The Yangtze and the Rhine, two Major Rivers Systems

An Introduction


  • Hein A.M. Klemann Erasmus University Rotterdam



Rhine, Yangtze, Rivertrade, Transport


This introduction to the articles about the Rhine and the Yangtze as well as transport on these rivers emphasizes how innovation plays a role throughout both subjects for this collection. In two articles here, this innovation took the form of the movement of a capitalist, business mentality from the coastal areas, where there was already plenty of seafaring and trade, to the interior via the river. In the eighteenth century, this was the case both along the Rhine and along the Yangtze as can be seen from the articles by Ralf Banken and Yao Chen. The articles by Blussé and Klemann, rather, focus on more concrete technical innovation. Blussé shows how similar circumstances, independently of each other, led to similar technical innovations in the Yangtze and Rhine deltas. Klemann looks at the consequences of nineteenthcentury mechanization for Rhine navigation, especially for the small Rhine skippers.


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Author Biography

  • Hein A.M. Klemann, Erasmus University Rotterdam

    Hein Klemann (1957) studied history at the Free University Amsterdam (VU) and economics at this university and the University of Amsterdam and obtained his PhD from the VU. He then worked at various universities and institutes and published on Economics and the Second World War, Dutch-German economic relations, Rhine navigation and on Haarlem. Since 2005, Klemann has been professor of economic history at Erasmus University Rotterdam.




How to Cite

Klemann, H. A. (2024). The Yangtze and the Rhine, two Major Rivers Systems: An Introduction. TSEG - The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History, 21(1), 5-20.