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Patrons, Clients, and EmpireChieftaincy and Over-rule in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific$
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Colin Newbury

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199257812.001.0001

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Trade and Dependency

Trade and Dependency

(p.19) 1 Trade and Dependency
Patrons, Clients, and Empire


Oxford University Press

English contact with India through the East India Company made commercial agents dependent on the patronage of Mughal authorities for the privileges of trade and settlement in restricted enclaves at Surat, Bombay, Madras, and in Bengal. As the Mughal patrimonial empire declined, political relations with the princes of successor states turned on the potential for assistance from a maritime power and the drain on state revenues arising from fiscal and trade concessions to official and private factors. The Company could be supportive or subversive. Fortification of posts affording protection and jurisdiction created beneficiaries among Indian service gentry. By internal trading operations the Company enlisted clients and created a potential cause of local conflict by abuse of privileges in Bengal through open conflict with French factors from the 1740s, when both sides competed in a very ‘Asiatic manner’.

Keywords:   Mughal patronage, internal trading, enclaves, French factors, Bengal

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