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:
Bookkeeping as a Window into Efficiencies of Early Modern Trade

Show Summary Details


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

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Hong Kong University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.