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A Time Lapse Video On The Origins Of Globalization

Tyler Durden's picture


Before there was seamless connectivity, before there was one global electronic currency and instantaneous global debt creation, before there was the internet, supply-chain "logistics", World Bank, IMF, and economic hitmen, there were... ships. Because in order to allow modern Ricardian economics to flourish (we would be curious to read some/any scholarly papers probing the failure of Ricardo's theories in a ZIRP regime, unfortunately there are none, as never before has the cost of money been zero essentially until regime end), and before money could be printed with impunity, backed solely by full lack of faith and eroding credit, nations had to actually trade with each other, and money was simply a means to facilitate said trade, which in turn allowed the formation of wealth and subsequent asymmetric power relationships. Needless to say, any nation that imported itself to death would be promptly wiped out by its heretofore friendly neighbors who would simply invade it when the money to buy stuff and to fund armies ran out: sadly TARGET2 was not available during Victorian times. So where are we going with this? Ben Schmidt, a Princeton graduate student, using ship logs has conceived of this tremendous time lapse of every single major known ship route taken by Dutch, Spanish and English vessels during the "age of transition", the period between 1750 and 1850, which set the stage for today's "global economy." The result is a fantastic insight into the early stages of globalization.

The first video above shows a time-lapse of 100 years of ship routes. As Schmidt explains:

It shows about 100 years of ship paths in the seas, as recorded in hundreds of ship's log books, by hand, one or several times a day. I haven't watched the whole thing at once, but skipping around gives a pretty good idea of the state of the database (if not world shipping) at any given moment. This shows mostly Spanish, Dutch, and English routes—they are surprisingly constant over the period (although some empires drop in and out of the record), but the individual voyages are fun. And there are some macro patterns—the move of British trade towards India, the effect of the American Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, and so on.

Some notable comments on voyages of interest and limitations of the process:

  • You get some individual voyages of interest. The Battle of Saldanha Bay (1796), when a contingent of Dutch ships sail south and engage with the British in August by the Cape, is clearly visible on the map; so is much of the Resolution's route on Captain Cook's second voyage (1772-1775) through the South Pacific, including its southernmost point. Some other events--the massive Spanish convoys in 1778 leaving from Peru, for example--I can't place as easily. The Beagle, unfortunately, is not represented.
  • The Pacific is, as I said, almost completely ignored in the records. Still, I'm amazed at how consistently the voyages end around Singapore/Batavia rather than proceed up to China and Japan. Dael's the expert on Pacific shipping, maybe he has something to say on this.
  • Relatedly, so are the United States--possibly since this is biased towards naval vessels, and the US was mostly trading, possibly since this is an EU project. But French ships are almost as poorly represented.


And for those with time constraints, Schmidt created the following condensed video breaking one century of data into its seasonal constituents.

There aren't many truly seasonal events, but a few stand out. There are regular summer voyages from Scotland to Hudson's Bay, and from Holland up towards Spitsbergen, for example: both these appear as huge convoys moving in sync. (What were those about?) Trips around Cape Horn, on the other hand, are extremely rare in July and August. More interestingly, the winds in the Arabian sea seem to shift directions in November or so. I also really like the way this one brings across the conveyor belt nature of trade with the East.

And the abbreviated video:


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Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:03 | 2350014 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

Looks like the Matrix Sentinels.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:16 | 2350046 NewThor
NewThor's picture

Agent Smith the Timothy Geithner model,

is on the electric nets television

talking about a New World Bank order,

and WILL breathing life into ALL.

In a straight fist fight, the Geithner model is the easiest to defeat.l





Mon, 04/16/2012 - 21:44 | 2350298 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

so in summary, commodities and products to Europe, shiny new impractical toys to kings in Asia/Africa.


For China special Opium gift from the British.


fast forward to 2012, you got oil coming out of middle east to America and Europe, iPad and BMW going to Arab elites.

cheap Walmart from China going to America, iPad and worthless US dollar to China.


It is all big happy family.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 23:32 | 2350468 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Some of those ship's log graphs remind me of the Blackadder episode where they sail around in circles just outside the harbor.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 00:21 | 2350545 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture



they still have them in the coasts off of somalia I hear.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 08:53 | 2351011 Dien Bien Poo
Dien Bien Poo's picture

quite brilliant episode. Tom Baker as the mad Captain who was as clueless as a central banker. arrrrgghhhhhhh.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:01 | 2350016 killallthefiat
killallthefiat's picture

My kids and I have been reading Treasure Island, Gulliver's Travel's, Kidnapped, Mutiny on the Bounty, etc.  They will like this. 

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:41 | 2350082 i-dog
i-dog's picture

They might also enjoy the real origins of global trade -- by the Chinese ... many hundreds of years before the Europeans got in on the act:

"Beginning in 1405, the Yongle Emperor entrusted his favored eunuch commander Zheng He (1371–1433) as the admiral for a gigantic new fleet of ships designated for international tributary missions.

The Chinese had sent diplomatic missions over land and west since the Han Dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE) and had been engaged in private overseas trade leading all the way to East Africa for centuries—culminating in the Song and Yuan dynasties—but no government-sponsored tributary mission of this grandeur and size had ever been assembled before.


To service seven  different tributary missions abroad, the Nanjing shipyards constructed two thousand vessels from 1403 to 1419, which included the large treasure ships that measured 112m (370 ft) to 134m (440 ft) in length and 45m (150 ft) to 54m (180 ft) in width.[47]"

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 21:59 | 2350326 killallthefiat
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They loved Engineering an Empire, which detailed this, all of which is available on the penultimate big thing, NFLX

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 22:16 | 2350359 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

Sadly, I believe you are right (penultimate big thing.)  It's sad, because I like Netflix- it's cheap, and has all kinds of wierd shit to choose from.  It'll be a sad day if I ever have to stoop the those Redbox things.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 23:14 | 2350440 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Dawg!...have you fallen prey to the dreaded disease of chinese citizenism?!* The voyages of Zheng He are remarkable for exactly the opposite reason of the assumed purpose of trade...

as your quoted source points out...

these were 'international tributary missions', which though conducted by ships of gigantic(for the time) tonnage, were not employed to bring back trade goods from far off places, but rather, to shock n awe rulers of other countries into accepting tributary status...the ships brought back oddities for the amusement of the Emperor, carried soldiers, and displays of Chinese manufacturies like silk and paper, but had little commercial of the reasons that the fleet was allowed to rot into oblivion - it was a drain on Imperial resources.

