concept of dividing the economic space of Central and Eastern Europe. The article highlights Samsonowicz’s ability to combine the analysis of details and his synthetic approach to the issues under study, not only with regard to the Baltic Sea region, but entire Europe north of the Alps.

  • Issue Year: 87/2022
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 39-67
  • Page Count: 29
  • Language: Polish