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A talent for following the ways of yesterday is not sufficient to improve the world of today

I have spent a good part of the last two weeks studying the Hanseatic League. This was a quite fascinating organisation in which a number of north German towns and cities built a loose, and then, more formal structure around trading in the Baltic and the North Atlantic.  They were a major force from the 12th until the 16th century and changed that part of the world from one of bandits to one of traders.