“A Politie of Civill and Military Power”

Philip J. Stern

in The Company-State

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780195393736
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896837 | DOI:
“A Politie of Civill and Military Power”

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter shows how the political system detailed in the previous chapters responded to unprecedented challenges to its authority and integrity, beginning in the early 1680s. A rebellion led by its own soldiers at Bombay, a Dutch-backed coup at Banten in Java, and growing impositions on its jurisdiction from Asian powers led Company leadership to a much more aggressive posture in defense of its network of fortified settlements and the rights and privileges that network was intended to protect. The Company sought to secure its colonies and establish new settlements, ideally through diplomacy, most notably at Bengkulu in Sumatra, but also through two wars, one in Siam and another in Bengal, which ultimately resulted in the grant of zamindari rights for the government of Calcutta. Through all this, Company governors’ guiding concern was not territorial aggrandizement or imperial expansion, but the integrity of its rights and jurisdiction, particularly over English subjects in Asia.

Keywords: Bombay; Banten; Bengal; Bengkulu; Siam; Calcutta; war; diplomacy

Chapter.  10560 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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