From Colony to Counter: Networks of Supply

Jon Stobart

in Sugar and Spice

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199577927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744884 | DOI:
From Colony to Counter: Networks of Supply

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter begins by examining the operations of three key intermediaries in the groceries trade: the auctions of the East India Company; the illicit trade in tea, and provincial merchants, who supplied perhaps a narrower range, but significant quantities of goods. Shifts in the relative importance of these can tell us much about the changing supply options open to grocery retailers, but much more is revealed by a detailed examination of the business networks through which individual shopkeepers connected into these wider systems of supply. Drawing on network theory and new institutional economics, the chapter assesses the nature and durability of business relationships, and the role played by reputation and trust in establishing and maintaining such links. This provides a clearer insight the ability of established systems of supply to match growing demand with increasingly global networks of trade.

Keywords: network theory; new institutional economics; trust; auctions; smuggling; merchants; credit networks

Chapter.  11952 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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