Opium and the company: Maritime trade and imperial finances on java, 1684???1796

  • Souza G
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Abstract

Abstract While trade in opium was of limited financial significance in the eighteenth century to the larger accounts of the Dutch East India Company as a whole, this article shows its critical importance to the Company's comptoir accounts at Batavia. The article examines the VOC's commercial operations at Batavia in the eighteenth century and places opium trade and opium revenues within that larger context. It examines how the trade in Bengal opium through Batavia changed over time, based on a statistical analysis of the Company's accounts. These results show that opium dwarfed all other individual or groups of commodities that were available to the Company to sell profitably on Java and in the Indonesian Archipelago over the long eighteenth century.

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Authors

  • George Bryan Souza

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