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All about Money: Maritime Trade in Makassar and West Java, around 1775

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In the last few decades the debate about the characteristics of early modern maritime trade in Southeast Asia has received extra impetus through the provision of new empirical substance. Amongst others the use of eighteenth-century shipping lists from the archives of the Dutch East India Company has brought the analysis to a higher level. For Makassar, Batavia, Banten and Cirebon this article connects the statistics on ships' volume and commodities exchanged to scattered information about prices of products in order to establish the total value of trade for these ports. By doing so, more light is shed on the leading commodities and the dominant participants in the commerce. Finally, this study addresses whether the eighteenth century in insular Southeast Asia was either a 'Chinese century' or already a 'European century.' Ces dernières décennies, la disponibilité de nouvelles données empiriques a fortement stimulé le débat sur les traits caractéristiques du commerce maritime prémoderne. C'est entre autres en utilisant des inventaires maritimes de la Compagnie hollandaise des Indes orientales du dix-huitième siècle que l'on a pu porter l'analyse à un niveau plus élevé. Pour les villes de Makassar, Batavia, Banten et Cirebon, les statistiques du volume de navigation et des produits échangés seront dans cet article mis en rapport avec des informations éparses sur les prix des produits a fin de pouvoir déterminer la valeur totale du commerce dans ces ports. Cette approche nous permet de mieux comprendre quels étaient les principaux produits échangés et qui étaient les principaux participants au commerce maritime. Finalement, nous nous poserons la question de savoir si en Asie du Sud-Est insulaire le dix-huitième siècle doit être considéré comme un 'siècle chinois' ou bien déjà comme un 'siècle européen.'


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