The Political Economy of Commerce: Southern India 1500-1650

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 18, 2002 - Business & Economics - 412 pages
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In The Political Economy of Commerce: Southern India 1500-1650 Sanjay Subrahmanyam explores the relationship between long-distance trade and the economic and political structure of southern India in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. He questions the more traditional views that external demand was the force behind pre-colonial Indian economic growth or that external trade was insignificant in quantitative and qualitative terms compared with the vastness of the internal economy. Instead, Dr Subrahmanyam authoritatively demonstrates the interaction between south Indian developments and larger international processes within certain economic institutions - most notably the network of marketing villages, great coastal emporia and operations of revenue-farmers and 'portfolio' capitalists. This book is based on extensive and previously unused Portuguese and Dutch archival sources. Its secondary theme is to explore the relationship between the documentation used and the context within which it was generated, thus illuminating how Europeans and Asians reacted to one another.
 

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Contents

The political economy of southern India 15001650 preliminary remarks
9
Coastal trade and overland trade complementarities and contradictions
46
Overseas trade 15001570 traders ports and networks
91
Overseas trade 15701650 expansion and realignment
144
Europeans and Asians in an age of contained conflict
252
External commerce and political participation
298
Situating trade models and methodological strategies
343
Conclusion
366
A note on currency and weights
371
Glossary
374
Note on sources
377
Bibliography
380
Index
394
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About the author (2002)

Sanjay Subrahmanyam is a Distinguished Professor of History, and the Navin and Pratima Doshi Endowed Chair in Pre-Modern Indian History at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he served as founding Director of the Center for India and South Asia from 2005 to 2011. Educated at the University of Delhi and the Delhi School of Economics, he held positions at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and at the University of Oxford before joining the UCLA faculty. In 2012, he received the Infosys Prize in the humanities, and in 2013, he was elected to the chair in Histoire Globale de la Premiere Modernite at the College de France in Paris. He was Joint Managing Editor of the Indian Economic and Social History Review for over a decade, besides serving on the boards of a number of other journals in the US, UK, France, Portugal, and elsewhere. He is the author or editor of many articles and nearly thirty books that have been translated into multiple languages, including The Portuguese Empire in Asia, 1500 1700: A Political and Economic History (1993), The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama (Cambridge University Press, 1997), and Indo-Persian Travels in the Age of Discoveries (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

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