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The Surat Castle Revolutions: Myths of an Anglo-Bania Order and Dutch Neutrality, C. 1740-1760

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In 1759 the British captured Surat Castle. This later turned out to be one of the first steps towards what would soon become their Indian empire. This paper aims to re-examine the history of events leading to this Castle Revolution on the basis of the altogether neglected Dutch sources at the National Archives in The Hague. To make sense of what appears to be a decade of ongoing revolutions and endless jockeying for power, the paper proposes the existence of an underlying mechanism of highly flexible networks that connected and encompassed the various political and commercial, local and interregional, maritime and continental spheres of Surat's open-ended political economy. With this in mind, the paper also briefly reassesses the current idea of the so-called Anglo-Bania order and takes a critical look at the neutralist discourse of the Dutch sources.


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