Guide European commercial enterprise in pre-colonial India

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European expansion before 1763
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  1. European Commercial Enterprise in Pre-Colonial India
  2. European Commercial Enterprise in Pre-Colonial India
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Cambridge Core Full view. Green Library.

N47 PT. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p.

European Commercial Enterprise in Pre-Colonial India

Contents Introduction-- 1. India in the Indian Ocean trade, c. The Portuguese in India, 3.


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The European trading companies, exports from Europe and the generation of purchasing power in Asia-- 4. The companies in India: the politics and the economics of trade-- 5.

European Commercial Enterprise in Pre-Colonial India

With these events sea power shifted from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and to the emerging nation-states of Portugal, Spain , the Dutch Republic , France , and England. By discovery, conquest, and settlement, these nations expanded and colonized throughout the world, spreading European institutions and culture. Medieval Europe was largely self-contained until the First Crusade —99 , which opened new political and commercial communications with the Muslim Near East. Although Christian crusading states founded in Palestine and Syria proved ephemeral , commercial relations continued, and the European end of this trade fell largely into the hands of Italian cities.

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Competition between Mediterranean nations for control of Asiatic commerce gradually narrowed to a contest between Venice and Genoa, with the former winning when it severely defeated its rival city in ; thereafter, in partnership with Egypt, Venice principally dominated the Oriental trade coming via the Indian Ocean and Red Sea to Alexandria. Overland routes were not wholly closed, but the conquests of the central Asian warrior Timur Tamerlane —whose empire broke into warring fragments after his death in —and the advantages of a nearly continuous sea voyage from the Middle and Far East to the Mediterranean gave Venice a virtual monopoly of some Oriental products, principally spices.


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The word spices then had a loose application and extended to many Oriental luxuries, but the most valuable European imports were pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in did not seriously affect Venetian control. Although other Europeans resented this dominance of the trade, even the Portuguese discovery and exploitation of the Cape of Good Hope route could not altogether break it.


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  • Early Renaissance Europe was short of cash money, though it had substantial banks in northern Italy and southern Germany. Florence possessed aggregations of capital, and its Bardi bank in the 14th century and the Medici successor in the 15th financed much of the eastern Mediterranean trade. Later, during the great discoveries, the Augsburg houses of Fugger and Welser furnished capital for voyages and New World enterprises.

    When Prince Henry the Navigator undertook sponsorship of Portuguese discovery voyages down the west coast of Africa, a principal motive was to find the mouth of a river to be ascended to these mines. In a detailed analysis of the trading operations of European corporate enterprises such as the English and Dutch East India Companies, as well as those of private European traders, this book considers how, over a span of three centuries, the Indian economy expanded and was integrated into the pre-modern world economy as a result of these interactions.

    ISBN 13: 9780521796910

    The book also describes how this essentially market-determined commercial encounter changed in the latter half of the eighteenth century as the colonial relationship between Britain and the subcontinent was established. By bringing together and examining the existing literature, the author provides a fascinating overview of the impact of European trade on the pre-modern Indian economy which will be of value to students of Indian, European and colonial history.

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    Colonial India in the 19th Century

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