Chapter

Bookkeeping as a Window into Efficiencies of Early Modern Trade

Paul A. Van Dyke

in Narratives of Free Trade

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083534
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209275 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888083534.003.0002
Bookkeeping as a Window into Efficiencies of Early Modern Trade

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This chapter explores the forms of bookkeeping by merchants of different nationalities in the China trade. Whereas the British East India Company was a monopoly operation that established a vast global network centred in its trade with China, the new breed of United States private traders worked on a smaller scale and on a different model, incorporating themselves under state jurisdiction as private companies or firms without either a monopoly advantage or any particular obligations to the federal government. In these private company enterprises, a single person or small group of owners held the responsibilities of management, supervision of cargo, and the captaincy of the ships; this left little time for meticulous bookkeeping.

Keywords: China; United States; East India Company; bookkeeping; accounts; globalisation; trade; monopoly

Chapter.  5863 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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