ISBN: 978-93-84082-35-2 • 2015 • PB • 148 pp. • ₹ 395
Trade and Politics on the Coromandel Coast: Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries
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Associate Professor of History, University of Pune
This book studies connections between trade and politics in the Coromandel Coast in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with special focus on Madras. It questions the largely uncontested view that trade and traders in pre-modern India were disconnected from the world of politics and the state, arguing instead that south Indian merchants depended on, and functioned within, the structures and the stability provided by the state. It also addresses the breakdown of the political structures within which the merchants operated, and the impact of the arrival of the Europeans, especially the English. In this sense, this is a regional history which challenges accepted notions about the place of merchants and the state, and through a detailed economic history sheds new light on the political and transitional nature of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
‘Dr Radhika Seshan raises a series of questions, especially on the contested relationship between politics and trade, showing some very intricate and important connections. Though much of the information here is familiar, this is still a lively and well researched account.’
Michael N. Pearson, University of New South Wales