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Indian Merchants

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Chapter Summary

There are currently two distinct bodies of literature on merchants in India. The first deals mainly with the sixteenth and seventeenth century and the other with the nineteenth and twentieth; one of the main problems dealing with the eighteenth-precisely at the interstice-is how to reconcile these two. Japanese form of capitalism and a Confucian model of capitalist entrepreneurship, in the early modern period there was a distinct form of Hindu capitalism. To shift to the first body of literature, that on the sixteenth and seventeenth century, this deals with two different but closely related issues. This chapter considers the first one, the role of the state, later. The second issue is generally called the "peddler thesis" originally propounded by Van Leur for Indonesia. There was the relatively loosely controlled free market catering for the Indians, the bazaar, where military fiscal state did not intervene in prices qua doctrinaire free trader.

Keywords: Hindu capitalism; Indian merchants; the bazaar

10.1163/ej.9789004176584.i-1404.53
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