Confucian-influenced Chinese culture has always looked down upon trade  and the merchant classes as a necessary but contemptible element of foreign relations...exactly the situation which drove the English crazy in their first attempts to get the Chinese to agree to open up commercial relations in the C18th - the Empire was only interested in bizarrities like clocks and toys, and had no use for the trade goods that they dismissed as mere trinkets, and the round-eyes as crude barbarians. Silks and other precious goods had to be paid for in precious metals....until the imposition of the opium trade changed the balance of power to the gweilos' favor!

A cursory investigation of land-based commercial relations between the Middle Kingdom and the rest of the world will show the same dynamic - articles of trade were handled by the foreign class of commerciante resident there - Armenians, Hebrews, Arabs, Sogdians and the like, overseen by the civil servants of the diplomatic corps who's trips to the West were exactly of the same nature as those permitted to Zheng He(a Muslim hajji btw!). Nothing has really changed even to the present moment...clearly the willingness of the west to export its' manufacturing base and accept poisoned trinkets in return is evidence of the success of the present day Chinese mission to impose it's dominance world wide!

China remains inscrutable in it's motives to the western mind, and the cost of such lack of understanding is increasingly reflected in the balance of trade deficits being rung up by the tributary Euromerikan satrapies of the Imperial East! 

*Readers, beware the beguiling words of that arch-perpetrator of chinese citizenism here -AAnonymous- or you too may fall prey of the chinese disease virus through your computer screens!!!!!!!(with credit to Fourth Stooging for his diligent work in identifying this pestilential threat!)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 00:10 | 2350469 i-dog
i-dog's picture

LOL ... Made me laugh!™

It's both productive and counter-productive to compare the post-Enlightenment world with that pertainlng in earlier times. The rise of private commerce, outside the limited privilege of royal charter, is a relatively recent innovation in human history.

The purpose of my reference to the Chinese Imperial Fleet was simply to demonstrate that the reference point of the original article (the East India companies, both Dutch and British) was preceded by global trade over the seas from other quarters (at a time when Europeans thought they'd fall off the edge of the planet if they ventured beyond sight of land)! The Phoenicians and Vikings also come to mind.

You also overlooked the reference in the wiki article to private trade by China, over the seas, dating back to the pre-Christian times of the Han dynasty ... though, admittedly, one can be sure that the imperial throne still took a cut.

"[dismissed] the round-eyes as crude barbarians"

Who could blame them?


PS. I have a very deep understanding of Chinese history, language, psychology and character ... both the positives and the negatives :)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 00:34 | 2350573 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Dawg...not overlooked....indeed the 'private' nature of such trade is conducive to the thesis presented...but that is a subject for another time n place...

main thing was to bring on the laughter, and happy to hear 'mission accomplished'!  I am well aware of your signal celerity, and appreciate it's presence here daily as a reward for digging thru the drudgery of lesser dividends!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 03:35 | 2350706 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The rise of private commerce, outside the limited privilege of royal charter, is a relatively recent innovation in human history.


The King was not a private person? Really?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 04:09 | 2350740 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

I was hoping you'd git the message, and move yur moronic musings to more suitable digs...but as it seems otherwise, I must warn yu that I am placing an order with AACME SURPLUS today, in expectation of receiving my AANTI-CHINESE CITIZENISM KIT no later than Wednesday...and fully intend to use it to negate yur gnarly nonsense at that time!




Tue, 04/17/2012 - 09:35 | 2351102 i-dog
i-dog's picture


"The King was not a private person? Really?"

Sheesh ... Don't you have any books in China? Or did they just erase all references to your emperors in the ones that escaped the destruction of the Glorious Cultural Revolution ("Let a thousand flowers bloom ... and all cultural history perish")!

If you don't understand the difference between a monarch and his/her subjects, then I can't help you any further.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 11:00 | 2351430 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

i-dog said:

If you don't understand the difference between a monarch and his/her subjects, then I can't help you any further.

Agreed. Nevertheless, I must give all due credit to AnAnonymous for participating in a forum in which 99.44 percent of the comments are in English, which is not his native language. Perhaps he would have a better understanding of your point if it was phrased using terms with which he is more familiar:

"The King, or Emperor, in historical Chinese dynasties, was an early prototypical example of a US citizenism corporate CEO. After doing the US citizenish thing at Easter Island by depleting all resources in the year 79 AD, the Indo European US citizen Easter Islanders left the depleted island to a few starving natives and saw a better opportunity for overconsumption in the exterior known as China. They imposed US citizenism corporatism on the newly conquered exterior, making it a public US citizenism corporation. The native Chinese were given paper non-voting shares in the US citizenism Chinese Emperor corporation which paid a negative dividend, thus leading to the extraction of tribute."


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 10:37 | 2351342 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

i-dog said:

LOL ... Made me laugh!™


The purpose of my reference to the Chinese Imperial Fleet was simply to demonstrate that the reference point of the original article (the East India companies, both Dutch and British) was preceded by global trade over the seas from other quarters (at a time when Europeans thought they'd fall off the edge of the planet if they ventured beyond sight of land)!

Thank you so much for providing this insight. While we all have a good laugh about time traveling US citizenism wiping out the Easter Islanders in the 1600s, your contribution enhances the original article by placing it within a broader historical context.

