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Struggling For The Atlantic: The Inter-Continental Trade

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the economic activities of these private investors in the Western African trade. It examines the European entrepreneurs and businessmen based in the Republic and Portugal who financed insurance of ships and cargoes for the Western African trade and operated in the long-distance circuits connecting Western Africa with Europe and the Americas. The chapter contributes to the debates on early modern business history, especially those linked to trade, diasporas, mercantile networks, cross-cultural trade and private entrepreneurship, and will show the economic advantages of diasporas on the building of the Atlantic economy. It also identify the various categories of commercial agents controlling the trade in the Dutch and Portuguese posts and settlements in Western Africa and the networks set in place by these insurers, merchants and commercial agents. And question the effective power of the different European states over their Atlantic empires and the real importance of imperial borders.

Keywords:Atlantic empires; commercial agents; Dutch; Europe; investors; Portuguese; Western African trade



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