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Francis Light’s Place in the Trading System of Both Coasts of the Malay Peninsula

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Abstract Based on a close reading of Malay textual sources, this paper looks at the nature of the trading system in place in the Western Malay World towards the end of the 18th century and in particular the role Francis Light played within this system. Touching on Braudel’s broad concept of world theatre and world economy and on Van Leur’s seminal work on the periodization of Southeast Asian history post-Melaka, the paper intends to challenge established notions of the exercise of power and the nature of economic relations in the Malay World during the late 18th century.

Affiliations: 1: SOAS and J. W. Goethe University


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