One of the things I most appreciate about history is the way it shows how much of human nature, both the good and the bad, is common to us all, regardless of our separation by geography or time.

The Phoenicians and Vikings also come to mind.

Ah, yes, the Vikings, who began spreading US citizenism to Vinland a thousand years ago, blobbing up and exploiting the resources of the native Skraelings.

"[dismissed] the round-eyes as crude barbarians"

Who could blame them?

Indeed. Some things never change.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 04:01 | 2350734 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Dawg!...have you fallen prey to the dreaded disease of chinese citizenism?!* The voyages of Zheng He are remarkable for exactly the opposite reason of the assumed purpose of trade...


Chinese citizenism in the 1500s?

Today's China has nothing to do with 1500s China.

More fantasy again.

There is nothing like Chinese Citizenism.

It is just a fantasy invented by US citizens on this site to mediate between reality and their thoughts on how reality should be.

The claims US citizens are ready to produce to avoid facing that globalization is older than they like to claim (that is four decades age), that many US citizen nations are the product of globalization and that globalization has been essentially benefitial to US citizen nations...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 11:05 | 2351453 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

Chinese citizenism in the 1500s?

Yes. Chinese citizenism is eternal.

Today's China has nothing to do with 1500s China.

They share more characteristics than there are stars in the sky.

Alas, alas, even the stars are not as eternal as Chinese citizenism.

The claims US citizens are ready to produce to avoid facing that globalization is older than they like to claim (that is four decades age), that many US citizen nations are the product of globalization and that globalization has been essentially benefitial to US citizen nations...

...said the Chinese US citizenism citizen.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 13:22 | 2352018 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture


Made me laugh! the ill-advised attempt of yur programmers to produce a refinement of yur conversational ability, yu have indeed blown a gasket Marvin, and are in the process of meltin down!!!!!

Good luck with that forthcomin Gobi Desert posting boyz!!!! Yu may find that 'today's China' has even more to do with BC fifteenth century China than yu ever thought possible! 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 10:23 | 2351292 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

JOYFUL said:

with credit to Fourth Stooging for his diligent work in identifying this pestilential threat!

While I thank you for the accolades, kind sir, I must point out that proper credit must go to akak, as he is the one that first sounded the warning klaxon about the threat our planet faces from blobbing up Chinese citizenism.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 13:04 | 2351961 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture


while it be tru that credit is due to AKAK for the initial identification, it has been your diligent work in tracking the viral villain that has made all the difference in allowing us to enjoy this moment of watching the imminent demise of what I had more than half way suspected to be some kind of newfangled bot being tried out upon us...

I am now more than sure that this is what we are dealing's serial inability to form coherent thoughts, grasp vernacular english idioms, or respond with any form of repartee,(though it may be argued that is a condition endemic to many of the minions of satan here!?!?) or indeed, respond at all, is a dead giveaway...just another evil Moriarty cipher played by the usual suspects!

Watch and enjoy the smoke and flames to ensue shortly as AA/CHINESECITIZEN #6 does the BLOWED UP REAL GOOD for us live time!, perhaps I should say....BLOBBED UP REAL GOOD!>!>!????

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 22:25 | 2353409 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

JOYFUL said:

Watch and enjoy the smoke and flames to ensue shortly as AA/CHINESECITIZEN #6

"I not a number, I a free man. Now how I get off this irand? This virrage drive me coconuts!"

BLOWED UP REAL GOOD for us live time!, perhaps I should say....BLOBBED UP REAL GOOD!>!>!????

Big Jim McBlob: Boy, he blobbed up good!

Blobby Sol Hurok: He blobbed up real good!


Mon, 04/16/2012 - 23:56 | 2350490 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

How about the original "trade" of human resources (aka. slaves)? probably as old as wars.



Tue, 04/17/2012 - 00:07 | 2350511 i-dog
i-dog's picture

One could say that was the original purpose of wars. It goes back to at least the early days of the Pharaohs, if not further.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 03:37 | 2350710 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

How so? Wars predated the introduction of slavery.

But hey, US citizenism is as US citizen does so...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 05:29 | 2350773 falak pema
falak pema's picture

by your definition Genghis Khan was the first chinese member of the US citizenism clan. Pretty prolific guy; 2000 mistresses and 6000 progeny in his own lands. Now I know he fathered the US nation all on his per your eloquence about US citizenism, they are all Genghis clones. 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 11:16 | 2351503 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

falak pema said:

by your definition Genghis Khan was the first chinese member of the US citizenism clan. Pretty prolific guy; 2000 mistresses and 6000 progeny in his own lands.

Now that is some serious blobbing up.

Sounds like the Chinese citizenism founding father.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 03:55 | 2350730 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Because the Chinese reached the eastern coast of Africa, it has to be a kick start to globalization?

Global means global indeed.

As one post beneath pointed, the starting point of globalization is circumnavigation achieved by Magellan-Elcano.

Everything to kick the can, everything to avoid facing reality.

Fantasy, here we come.

It is easier to understand why fantasy works sold as fantasy works by US citizens are so poor in quality.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 11:24 | 2351556 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

Because the Chinese reached the eastern coast of Africa, it has to be a kick start to globalization?

Global means global indeed.

It is a start, and it reveals the mettle of Chinese citizenism. Their blobbing uppificationism expanded to the exterior as far as their knowledge of the globe carried them.

As an ancient parable from Chinese citizenism fabled past says, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single crap along the roadside."

Fantasy, here we come.

It is easier to understand why fantasy works sold as fantasy works by US citizens are so poor in quality.

Yes, very much in agreement. Fantasy works sold as fantasy works by Chinese citizenism citizens are much higher quality due to opiation.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 05:31 | 2350769 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the Mongol regime of Kublai, in 1271, when Marco Polo was heading in the other  direction, sent ships from Southern China to Burma and India. So the Chinese navy was very active even then. In 1271, Marco Polo's uncles go to Hormuz and try and catch a boat from Persian gulf to India/Burma; in the hope of then taking the Chinese ships they know are already active on those trade routes, from talking to Khan Aqaba , Ilkhanate Lord of Mongol horde in Persia, and which will take them north to Badu/Xanadu, Kublai's new capitals where they are expected on Kublai's express invitation as per previous voyage.

But they give up their Maritime venture and double back from Hormuz when they see the state of the Persian vessels at port which they esteem unseaworthy. They decide to abandon the sea route and take the land route via Balkh (Bactria) through the Afghan pass to Xinkiang via Kashgar and Tarim Basin. The Ilkhanate leader Abaqa gave Marco Polo's caravan the golden gerege to allow safe passage wherever the Mongol horse was master of the lands. It led them to Badu and Xanadu in around 1274/1275. 

So Chinese navy was pretty awesome under Mongols. Just saying...The chinese had vessels comparabe to the venetian galleys then. 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 11:15 | 2351492 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

excellent history


Mon, 04/16/2012 - 22:13 | 2350356 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

When they get a little older, keep them going with Clavell's Shogun, Tai-Pan and King Rat. (Didn't think the rest of his Asian saga was that compelling, personally)

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:04 | 2350017 DormRoom
DormRoom's picture

where's the part where globalization ended in a world war (WWI)?

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 21:23 | 2350258 Diet Coke and F...
Diet Coke and Floozies's picture

Shame it only goes to 1850...

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:07 | 2350024 i-dog
i-dog's picture

There is a BIG difference between global trade (free market exchanges) and globalization (central planner protection of multinational corporations).

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 03:37 | 2350713 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

How could it not be that way? It has to be different.

Because globalization that has been so unambiguously profitable to US citizens so far can not be the same thing as that things that start to hit at some US citizens, making them angry...

Just like capitalism indeed. It cant be capitalism if...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 09:46 | 2351144 i-dog
i-dog's picture

You're not over-bright, are you?! Now you know why they call you "Chinese lantern" in your village!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 11:30 | 2351587 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

i-dog said:

You're not over-bright, are you?! Now you know why they call you "Chinese lantern" in your village!

Ah, but his brain burns bright on the weekends thanks to spending time breathing in the sweetsmoke of Peoples Liberation Opium Parlor wifi hotspot.

At that place he wears Uncle Sam costume to be promote the advocating US citizenism to his neighbourhood downthere.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 05:05 | 2350763 BorisTheBlade
BorisTheBlade's picture

If there was ever a free market, it would be much more localized or regionalized than the current system. "Global" trade is really resting upon shoulders of US Navy and control over flow of oil through sea routes. There would be no global trade to speak of if not for the collaterization of US dollar by oil and military projection. Global trade = Sea based empire.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:17 | 2350045 rlouis
rlouis's picture

Didn't see the British-India-China opium shipment, or opium wars represented.  But interesting to note the rise of Germany as a player in the world's oceans, threatening Britain's claim as master of the seas. 

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:32 | 2350066 _underscore
_underscore's picture

About as interesting as watching paint dry. I'm really not sure what can be drawn from this - lots of ships moving between ports, heck (surprise, surprise..) there's even some seasonaility (would you credit it - people import/export in season, or according to weather/sea conditions). Even more gobsmacking is the implication that some countries rise in economic power whilst others decline & that as new resources are found & become economically important - the more they're shipped!! There may even be a relationship between (and hold you hats here..) the number of people in the world & total trade/commerce going on!!

 Tell me - what do you really think 'globalisation' means?  erm.. that the whole world trades & that this gradually increases as populations grow & societies develop? Yes - top marks!! Grade A student. The only surprising thing is that some academic institutions have enough spare cash to indulge such insightful research.



Tue, 04/17/2012 - 00:24 | 2350526 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

Timeline of Aternate Energy: 2000 bc, china using coal as energy - that can't be right...

200 bc, china develops natural gas [i won't dare mention who invented [alchemist?] gun powder in 9th century]

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:31 | 2350067 Bill D. Cat
Bill D. Cat's picture

Las Vegas would have been pretty cool if you built it on the southern tip of Africa , back in the day .

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:40 | 2350085 max2205
max2205's picture

Ricky Ricardo system.... Lucy!!!!!!!

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 19:44 | 2350100 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

That's pretty cool. I'd like to see this leading through WWII.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 20:43 | 2350193 Amish Hacker
Amish Hacker's picture

Nice. I think that image may have been a Time magazine cover, back in the day.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 23:42 | 2350476 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

if phil can copyright "threePeat" zeroHedge should grab:  "theTimeLapse0fTheCollapse"

zH and tyler present:  the time lapse of the collapse, BiCheZ! 

can we speed this up just a bit, tyler?  jeeeeeeze!  L0L!

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 23:01 | 2350393 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

slewie, you are the only one to get it so far.

I'm suprised this shipping geek didn't read Grunch Of Giants (well, not really given the state of "education")
Bucky had everything figured out in 1981:

"A new kind of wealth-making occurs historically with the invention and development of stoutly and heavily keeled, ribbed, and planked, high-seas-keeping, deep-bellied, and, in much later times, cannon-armed sailing ships."

"There is no dictionary word for an army of invisible giants, one thousand miles tall, with their arms interlinked, girding the planet Earth. Since there exists just such an invisible, abstract, legal-contrivance army of giants, we have invented the word GRUNCH as the group designation--"a grunch of giants." GR-UN-C-H, which stands for annual GROSS UNIVERSE CASH HEIST, pays annual dividends of over one trillion U.S. dollars.

GRUNCH is engaged in the only-by-instrumentsreached-and-operated, entirely invisible chemical, metallurgical, electronic, and cybernetic realms of reality. GRUNCH's giants average thirty-four years of age, most having grown out of what Eisenhower called the postWorld War II "military-industrial complex." They are not the same as the pre-World War II international copper or tin cartels. The grunch of giants consists of the corporately interlocked owners of a vast invisible empire, which includes airwaves and satellites; plus a vast visible empire, which includes all the only eighteen-year-old and younger skyscraper cluster cities around the world, as well as the factories and research laboratories remotely ringing the old cities and all the Oriental industrial deployment, such as in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. It controls the financial credit system of the noncommunist world together with all the financial means of initiating any world-magnitude mass-production and -distribution ventures. By making pregraduation employment contracts with almost all promising university science students, it monopolizes all the special theoretical know-how to exploit its vast inventory of already acquired invisible know-how technology.

Who runs GRUNCH? Nobody knows. It controls all the world's banks. Even the muted Swiss banks. It does what its lawyers tell it to. It maintains technical legality, and is prepared to prove it. Its law firm is named Machiavelli, Machiavelli, Atoms & Oil. Some think the second Mach is a cover for Mafia.

GRUNCH didn't invent Universe. It didn't invent anything. It monopolizes know-where and know-how but is devoid of know-why. It is preoccupied with absolute selfishness and its guaranteed gratifications. It is as blind as its Swiss banks are mute. Much, much more about GRUNCH later on."


Chapter V - Paper Into Gold Alchemists -
There is no evidence whatsoever that Federal Reserve rediscount-rate-increases successfully arrest inflation. This being so, the continuance of such interest-rate increases ostensibly to combat inflation as actuated by the private-enterprise-controlled and deceivingly misnamed "Federal" Reserve Bank system must in historical retrospect be identified as a fraudulent means for increasing the profits of the banking system."

"All the big brokerage houses and banks that join in syndication to handle the sale of the government-refunding-note sales make so much profit in doing so that they will keep on risking their joint underwriting until they see the moment of formally acknowledged bankruptcy of the nation to be less than a year away. When the score reads one trillion and a half, with a debt increasing regularly at over 100 billion a year, somebody is going to see that the emperor has no clothes and when they shout out to that effect, there will be a swift world acknowledgment of the fact."

1981 kids......You better read that book. Get mad, get ready.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 00:52 | 2350589 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

yes, and bucky understood pirates, too;  GaaRRRRghhhhaahhgh!

don't forget:  do more with less

much of each   L0L!!!

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 21:30 | 2350268 Dermasolarapate...
Dermasolarapaterraphatrima's picture

Somehow reminds me of Conrad's, "Heart of Darkness."


“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”

  Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 21:38 | 2350278 Floordawg
Floordawg's picture

Its interesting to note how little traffic there is in the Pacific... Until you see that lone stop in San Francisco around 1849. Hmm, I wonder why?

Maybe it has something to do with SF's football team? What color are their uniforms?

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 21:53 | 2350311 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

You know, if they had just tried that Northwest Passage one more time.....

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 00:37 | 2350575 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

...Because in order to allow modern Ricardian economics to flourish..,[parenthesis removed] and before money could be printed with impunity, backed solely by full lack of faith and eroding credit, nations had to actually trade with each other, and money was simply a means to facilitate said trade, which in turn allowed the formation of wealth and subsequent asymmetric power relationships

...hmm, not the most coherent statement ever produced by the ZH powerwriting crew, but let's see what we can do with the general idea...

David Ricardo, the Portugese-Dutch Hebraic whose attempt to rework Smith's discreditable labor hypothesis was recycled by another son of Sion (subsidized by the money power to conduct his scribblngs from within the British library) K Marx - was a man whose legacy is emblematic of the manner in which socio-economic thinking was hijacked in the course of the C19th in order to augment and complete the takeover of power by the usury caste - whose mission to mislead the gullible into the false dialectic of left\right, communism\capitalism, etc. etc. remains the ascendant political factor in this new millenium - and little has been done to break the hold of Ricardo and his subsequent apologists over the dismal science ever since.

The grand delusion of the Austrians - that they are somehow free of this baggage - is the chief reason that persons of good intention are unable to see beyond this false narrative to grasp the essential truth of the modern period of so-called "kapitalism" - the divorcement of capital from the real economy of production and the imposition of a speculative class of money changers whose control of the levers of power has allowed for the creation of an all-controlling media whose constant message is that  "asymmetric power relationships" are the result of nation states battling each other for trade supremacy, rather than the enforced dictate of a multinational, cosmopolitan cabal of manipulators who have been whispering in the ears' of sovereigns (and the puppets who replaced them post 1688) since the days of their tax farming for the Pharoahs...

it would be far more logical and illuminating to chart the movements of this cabal in it's demonical diaspora through the centuries,(and shurely that recently displayed chart of the 'reserve currency' status is a good start to such effort!) rather than the mere ships which moved according to it's dictates, as this would show the unerring progression of the 'dead souls' from their Babylonian beginnings to their Roman\Venetian base, from whence they spread to engulf the European states and spew forth into the peripheries to enslave new worlds and old ones in succession.

This aínt about money printing, interest rates, or the capacity of nations to conduct themselves in trade...time to get real here...bitchez!


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 08:14 | 2350892 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

At the forefront of the Austrian delusion is the inability to discern between the man made world and the 'natural' one. 'Money', being a creation of the mind is basically a social phenomenon unlike the undertaking of the study of the physical world, no matter how abstract in its conceptualization. Money isn't a necessity; something disillusioned modern man can't seem to grasp. Epistemology and anthropology have been discarded in order to attach finance with physics --something, I suspect, done in order to preserve money as a concept and perhaps even lend 'intellectual' credence to its eternal survival-- yet the blunder goes unnoticed.

