Chapter

Piracy and the Shadow Economy in the South China Sea, 1780–1810

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028115.003.0008
Piracy and the Shadow Economy in the South China Sea, 1780–1810

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This chapter examines the roles that pirates and their networks of accomplices played in promoting the shadow or informal economy in the South China Sea. It explains that the pirates and their collaborators served as economic pioneers who fostered the opening up of new commercial facilities and opportunities in areas not easily reached by the established trading system. It suggests that piracy developed into a self-sustaining enterprise and a significant and integral feature of South China's maritime world in the early modern period because so many came to depend on it for their livelihoods.

Keywords: pirates; South China Sea; economic pioneers; commercial facilities; trading system

Chapter.  6066 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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