24 February 2007

Reply to Hesse-Engelburg

To: Herr Ludwig Von Strasser, Social Secretary for Thursdays
Hesse-Engelburg


February 24, 1768

My Dear Herr Von Strasser,

Thank you for your correspondence of late and curiosity about financial and economic matters in The Grand Duchy of Stollen.

The currency of The Grand Duchy is the Silver Mark, tied closely to the currency in neighboring Prussia. The breakdown of currency sub-units looks like this:

1 Silver Mark =
14 Thaler =
24 Groschen (3 Polish Gulden) =
60 Schillings =
360 Pfennigs;
1 Groschen =
3 Schillings =
18 Pfennigs;
1 Schilling = 6 Pfennigs.

Although there are some minor differences in the Electorate of Zichenau, the arch enemy of our own Stollen, there is largely a one-to-one parity between the two currencies.

The economies of Stollen and Zichenau are primarily agrarian (corn, grain, sugar beets, cabbage, and the recently introduced potato) with some timber and small cottage industries.

Much like neighboring Prussia, Stollen has a respectable horse breeding industry. The Trakehner breed features prominently here and is widely recognized throughout mcuh of Eastern and Central Europe.

Our larger towns contain a smattering of foreign merchants, mostly from the North German territories and the Low Countries, but frankly speaking, Stollen and its immediate surroundings are something of an economic and mercantile backwater with regard to more prominent centers of trade like Brugge, Antwerp, Riga, Koenigsburg, or Danzig for example.

A historically disputed region, The Mark of Oessel, lies between Stollen (to the north) and Zichenau (to the south), containing several small coal, iron, and tin mines. Periodically, these have been the object of minor diplomatic disputes between Stollen and Zichenau, although the two countries have never gone to war over the mines, preferring to battle each other over things like kidnapped princesses (some suggest runaway), misplaced but presumed stolen and later found crown jewels, and a host of other slights, either real or imagined.

I trust this short summary reaches you in good stead and answers your immediate trade questions and concerns.

Sincerely,

Johannes P. Flickenhoffer
Personal Assistant to Grand Duke Irwin Amadeus II

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