Not sure I read your Marx comment correctly but if I did I must say I disagree. It seems you've confused motivations and consequences in your historic analysis.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:01 | 2352346 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

It is eminently possible that the wording of my sentence could induce the reader to misconstrue my comment to be about Marx(who in fact is peripheral to the discussion)rather that Ricardo...

there is a fascinating amount of stylistic trading goes on here, and sometimes my covert efforts to play these themes back to the pertinent parties results in an all too enthusiastic homage on my part to the over the top verbal gymnastics of the pwer-writn crew!

As to your perceptive identification of the man vs nature dichotomy emedded in the Austrian framework, the fact is, we are far more indebted than we might guess to the non-human world for a great deal of our economic of my favorite essays of all times is Partner Choice in Nitrogen-Fixation Mutualisms of Legumes and Rhizobia...not sure if this is freely available on the net, so some of the subchapter headings are worth repeating to illustrate the point -

"Cheating and the Stability of Mutualism"; "Partner fidelity"; "Commodity exchange: mutual benefits"; "Evidence of a market: functional and phylogenetic diversity", &  my favorite - "Conflict over commodity valuation"....

all of which is to say- there's very little new under the sun, and while we consider ourselves independent agents of a 'created mind', in truth we are largely aggregate groupings of semi-autonomous bacterial communities which actively seek their self interest through mutual arrangments subject the the kind of skullduggery usually assumed to be proprietary to the human being. If only economists knew how derivative their puffed up pretensions are!

Finally, to your point about epistemology and anthropology hav[ing]been discarded I bring to your attention something I believe you would much enjoy, if not already subject to your wide ranging purview....Sexism and Science, Evelyn Reed, Pathfinder Press, 1978, in which a disillusioned ex-communist academic brings to light the progressive deterioration of Anthropology, and the trivialization of history, naming the names and the motives of the perpetrators of these crimes against intelligence in a most enlightening fashion...


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 00:57 | 2350600 caustixoid
caustixoid's picture

a LOT of Dutch ships stopping in west Africa for a long time, then off to the Caribbean... didn't know their role as middle men in the slave trade (or is there some other commodity i am missing?)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 01:23 | 2350622 the tower
the tower's picture

The States needed slaves, the Dutch trafficed them, the Africans sold their "brothers".

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 03:47 | 2350722 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The States? Nope, much more the US citizen burgeoning middle class.

States did not own that many slaves.

See US citizenism class warfare and who were the slaves owners.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 01:45 | 2350641 kedi
kedi's picture

Darn. I was waiting to see the traffic flow change when the Suez and Panama canals opened.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 02:56 | 2350693 kiwidor
kiwidor's picture

This small glimpse into shipping routes over a short time reminded me of a couple of things I read many years ago.


The first was an interview by David Ratcliffe of L. Fletcher Prouty, entitled , "Understanding Special Operations"

An excerpt follows, but I'd encourage you to read the entire interview, still accessible at


David's site is otherwise worth a long visit or two.


The second is something written by one "Michael Donovan" called "The Fall of Norfolk" which may still be online in complete form.  If not, i have it backed up offsite should anyone wish for it.

These extensive excerpts should whet your appetite, so I'll leave my analysis out of it.  Enjoy.

Fair Use is assumed.



Magellan's Circumnavigation of the Globe: 

The Philosophy That Derived 

From Knowing the World Was Finite


You wonder what is the source or the origin of this. I don't know how long we want to say mankind has been on Earth, but let's say 30 or 40 thousand years -- maybe longer in certain manifestations, but we'll settle for that. Over this 30 or 40 thousand years, society has lived on an Earth that wasn't flat, wasn't round, all it was was an expanse. Because there weren't enough people to fill it up at any given location. They had no problem with space. They didn't even think about the word "property," in the sense of real property, real estate. They simply lived there.

If hostility grew between two communes, two villages, one or the other would be forced to move a little bit. There's always some more space over there. And they weren't bothered with our retroactive view of that: that they had a flat-land approach and that we know the world is round and therefore they were pretty stupid. It wasn't that. It's just that they had another place to go. If they had to graze cattle, they'd move a little further. And if, on one of these moves, they ran into some other people they had never met before, then they accepted there were other people on Earth. But they were all on the same expanse. They didn't know whether the expanse was flat or curved or what it was.


They did know that it came to a shoreline, that there were oceans. And they were prone to follow shorelines, as the South Asians did thousands of years ago as they progressed north across Bering Straits (which at that time was a land bridge), down through North America, and even into Central America. If you dig in the mummies' tombs, in the burial grounds of Peru, you will find that on their huacos -- the ancient bowls and jars that they made -- are figures of people who have slant eyes, Oriental eyes. That meant, when a person was making the jar, she made the jar in the image of the people that she knew -- with slanted eyes. They didn't know there were any other people.


But, in all of this civilizing of mankind over these 30 or 40 thousand years, there occurred finally an event that changed the entire prospect of their history. And we can't always say, "Well, they didn't have written history." Evidence from China is that their written history goes way back -- far, far back -- much more so than we think. But that's not all of it. History forms each generation as they remember the important things it distills. In the voyages around the world, navigators -- especially, we think, in the area of the islands of the South Pacific and around Indonesia and that area -- the navigators began to be able to find their way across the Pacific to other islands, to other lands, and then back again.


The leading, most important people in those countries in those days were the navigators, because they could come and go, they could find their way. They knew the stars, is what it amounted to; they understood the winds. And gradually these navigators began to say that, perhaps we could go further around the world and keep going. This became a prospect -- something they could do -- like we think we can put a man on Mars and we know we can do it.


In Portugal one of these navigators was named Magellan. He got in trouble somehow with his own government, or else he couldn't be supported by his own government and he went over to Spain. The Spanish king decided he would support Magellan's expedition in which he wanted to start out going to the west and keep going to the west -- which seemed like a good idea -- he wanted to try it anyway. Others had gone to the west, like Columbus, and they hit shore and turned around and came back, so that we found "India," but he had only gone part way. But the people didn't have the idea in those days that they could keep going except going in a flat way, and when they hit land they figured they'd been there. They didn't think of the Earth in terms of a sphere. It's quite important.


