Hanseatic League

From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hanseatic League [1]

A combination of towns in North-western Germany for the mutual protection of their commerce against the pirates of the Baltic and the mutual defence of their liberties against the encroachments of neighbouring princes; it dates from 1241, and flourished for several centuries, to the extension of their commerce far and wide; numbered at one time 64 towns, and possessed fleets and armies, an exchequer, and a government of their own; the League dwindled down during the Thirty Years' War to six cities, and finally to three, Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen.