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Lecture | CMGI Brown Bag Seminar

Autochthonous Dutch entrepreneurs and firms in intra-Asian trade in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Wednesday 14 December 2022
CMGI Brown Bag Seminars 2022-2023
Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Conference room (2.60)

Despite the attempts by the VOC (Dutch East India Company) to control and dominate trade in Asia, Dutch commercial interests in this region were not solely determined by the Company, nor the legal (and illegal) activities of its servants. This project thus seeks to identify autochthonous Dutch entrepreneurs and firms active in the vast circuits of intra-Asian trade in areas within and beyond the sovereignty of the States General between the mid-eighteenth to nineteenth centuries. It will shed light on the nature and scope of their commercial activities, the strategies undergirding their trade, as well as responses on the part of the Company and other European powers to their attempts to exploit the opportunities of intra-Asian trade. Moreover, as these entrepreneurs did not, and could not, act alone, this project also emphasizes the important role played by non-European mercantile actors and the partnerships which they established with the Dutch entrepreneurs and firms in question. Focusing on the opium trade and the creation of the Amphioen Societëit  (1745) in Batavia in particular, it will demonstrate how Dutch firms and entrepreneurs were active in the trans-regional networks of trade and exchange that spanned Bengal, Batavia, Southeast Asia and China.

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