So, not only did the royalty of Spain agree to finance Magellan's voyage (it was several ships), but, interestingly enough, the bankers of Antwerp, in Belgium, poured money into this because they could see it as a means of taking over new lands, new wealth, gold, tin, silver, and all those spices and other trade goods. So they financed his trip, and three ships took off.


Years later, in the same harbor back in Spain, one single ship named the Victoria returned. When the Victoria landed and they told how Magellan was killed while they were in the Philippines, they also reported that they had discovered new territories, all the way along their voyage. That they had gone west all the time and had completely circumnavigated the earth which must therefore be a round globe. There's one fact about a sphere that everybody knows: its surface is finite. If you have a basketball you can measure to the nth degree how much surface area it has. And if you have an 8,000-mile-diameter globe you can measure to the degree how much surface it has.


This majestic realization changed the mind of man as a group, more than any other single event that happened in the 40,000 years we've been here. Because from that moment on, these bankers in Antwerp, and their associates, and the kings and queens of Europe, began to realize: If this earth is a sphere, it is then finite. And if it's finite, there's only so much land, there's only so much tin, so much gold, so much spice. And they looked at the world as something that belonged to them -- if they got there first.


The Development of the East India Companies 

and "Proprietary" Colonies


This started a significant train of thought in the educated, financial, politically powerful groups of the world, particularly the European world. It was expressed most easily in the terms of the East India Company development. They had the British East India Company, the Dutch East India Company, there was a Spanish East India Company -- I think there were eight of them -- and, interestingly enough, there was a Russian East India Company. I forget what they called it, but the Russians explored the coast of Alaska and California. The Russians, in conjunction with shippers from Boston in the China trade, carried out a sea otter business (in the fur of sea otters) from California back to Canton, China, and on into Europe. It was one of the most valuable, one of the most profitable, sea ventures of the time.

So all of these countries were doing this together. They all immediately set out to explore the world, to inventory it and to own it. The leaders in this were the British. And the British East India Company became dominant in this worldwide exploration. They achieved this dominance by their view that anything they discovered was theirs, and that the king could commission them to set up a proprietary colony -- wherever they discovered land -- a British proprietary colony. Now what that meant was, they could introduce their religion to the colony and their armies to the colony -- and then do business in the colony. But the word "colony" was not exactly accurate, because they used everything from total slaughter of the people they ran into to total friendship, depending on how they got along with those people.


But their idea was whatever part of the world they went to was theirs. Property for the other guy was zero and property for them was total. As I said previously, in an earlier day the navigators were the senior elite people in the country. The elite people now became surveyors. If we think of history in that period, we ask ourselves: What was George Washington's business here in the United States? He was a trained surveyor. He worked for Lord Fairfax and other landowners solely because the king had granted them a charter, from London, to come to North America and take over land between one fix on the beach and another. Then have men like George Washington, with their surveying instruments, just draw lines heading for the west, not knowing where the Pacific Ocean was but going in that direction.



"Two things form the basis of naval

intelligence, and these as a child were drummed into me over and

over. These two things are the 'mapmakers baseline of history'

(sometimes called The Mystery Of Babylon) and the 'secret of Wu

Tui'. The 'mapmakers baseline' is a simple timeline of the centers

of information on the planet. We have only been able to completely

navigate the seas, became a blue water mammal, for only a mere

four or five centuries. What was the center of communication for

the globe way back when we did not navigate on the water at all? If

you just put the globe across the room and spin it around, the center

becomes obvious...: Babylon. Here was the center of the camel

caravan routes between the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. 

But what happened to this as we started to navigate just around the

shores? Another communications network began to develop around

the Mediterranean or 'middle sea'. This intelligence network began

to compete with the old Babylon network. The greater information

center started to develop in Biblos, now Tyre in present Lebanon. 

That center was militarily unprotected and was moved into the

mountains, Jerusalem. The new center had the Mediterranean and

the information network among the fisherman on one side of those

mountains, and the camel caravan route by the Dead Sea on the

other. The entire First Testament of the Bible is to a large extent

the history of this 'information center' transfer. It is axiomatic that

banking follows information. 'Trusts' started and held in Babylon

moved to, and grew more quickly, in Jerusalem. As navigation and

shipbuilding improved, these 'information centers' that banking

would follow moved. The sequence of these centers is Babylon,

Jerusalem, Rhodes, Rome, Malta (around the time of the crusades),

then to Lisbon (Lisbon with Henry the Navigator was in the 1400s

an international metropolis with Scandinavians mixing with Blacks

from darkest Africa). At this time, as we became then truly a blue

water mammal, that information center rested for a time in the

Azores, but jumped across the Atlantic to Nantucket and as that

harbor was blocked by a sandbar, rested during the Age of Sail and

before the Suez and Panama canals, on Martha's Vineyard. Just a

bendable plastic ruler and a globe will show this. As example, a

young lady by the name of Abiah Folger grew up on Nantucket and

was taught this 'ship talking ship' intelligence. She moved to

Boston and married a candlemaker. It was this inner learning given

to her children which made one of them, Benjamin Franklin, the

international diplomat that he became. This first rule of history was

reinforced by understanding the exceptions. For example, where

was England in all of this? Did not, for some time, Briton 'rule the

waves' and almost conquered most of the world. Briton was 'just

off' the 'mapmakers baseline' and had a specific advantage of

science, namely the use of calculus in naval gunnery which (though

in general theory known by 1730) was in specific use guarded with

only Royal Marines used as gunners. The second concept that

forms the basis of naval intelligence is something called the 'Secret

of Wu Tui'. In a sense it is a simple test in logic. Somewhere

around the birth of Christ, some think the year four, a secret

message went from the Emperor of China, Wu Tui, to the Emperor

of Rome, Caesar. The test of logic is..., what is this secret? If logic

states that 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend', what is the most

exquisite secret that could be proposed? Simple, "Let us pretend to

be enemies, but be very secret friends at top, with this only we,

secretly, will know everything." The silk road was just developing,

and this, conspiring being natural, would develop on any planet

where two large empires were just connecting. With this the

Kosars, those connected to the Jewish trusts with historical

connections to the silk road, would become insiders. 


