Trade and Empire in Early Nineteenth-Century Southeast Asia

Trade and Empire in Early Nineteenth-Century Southeast Asia

Gillian Maclaine and his Business Network

G. Roger Knight

Hardback
$115.00

Boydell Press

Overview

Overview

Discusses the complexities of a trading network in this period, outling commodity chains, links between colonies and colonial centres, and tensions between local polities and competing empires.
This book explores European mercantile activity in Southeast Asia at a time when trade in this part of the world was being transformed and extended much more widely. Based on extensive original research including in newly discovered archives, the book reveals, through the study of one particular merchant and his extensive network, how trade in the region worked. It outlines the activities of Gillian Maclaine, a young Scottish "adventurer" (his word) who came to the region in about 1816 and established an enduring business in Batavia (present day Jakarta), trading in cotton goods and coffee, and later in opium. It examines the multi-faceted nature of such a trading network, including the wide scope of commodity chains, the associated link between colony and colonial metropole, and the many tensions between colonial powers, in this case the Dutch and the British, and with local polities. The book demonstrates that Southeast Asian maritime trade was every bit as important to European worldwide commercial networks as the trade with India and China, which have been much more extensively studied, and it contributes to current scholarly debates about western imperialism, colonialism and the nature of empire.

G. Roger Knight is an Associate Professor in the School of History and Politics in the University of Adelaide. He has published three previous books and numerous journal articles on the economic and social history of Southeast Asia.

Details

November 2015
2 black and white illustrations
208 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
The Worlds of the East India Company
ISBN: 9781783270699
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BIC HBTQ, 1FM, 3JH
BISAC BUS023000, HIS048000, HIS037060
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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: A SCOTS ÉMIGRÉ, IMPERIAL SYSTEMS AND GLOBAL COMMODITIES
MACLAINE'S 'APPRENTICESHIP': THE CITY OF LONDON AND THE COTTON TRADE WITH ASIA, 1816-1820
A 'SCOTCH ADVENTURER': BATAVIA, COFFEE AND COLONIAL WARS, 1820-1827
THE PIVOTAL YEARS: 'MACLAINE WATSON', TREACHEROUS CHAINS, SICKNESS AND DEBT, 1827-1832
THE NETWORK TAKES SHAPE: CONNECTIONS, BUSINESS AND ASSOCIATES, 1832-1840
CONCLUSION: MACLAINE'S LEGACY, COMMODITIES AND TRADE ON A COLONIAL 'PERIPHERY', 1840-1964
Bibliography

Reviews

Knight offers an entrepreneur with real flesh and blood, whose fortunes were shaped as much by deep social and psychological motivations, religious and ethnic affiliations, personal relationships, and even marriage, as they were by dry, rational calculation. Knight makes business history accessible and enjoyable for audiences frequently daunted by the subject. JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY HISTORY

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