The rise of merchant empires : long-distance trade in the early modern world, 1350-1750


The rise of merchant empires : long-distance trade in the early modern world, 1350-1750

edited by James D. Tracy

(Studies in comparative early modern history)

Cambridge University Press, 1993

1st pbk. ed

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"Essays ... originally prepared for distribution and discussion at a conference ... sponsored by the Center for Early Modern History at the University of Minnesota in October 1987"--Pref

First hardcover ed. published in 1990

Includes bibliographical references and index



European dominance of the shipping lanes in the early modern period was a prelude to the great age of European imperial power in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet in the present age we can see that the pre-imperial age was in fact more an 'age of partnership' or an 'age of competition' when the West and Asia vied on even terms. The essays in this volume examine, on a global basis, the many different trading empires from the end of the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction James D. Tracy
  • 1. Structural changes in European long-distance trade, and particularly in the re-export trade from south to north, 1350-1750 Herman van der Wee
  • 2. The growth and composition of trade in the Iberian empires, 1450-1740 Carla Rahn Phillips
  • 3. The growth and composition of the long-distance trade of England and the Dutch republic before 1750 Niels Ateensgaard
  • 4. France, the Antilles, and Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: renewals of trade Paul Butel
  • 5. Productivity, profitability and costs of private and corporate Dutch shipping in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Jaap R. Bruijn
  • 6. The Dutch and English East India Companies compared: evidence from the stock and foreign exchange markets Larry Neal
  • 7. World bullion flows, 1450-1800 Ward Barrett
  • 8. Merchant communities (1350-1750) Frederic Mauro
  • 9. Economic aspects of the eighteenth century Atlantic slave trade Herbert S. Klein
  • 10. Marginalisation, stagnation, and growth: the trans-Saharan caravan trade in the era of European expansion, 1500-1800 Ralph A. Austen
  • 11. The 'decline' of the central Asian caravan trade Morris Rossabi
  • 12. Merchant communities in pre-colonial India Irfan Habib
  • 13. Merchants without empire: the Hokkien sojourning communities Wang Gungwu.

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