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Chapter Summary

This chapter first considers the link between the demand for bullion and the state in India, after which it examines the effects of bullion on prices in India; the chapter then turns to the sources of supply: Europe, the Middle East, and East Africa. The aim of the collection of the revenue by the Mughal government, he further argued, had been to support a feudal military establishment. Only the influx of American silver thrown into general circulation allowed for the wide circulation of silver. And yet if the use of money was proceeding apace Europeans had associated East Africa with barter rather than bullion since the very age of Carthaginians. As the Viceroy put it in 1737 in Mozambique one "has no currency and one practices there still the oldest form of human commerce by barter." And one should not exaggerate the gradual monetization of Africa, either.

Keywords: East Africa; Europe; prices in India; silver in India

10.1163/ej.9789004176584.i-1404.67
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