This is an important, revisionist account of the origins of the British Empire in Asia in the early modern period. David Veevers uncovers a hidden world of transcultural interactions between servants of the English East India Company and the Asian communities and states they came into contact with, revealing how it was this integration of Europeans into non-European economies, states and societies which was central to British imperial and commercial success rather than national or mercantilist enterprise. As their servants skilfully adapted to this rich and complex environment, the East India Company became enfranchised by the eighteenth century with a breadth of privileges and rights – from governing sprawling metropolises to trading customs-free. In emphasising the Asian genesis of the British Empire, this book sheds new light on the foreign frameworks of power which fuelled the expansion of Global Britain in the early modern world.
David Washbrook - Trinity College, University of Cambridge
Philip Stern - Duke University, North Carolina
John McAleer - University of Southampton
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