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The Concept Of 'Atlantic System' And The Study Of Interactions Between States, Companies And Private Merchants

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Chapter Summary

The areas of Western Africa where the Dutch and Portuguese developed their coastal circuits were more or less the same. Both coastal circuits changed over time in order to reduce time and costs of long distance trade and thus make them more efficient and competitive. This chapter examines the differences and emphasizes the key role of the intra-continental trade in the success of the Dutch and the Portuguese in the Atlantic system and its impact on their survival in Western Africa. The three regions under study, the Portuguese and mixed descent traders and colonists were deeply engaged in several intra-continental circuits, visiting several supply markets, and meeting the demands of both the African and the Portuguese settlements consumption markets. The relationship between Dutch, Portuguese, Eurafricans and Africans in the hinterland areas played a key role in their relationship in the coastal areas.

Keywords:Africans; Atlantic system; coastal areas; Dutch; Hinterland; intra-continental trade; Portuguese



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