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The Company-StateCorporate Sovereignty and the Early Modern Foundations of the British Empire in India$
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Philip J. Stern

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195393736

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393736.001.0001

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“A Politie of Civill and Military Power”

“A Politie of Civill and Military Power”

Diplomacy, War, and Expansion

(p.61) 3 “A Politie of Civill and Military Power”
The Company-State

Philip J. Stern

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how the political system detailed in the previous chapters responded to unprecedented challenges to its authority and integrity, beginning in the early 1680s. A rebellion led by its own soldiers at Bombay, a Dutch-backed coup at Banten in Java, and growing impositions on its jurisdiction from Asian powers led Company leadership to a much more aggressive posture in defense of its network of fortified settlements and the rights and privileges that network was intended to protect. The Company sought to secure its colonies and establish new settlements, ideally through diplomacy, most notably at Bengkulu in Sumatra, but also through two wars, one in Siam and another in Bengal, which ultimately resulted in the grant of zamindari rights for the government of Calcutta. Through all this, Company governors’ guiding concern was not territorial aggrandizement or imperial expansion, but the integrity of its rights and jurisdiction, particularly over English subjects in Asia.

Keywords:   Bombay, Banten, Bengal, Bengkulu, Siam, Calcutta, war, diplomacy

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