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This chapter concretizes this book’s theoretical and analytical arguments by analyzing two transformations in the political history of the English East India Company (EIC). First, I show that key to the EIC’s success were public/private hybrid relations ranging from contractual, institutional, and shadow configurations. Contractual hybridity was visible through formal and frequent charter negotiations and public exchange of forced loans and other fiscal extractions. Institutional hybridity was evident through the EIC benefiting from insider rules and the rise of MP-Directors as well as more sophisticated informal lobbying. Shadow hybridity materialized through side payments and the presence of back channels through the Secret Committee. Second, the EIC’s self-understanding of sovereign authority shifted from a privilege understood within Idealized Sovereignty to a self-possessed right from extensive enactments of Lived Sovereignty. Meanwhile, the EIC’s sovereign awakening revealed problems with mutually inclusive and nonhierarchical early modern sovereignty that were thus far ignored.
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