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Exploring the Gulf of Kachh: Regional Economy and Trade in the Eighteenth Century

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This paper explores the economic dynamics of the Gulf of Kachh littoral in the eighteenth century. First, the region's production and trade potential is foregrounded by examining the scale and scope of its major products—cotton and textiles—and by tracking the inland and overseas commercial networks. The politico-economic crisis in Gujarat and the ensuing relocation of merchants and manufacturers combined with the rise of the Omani commercial empire served as the context for the mid-century expansion in the commerce of the Gulf of Kachh. Second, the development of the Dutch commercial interaction with this region will be analyzed from the perspective of the Dutch East India Company's trade at Surat in connection with the growing English influence in the Arabian Sea. Cette contribution explore deux principaux aspects de la vitalité économique du littoral du Golfe de Cutch au dix-huitième siècle. Premièrement, le potentiel de production et de commerce de la région est souligné en examinant l'importance et l'éventail des produits principaux échangés, notamment des cotons et des tissus, et en suivant les réseaux d'échanges terrestres et maritimes La crise socio-économique qui frappe le Gujarat au début de ce siècle et le déplacement des marchands et manufacturiers qui en découle, mais également la montée de la puissance commerciale omanaise, permettent en effet l'essor commercial du Golfe de Cutch au milieu du siècle. Deuxièmement, le développement de l'interaction commerciale entre cette région et la Compagnie néerlandaise des Indes orientales est relevé. La présence de cette compagnie au Golfe est mise en perspective avec ses activités à Surat et l'influence anglaise grandissante en mer d'Arabie.

Affiliations: 1: Department of History, Georgia State University, USA;, Email:


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