Merchants, Smugglers, and Pirates:

Robert J. Antony

in Elusive Pirates, Pervasive Smugglers

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028115
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206915 | DOI:
Merchants, Smugglers, and Pirates:

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This chapter examines the multinational clandestine trade among merchants, smugglers, and pirates in the South China coast during the period from 1520 to 1550. It argues against the widely-held belief which viewed the foreign presence along the China coast as an unwelcome intrusion and a manifestation of imperialism. It argues that foreigners positively influenced the Chinese economy by bringing it new life and explains that though piracy and violence associated with smuggling had a negative impact on the local social order it greatly facilitated the development of a new commodity economy in local society which filled a need that the regular economy failed to offer.

Keywords: clandestine trade; South China coast; merchants; smugglers; pirates; commodity economy; economic growth

Chapter.  6071 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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