1st Edition

Precious Metals and Commerce The Dutch East India Company in the Indian Ocean Trade

By Om Prakash Copyright 1994
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    Precious metals played a key role in inter-continental trade between Europe and Asia in the early modern period. An assured supply of these metal was indeed a pre-requisite to the procurement of Asian goods such as spices, textiles and raw silk. Once these metals had been imported into Asia, they were converted into the coinage of the country concerned. The 'bullion for goods' pattern of trade had important implications for the level of output, income, employment and prices in the Asian societies. This collection of essays by Professor Om Prakash explores these issues in relation mainly to the Dutch East India Company. Given the scale of its operations, as well as its unique character as the only European corporate group to engage in large scale intra-Asian trade as an integral part of its overall trading strategy, the VOC is a particularly appropriate medium through which to analyse these issues. Les métaux précieux jouèrent in rôle clef dans le commerce international entre l’Europe et l’Asie au début de la période moderne. La présence d’un stock assuré de ces métaux était, en effet, un facteur nécessaire afin de se procurer des produits asiatiques tels les épices, les textiles et la soie grège. Une fois importés en Asie, ces métaux étaient convertis dans le monnaie du pays concerné. La structure commerciale du bullion for goods avait des implications importantes en ce qui concernait le niveau de production, l’emploi et les prix au sein des sociétés asiatiques. Cette collestion d’essais du professeur Om Prakash explore ces questions en relation plus particulièrement avec la conpagnie hollandaise d’Inde Orientale. Etant donnée l’envergure de ses opérations, ainsi que son caractère unique en tant que seule corporation européenne engagée dans un commerciale, le VOC est un particulièrement bon exemple à travers lequel analyser ces questions.

    Contents: Introduction; The Dutch East India Company in the trade of the Indian Ocean; Restrictive trading regimes: VOC and the Asian spice trade in the 17th century; The Dutch East India Company in Bengal: trade privileges and problems, 1633-1712; Asian trade and European impact: a study of the trade from Bengal, 1630-1720; Bullion for goods: international trade and the economy of early 18th-century Bengal; European trade and the economy of Bengal in the 17th century and the early 18th century; European trade and South Asian economies: some regional contrasts, 1600-1800; Opium monopoly in India and Indonesia in the 18th century; Precious metal flows in Asia and world economic integration in the 17th century; Precious metal flows, coinage and prices in India in the 17th and the early 18th century; Foreign merchants and Indian mints in the 17th and the early 18th century; On coinage in Mughal India; European and Asian merchants in Asian maritime trade, 1500-1800: some issues of methodology and evidence; Dutch source material on Indian maritime history in the early modern period: an evaluation; Dutch source material on the history of Surat in the 17th century; Trade and urbanization in Gujarat in the early 17th century: a Dutch account; Index.


    Om Prakash