The trade with the Baltic region was so important in the Dutch Golden Age, that it was sometimes called the ‘mother trade’. Amsterdam especially, owed much of its riches and growth to the corn and timber trade.
But the burgeoning of the Baltic trade was not only profitable financially. It also brought about cultural contacts that left their traces in the appearance of both Dantzig and Amsterdam.
Wars were waged repeatedly over the free passage throught the Sont, which was economically of vital importance to the Dutch Republic.
The ships that sailed to the Baltic, had to carry lots of bulk goods, such as corn and timber. Ship types such as the flute and the cat met these requirements and in addition offered the advantage that they could sail with a small crew.
Finally the Baltic trade also had its own skippers and sailors. No rough types, but respectable citizens from the provinces of Holland, Friesland and Groningen. Sailing the Baltic was considered to be a good and honourable profession.