The Vinnic league (also known as Vinna in Nordurland, Y Cynghrair Finaidd in Tircambry, Lìog nan Fion in Gaelig, League O'Vinn in Lallans, Vinnile Ligge in Bloregia, Vinnica Liga in Altavia (insert your local translations here)) was a confederation of merchant guilds and trade cities. It dominated Vinnic maritime trade, but extended as far as Hesperic Ocean shores and cities and covered large parts of the hinterland by river trade.
It emerged as an economic and defensive alliance from several merchant guilds and their trade city hubs during the 11th century; however, the history of some of these guilds can be retraced to the 9th century. Its economic and diplomatic power climaxed in the 13th and 14th centuries, followed by a long decline of power in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The heyday of the Vinnic League was a golden age for many participating cities who experienced cultural and financial benefits as well as huge diplomatic impacts. However, they never formed a territorial or political unit and most retained their sovereignty.
Today, the legacy of the Vinnic League is remembered in several names, for example the Norlensk Vinnbanki, Sgwâr Finaidd (Vinnic Square) in Caerarthen (now the site of the Tircambran Parliament, but formerly the location of trade guilds and warehouses), Vinnpark and several street names in Kvome, (put your examples here). Today, many cities still call themselves a Free Vinnic City harking back to their past.
The Vinnic Economic Community is often seen as a kind of modern successor, loosely based on the spirit of the Vinnic League.
The history of the league can be roughly divided into two parts. Economic interests and the need for protection of trade routes against piracy led to the formation of several trading guilds with local trade hubs in several countries from 900 CE. Between then and 1200 CE, nautical technical advances led to an enormous increase of maritime trade on the Vinn Sea. The trade hubs gained more and more economic and diplomatic power and the trading guilds achieved certain privileges that eased trade and secured their position.
The second stage commenced when the recently established city of Frjálshöfn and the important trade hub of (feel free to add your city here! Maybe one in Tircambry?) formed an alliance in 1214 to grant their guilds free trade and offer safety on the route. This primal alliance can be seen as the nucleus of the league. While more and more cities joined the alliance, the league became more powerful and recognized by diplomatic instances. Although cities had their own legal system and even formed their own armies, the league was never a city-state, nor can it be called a confederation.
The power of the Vinnic League dissipated from the 16th century onwards, when large political changes took place around the Vinn Sea area and several cities put self-interest before the common interests of the league. After a long decline of power the league was officially abolished in 1831. At that time, however, the league virtually had had virtually no influence for more than 100 years.
Foundation and formation
The first important trade hubs around the Vinn Sea developed arond 1000 BC at the mouths of navigable rivers. Merchants from the hinterland brought their trading goods by ship, which was the most reliable and secure way at this time. In comparison, the road network wasn't well developed and piracy was a common risk.
Maritime trade began as coastal trade. The Vinn Sea had already seen intense maritime exploration and trade as well as piracy and raids (see Norðmanni, for example); however, the technology was not advanced enough to allow reliable open-sea trade. That changed through the 11th century, when more and more merchants took the risk and crossed the Vinn Sea to reach distant shores. Those trade routes promised greater profits but were less safe than river trade routes. Piracy quickly became a problem.
To minimize the risk of being victim to piracy, merchants organized themselves in guilds and travelled in groups.
- 12th to 13th century: intense colonization period, more emerging cities
- more need for more different trade goods
- first granted privileges for merchant guilds
- over 30 cities and 15 more kontors around 1550
- huge economic and even military impact
- politically accepted, favoured and privileged by many countries
- merchants were kind of under themselves, lots of envy
- beginning around 1600 - large political changes
- slow but relentless decomposition of the league
End of the league
- last official meeting in 1697 with only seven members
- only four members until the final demise in 1831
... TBD ...
Lists of former vinnic cities and kontors
See [this table] for a better understanding.
I just adopted the quarter system from the Hansa wiki article. I think, the following division would make sense:
*North-eastern quarter: eastern Norðurland, UL150, Konsíat and other interested countries east of the mentioned (Galicja? Hyildien?) *South-eastern quarter: Lanyenja, Tircambry, Ionadàlba, Wesmandy, Lentia and Kalm (vinnic coast) *South-western ('Ingerish') quarter: Kalm (west coast) Florescenta, Swaldia, Scandmark, Ingerland *North-western: Slavonia, Western Norðurland *Kontor: affiliated trade post
Please note: a kontor city was not a full member of the Vinnic League, however, they allowed the League to build a trade post within their boundaries.
|Quarter||City||Former territory||Country today||Joined||Left||Notes|
|Aberffenwy||Rhysiog||Tircambry||1274||Now part of the City of Porthbrenin|
|Frjálshöfn||Norðurland||1214||1831||Full member of the Vinnic League from the beginning to its demise, was an independent city from 1389 to 1830|
Vinnic economic community
(small outline about the foundation and purpose VEC, with link)