With these principles composition of those at top of world

'shadow government' is more easily understood. For example,

religions hold large trusts. Briton nearly ruled the world. But many

who fought for England, and made world connections, were Irish. 

But they were connected to the older Catholic trusts. If a

disproportionate amount of those in 'secret government' seem

Jewish, notice also that a disproportionate amount are of Irish

decent. My father would make this distinction by calling the first

'camel Jews’, and the Irish 'sea Jews'. This may be an over

simplification, but from Babylon the world money heads came

together after 1- the 'Great Dispersion' of the Jews, 2- the

combining, (behind the scenes), of the main religion's trusts by the

Hapsburgs, Romanovs, and Turkish Osmilis families, 3- which

connected to the Anglican trusts, 4- which were augmented by 'new

Catholic' Irish trusts, 5- which were added to the new world blue

blood trusts of Boston. There was then combined banking of many

of the Spanish interests. As the world at sea for some period was

shared between Britain and Spain, it makes sense that the

newspaper on Martha's Vineyard was by tradition, up until about

1920, owned by a Spanish family, Sanchez. As intelligence can

'root' to geography, note that it is still Martha's Vineyard where the

international media tycoons, (Redstone, Murdock et al - really a

relatively small group of men) still meet quietly every August. And

understand too that this combined group always, as the baseline

moved west, was in close contact with the Han family of China.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 04:22 | 2350749 Pseudolus
Pseudolus's picture

thanks for that

here it is: ->

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 03:43 | 2350719 Shylockracy
Shylockracy's picture

To leave the Portuguese gold trade/exploitation of Brazil between 1700 and 1822 out of the data set is a major ommission. The city of Ouro Preto (litterally black gold) in Brazil was larger than NYC and perhaps the biggest gold producing center in the world until the end of the XVIII Century.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 04:23 | 2350750 Joe A
Joe A's picture

The city of Potosi in Bolivia was the site where all the silver that the Spanish stole was excavated. That city was at one point the richest city on the planet and had theatre groups from Paris and London visiting. The silver was first moved to Spain via Argentina which can be seen in the videos. Later it was moved from the Carribean.

I also think that data prior to 1750 should be shown because the trade started much earlier. Globalization started way back in the times of the Greek although then it was not truly golbal. However, the guy who made this research did a great job. It must have been quite some work to go through all these logs. Interesting to see are the 'golden triangle' between Europe, Africa and the Carribean and the convoys from Holland to Spitsbergen. The latter were probalby whalers hunting for whales which was a big industry in the Netherlands.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 05:08 | 2350766 Shylockracy
Shylockracy's picture

Rio de la Plata, or Silver river was the main channel for transporting the huge silver production from Spanish colonies in South America.

It is no coincidence that Buenos Aires and Montevidéo are in each side of its estuary.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 03:45 | 2350721 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

But, but, but I thought globalization only started a few decades back, you know, when the big bad US government, diverted by those horrible soulless heartless corporations, shipped away our jobs to third world hell holes...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 11:58 | 2351729 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

But, but, but I thought globalization only started a few decades back, you know, when the big bad US government, diverted by those horrible soulless heartless corporations, shipped away our jobs to third world hell holes...

So creating a strawsman once again?

Chinese US citizenism citizens can not take blame. It has to be someone else.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:31 | 2353053 akak
akak's picture

It is the essence of Chinese citizenism to deny the existence of Chinese citizenism.

When roadside-shitting Chinese citizens deny their citizenismistic nature, one automatically knows that Chinese citizenism is in play.

The perpetual mental gymnastics, hypocrisy, and blobbed-up denialism of Chinese citizenism is inherent in its eternal and nose-picking nature.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 03:58 | 2350732 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

 Very interesting work, glad to see it. Amazing, how easy it is for us now, with a stroke of the key we can capture the path of the pirate chicken of the sea and look back at the same time.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 04:43 | 2350757 mc_LDN
mc_LDN's picture

Good to see someone actually start some useful analysis around how the "real" powers that be have been behaving for the last few centuries. I'd like to also see some intelligence around what trade was being done on all these journeys along with quantities and how that changed over time along with impacts if they can be visually displayed in some way.

It would also be interesting to see a trade map of the previous century and the exploits of these powers around the discovery and movement of oil and all the wars that likely perfectly co-incide with all the trade route changes.

Then we could do a real compare and contrast to see what has been going and the true modus operandi. No-one does this stuff (I wonder why) and the reality is these powers have been truly clever at the disguise of their antics through the use of nation states, front companies etc for more than 3 straight centuries.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 04:58 | 2350762 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

...would be interesting to see the same shipping time frame and routes combined on the video with outbreaks of different strains of disease, not to mention where arms outbreaks rise.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 06:18 | 2350793 Scalaris
Scalaris's picture

Chartered Companies - By the Crowns, For the Crowns.

Things haven't changed much since 1555, they are just listed on FTSE now.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 08:55 | 2351020 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

There are regular summer voyages from Scotland to Hudson's Bay, and from Holland up towards Spitsbergen, for example: both these appear as huge convoys moving in sync. (What were those about?)

 The shipping to Hudson's Bay may be related to fishing cod  which were a very important part of the European diet until the cod were virtually wiped by over fishing after WW2.

"Every spring European ships would arrive to fish the northern banks ..."

There were "three ways to buy slaves in West Africa: cash, salt cod, or Boston rum."

"COD" - Mark Kurlansky published 1997

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