Our research is about the trade in material goods from Asia to Europe over this period, and its impact on Europe’s consumer and industrial cultures. It entails a comparative study of Europe’s East India Companies and the private trade from Asia over the period. The commodities trade was heavily dependent on private trade. The historiography to date has left a blind spot in this area, concentrating instead on corruption and malfeasance. Taking a global history approach we investigate the trade in specific consumer goods in many qualities and varieties that linked merchant communities and stimulated information flows. We set out how private trade functioned alongside and in connection with the various European East India companies; we investigate how this changed over time, how it drew on the Company infrastructure, and how it took the risks and developed new and niche markets for specific Asian commodities that the Companies could not sustain.
European Research Council Advanced Researcher Fellowship. Maxine Berg. Project No: 249362: EUROPE’S ASIAN CENTURIES:TRADING EURASIA1600-1830, 2010–2014. See the project website: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/ghcc/eac/. We thank the European Research Council for funding to support the research for this article.
Berg, M., Davies, T., Fellinger, M., Gottmann, F., Hodacs, H. and Nierstrasz, C. (2015), "Private Trade and Monopoly Structures: The East India Companies and the Commodity Trade to Europe in the Eighteenth Century", Chartering Capitalism: Organizing Markets, States, and Publics (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 29), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 123-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0198-871920150000029006
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