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Asians Among Europeans

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Chapter Summary

One should approach Asian sources with as much caution as European sources and, as regards the Europeans, the aim should rather be to peel-off a skin of cultural and racist pre-conception to look at what the Europeans were precisely describing rather than reading against the grain. Aside from the topazes and the vrijburgers this increasingly included two other communities whose status as Europeans was at the least uncertain: the Jews-and the Armenians. The British and Armenian trades became increasingly linked in the course of the eighteenth century. Asians, let alone Africans, should never aspire to European positions. The ancient rights were premised on the caste system; they started from the idea of society as a strictly hierarchic order in which one was born in a caste and in which one's status was fixed by birth. Yet the opposite was also the case: caste derived from the Kerala Dharma.

Keywords: Africa; Armenian trades; Asians; British country trade; Europeans; Kerala Dharma



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