Beyond Empires: Global, Self-Organizing, Cross-Imperial Networks, 1500-1800


Volume Editors: and
Beyond Empires explores the complexity of empire building from the point of view of self-organized networks, rather than from the point of view of the central state. This focus takes readers into a world of cooperative strategies worldwide that emphasises the role played by individuals, rather than institutions, in the overseas expansion and consequent development of European empires. While unveiling the practices and mechanisms of cooperation between individuals, this volume show cases the role played by individuals for the creation, development and maintenance of self-organized networks in the Early Modern period. Applying new conceptual and theoretical inputs, this book values the contributions of different ‘worlds’, bringing to the fore the interactions of Europeans and non-Europeans, Christians and non-Christians, people living within-, on- or just outside the border of empire.

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Pages: 278–280
Pages: 300–313
Catia Antunes, PhD (2004), Leiden University, is Associate Professor of Early Modern Economic and Social History at Leiden University, The Netherlands. She is the author of Globalization in the Early Modern Period (2004), with Francesca Trivellato and Leor Halevi (eds.), Religion and Trade (2014) and with Jos Gommans (eds.), Exploring the Dutch Empire (2015). She has been awarded a VIDI-NWO grant and a European Research Council Starting Grant.
Amélia Polónia, PhDC (2000), University of Porto, is Associate Professor of Portuguese Overseas Expansion at the Univerity of Porto, Portugal. She is Vice-President of the International Maritime Economic History Association and has been Principal Investigator of Hisportos (POCTI/HAR/36417/2000) and DynCoopNet (a ESF-TECT INCORE project). She is the author of A Expansão Ultramarina numa perspectiva local. O porto de Vila do Conde no século XVI (2007); The environmental impacts of the historical uses of the seas in the First Global Age [] (2014), co-editor of Maritime History as Global History (2011), with Maria Fusaro and Seaports in the First Global Age ,1500-1800. Portuguese Agents, Networks and Interactions (2016), with Cátia Antunes.
"This is an impressive collection of essays that in the strength and coherence of its individual contributions succeeds in making a persuasive case. [...] this is a collection to be recommended for a wide audience. Unlike many volumes of this kind, it succeeds in advancing a clear argument and the editors are to be thanked for bringing together such an illuminating set of essays." - Adam Clulow, in: The International Journal of Maritime History, 29:4 (2017), pp. 927-929
"Beyond Empires succeeds in constructing a history of unofficial global networks and informal commercial activities in the early modern period. Cátia A.P. Antunes and Amelia Polónia argue that ‘this informal empire that was brought to fruition by the individual choices of free agents and their networks as a reaction to state-imposed monopolies was … a borderless, selforganized, often cross-cultural, multi-ethnic, pluri-national and stateless world that can only be characterized as global’ (10). This collective volume offers fresh evidence on private entrepreneurs, merchant families, and mercantile" - Brian Sanberg, in: Itinerario, 41:3 (2017), pp. 636-638 [DOI:10.1017/S016511531700081X]
"[This] volume contains numerous valuable and fascinating insights into the transnational and trans-imperial operations of informal commercial networks. However, while this empirical richness alone makes the volume a worthwhile read, by far its greatest achievement is the formulation of an analytical framework for the analysis of transnational networks." - Felicia Gottmann, in: Journal of World History, 29:4 (2018), pp. 574-584 [DOI: 10.1353/jwh.2018.0058]
General Editor’s Foreword ... vii
List of Figures and Tables ... x
List of Contributors ... xii

Introduction ... 1
Cátia Antunes and Amélia Polónia

1 The Evolution of Norms in Trade and Financial Networks in the First Global Age: The Case of the Simon Ruiz’s Network 12
Ana Sofia Ribeiro

2 Trans-Imperial and Cross-Cultural Networks for the Slave Trade, 1580s–1800s ... 41
Filipa Ribeiro da Silva

3 Dutch and English Approaches to Cross-Cultural Trade in Mughal India and the Problem of Trust, 1600–1630 ... 69
Guido van Meersbergen

4 ‘The Japanese Connection’: Self-Organized Smuggling Networks in Nagasaki circa 1666–1742 ... 88
Jurre Knoest

5 The Pirate Round: Globalized Sea Robbery and Self-Organizing Trans-Maritime Networks around 1700 ... 138
Michael Kempe

6 Merchant Cooperation in Society and State: A Case Study in the Hispanic Monarchy ... 160
Ana Crespo Solana

7 In the Shadow of the Companies: Empires of Trade in the Orient and Informal Entrepreneurship ... 188
Chris Nierstrasz

8 Smuggling for Survival: Self-Organized, Cross-Imperial Colony Building in Essequibo and Demerara, 1746–1796 ... 212
Bram Hoonhout

9 Trading with Asia without a Colonial Empire in Asia: Swedish Merchant Networks and Chartered Company Trade, 1760–1790 ... 236
Leos Müller

10 Was Warfare Necessary for the Functioning of Eighteenth-Century Colonial Systems? Some Reflections on the Necessity of Cross-Imperial and Foreign Trade in the French Case ... 253
Silvia Marzagalli

Epilogue ... 278
Cátia Antunes and Amélia Polónia

Bibliography ... 281
Index ... 300
This book is meant for MA and graduate students interested in Empire as well as specialists on empire building and Early Modern history.
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