George Logie’s “Success”: Entrepreneurial partnership, the practice of international maritime law, and the road to the first Swedish consulate in the Ottoman world, 1725-1731

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Title George Logie’s “Success”: Entrepreneurial partnership, the practice of international maritime law, and the road to the first Swedish consulate in the Ottoman world, 1725-1731
Person and role
Description Panel abstract:

In the years 1729, 1736 and 1741, Sweden concluded bilateral treaties with the Ottoman Regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, and thereby fulfilling the economic policy of the Diet aiming to safeguard Swedish-flagged shipping in the Mediterranean. The treaties also stipulated the conditions for establishing consulates in those ports and the various duties assigned to the appointed consuls. In the subsequent commercial expansion of Swedish shipping throughout the Mediterranean in the course of the 18th century, the consuls undoubtedly contributed in facilitating the expansion process. But beyond the instructions, on commercial and diplomatic duties, the consuls primarily operated through self-organized networks in what can arguably be described as private enterprises, sometimes in cooperation and sometimes in conflict with the interests of the Swedish government or other monopoly holders. The focus in literature has often been set on explaining the activities of the consuls in the perspective of the state and less on the agency of the consuls (or other agents). There is an agreement on that the implementations of trade policies in the Diet was influenced by members of the merchant gentry and ship-owning community. However, the nature of this involvement and the relationship between agents regarding the treaties with the Regencies and the consular appointments has not been fully investigated. On the whole, biographical details and background to as well as information on why certain individuals were recruited as consuls during the period are still scarce in literature. By employing an agency-based and biographical approach (rather than state-centred or institutional), this paper aims to highlight and investigate the background events, relations and circumstances leading to the first treaty with Algiers in 1729 through the lens of the appointed consul, George Logie. After being appointed, he served for nearly thirty years and came to be a central figure in the consular community in the Western Mediterranean. By examining a set of hitherto unmined sources relating to Logie, in different national repositories, it is possible to reconstruct Logie’s road to consulship and analyse the consistency of incentives and disincentives behind the establishment of the first permanent Swedish diplomatic and commercial representation in the Ottoman world.

Part of panel: "The 'Nordic Invasion' of the Mediterranean: Cross-regional Adaptation, Confrontation and Collaboration in the Long Eighteenth Century".

PANEL ABSTRACT. When the term ”the Northern invasion” was coined by Fernand Braudel in his classic study The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean world in the age of Philip II it aimed to explain the historical process in the sixteenth and seventeenth Mediterranean when the Dutch, the English and the French - thanks to their technological, commercial and political advantage - seized control of maritime life. The panel argue that a similar process, or a second wave, occurred when the Scandinavian merchant fleets and trade networks entered and subsequently expanded in the Mediterranean during the long eighteenth century. The historical process of a “Nordic invasion”, we argue, had a different set of preconditions and implications than the previous centuries, but its effects should not be underestimated. The entry of new states, networks, and agents, transformed or reshaped different commercial and political settings, local and regional, which only recently have begun to be explored by historians.

The contributions by the panel participants share this basic assumption in the case studies presented. The panel will present on-going research at Lund University in Sweden and Åbo Akademi University in Finland and discuss different aspects of the “Nordic invasion” in the long eighteenth century. Based on the aspects of adaptation, confrontation and collaboration, taking place within the Mediterranean maritime world, the panel will explore three case studies: 1) how private enterprises and self-organized networks was a vital part of the “Nordic invasion” and reshaped commercial and diplomatic culture, 2) how Swedish diplomacy tried to transform the Mediterranean ransoming culture 3) how Nathanael Gerhard af Schultén (1750–1825) can be perceived as representative of the Nordic mapping of the Mediterranean in general and North Africa in particular.
Date/period

2017 Aug 16

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • History
Related organisations
2017 Aug 16

Event (Conference)

Title29. Nordiska historikermötet 2017
Period2017/08/142017/11/17
CityAalborg
CountryDenmark
Degree of recognitionInternational event

Related projects

Gustaf Fryksén, Joachim Östlund & Adnen el Ghali

2009/04/01 → …

Project: Network

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