Shipmasters, customs, merchants and the Russian coastal experience in the Baltic ports of the 18th century
This article explores the specifics of commercial shipping in the Russian Empire’s ports. Actors involved in commercial activities in ports are considered in the perspective of maritime experience. Custom officers, shipmasters and merchants all participated to the commercial activities and coastal experiences of the ports of the Russian Empire. The article traces the impact of spatial specifics on commercial and maritime practices in different ports of the Russian Empire, such as Saint-Petersburg, Riga, Vyborg and Narva. Because of spatial and legal aspects, imperial control of, as well as knowledge about, these ports differed significantly from one to another.