Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Asian Capital in the Age of European Domination: The Rise of the Bazaar, 1800–1914

  • Rajat Kanta Ray (a1)

There was a time when the economic confrontation between East and West was perceived as a confrontation between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. ‘East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,’—thus wrote J. H. Boeke, quoting Rudyard Kipling with warm approval. The notion has since been undermined by deeper explorations into the history of the Chinese and Indian merchant bankers, and the Jews of the Islamic world. Over large parts of Java, with which Boeke was most familiar, there was indeed a sharp contrast between the local communal economy and the sophisticated capitalism of the Dutch colonists. It appeared an inevitable process of history that the Dutch corporations should subjugate the petty Javanese communities of princes, peasants and pedlars. It was also taken for granted that the phenomenon was general and that European gesellschaft did not confront and conquer such petty gemeinschaften in Java alone. But when the individual studies of the Chinese, Indian and Islamic—Jewish long-distance trade and credit networks are seen in over-all perspective, the impression that emerges is one of confrontation, at the higher level, between two gesellschaften: one of European origin, the other Eastern. Nor does it appear to be the sort of outright collision that simply resulted in the latter being broken up and relegated to a corner. The idea nevertheless persists that the ‘bazaar economy’ of the East was a debased, fragmented and marginal sector absorbed and peripheralized within the capitalist world economy of the West.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Lakshmi Subramanian , ‘Capital and Crowd in a Declining Asian Port City: The Surat Riots of 1795,’ Modern Asian Studies, 19, 2 (1985).

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Modern Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0026-749X
  • EISSN: 1469-8099
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-asian-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 27 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 164 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.