Hegemonic Sequence: Enter the Dutch and English Trading Companies

Geoffrey C. Gunn

in History Without Borders

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083343
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882208988 | DOI:
Hegemonic Sequence: Enter the Dutch and English Trading Companies

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This chapter explains the modus operandi of the powerful Dutch and English trading companies in Asian lands. It traces the “hegemonic shift” occasioned by the rise of the northern European companies that would succeed—and eclipse—the Iberians in the Asian trade. The shift was also characterized by monopoly control over prized trade items at the source, control over territory, and the establishment of European-style bureaucracies, as with the British domination of the Indian subcontinent and the deepening involvement of the Dutch on Java. Once the Portuguese monopoly on trade with China had been broken, the opium-for-tea trade at Guangzhou further raised the stakes for the European companies and private traders alike. The European companies—Dutch, English, French, and Danish—were vastly better capitalized than the Iberian merchants. They have been viewed as highly structured bureaucratic organizations and exemplars of the first multinational corporations.

Keywords: Dutch trading companies; English trading companies; northern European companies; Iberians; Asian trade

Chapter.  9815 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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