A busy and wealthy port, Danzig had long attracted trade and settlers from other parts of the world. In addition to resident Polish and German populations, the city and surrounding territory provided homes for Dutch, English and Scottish immigrants. The diversity of the inhabitants was all the more unusual in the eighteenth century for including various religious denominations: Lutherans, Calvinists, Catholics, Mennonites, Jews, Pietists. In the early eighteenth century, Danzig had lost something of its lustre, but remained extremely prosperous.

Virtually a free city-state, Danzig was governed by somewhat inbred German-speaking patricians (elected by their peers), but was surrounded geographically by the elected monarchy of Poland to which it owed minimal accountabiltiy. It was, for contemporary understanding, a republic within a republic.

The city's form of government and close trading ties to the republic of Holland, to the parlamentary monarchy of England and to Scotland gave the city a very different cultural atmosphere than the hundreds of small German principalities often impoverished by rulers imitating the glory and power of the French court. This was true despite the close ties of some Polish nobility to the French court.

For instance, unlike the city of Leipzig, where Luise Kulmus's future husband taught at the university, there is not much evidence of imitations of French court culture. While Leipzig became known as "Little Paris", there was little if any salon culture in this republic of wealthy merchants, moralistic protestants. Instead, in the 1720s an elite group of lawyers and doctors had formed a society for the discussion of scientific and philosophical matters, the Societas literaria. No women participated.

Ever since the mid-sixteenth century Danzig's elite had been educated at the Danzig Academy, highly respected throughout German-speaking lands. Foreign languages and familiarity with foreign cultures were considered important for merchants. Wealthy inhabits who finished their study at the academy might go to the countryside for a while to perfect their Polish before commencing study at a university, often one in Holland. A European tour completed a patrician's general education before his return to Danzig. The highly educated, well traveled patrician and professional classes of Danzig would have provided the city with a distinct cosmopolitan urbanity.