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Private Businessmen in the Angolan Trade, 1590s to 1780s: Insurance, Commerce and Agency

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Chapter Summary

This chapter unveils some of the complexities, continuities and changes of the insurance, finance and commercial organization underlying Angolan trade during the early modern period. It focuses on insurance, finance, commercial partnerships and agency and also explores the cross-cultural character of private trade with Angola, both in the Angolan context and at European levels. The chapter begins with a brief note on sources, on geography, on chronology and with a brief insight into the composition of Amsterdam private entrepreneurs and businessmen. Then, it looks at changes in the legal framework regulating private participation in the Angolan trade, before finally offering an analysis of the activities of insurers, financers, merchants and their agents in the Angolan trade. Finally, the chapter illustrates the possibilities of discerning the activities of private merchants in colonial trades through the study of company records as well as other record.

Keywords: Angolan trade; colonial trades; commercial agency; finance and commercial organization; insurance; private businessmen



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