The Dutch and English East India Companies were formidable organisations that were gifted with expansive powers that allowed them to conduct diplomacy, raise armies and seize territorial possessions. But they did not move into an empty arena in which they were free to deploy these powers without resistance. Early modern Asia stood at the center of the global economy and was home to powerful states and sprawling commercial networks. The companies may have been global enterprises but they operated in a globalised region in which they encountered a range of formidable competitors who frequently outmaneuvered or outfought their representatives.
This groundbreaking collection of essays explores the place of the Dutch and English East India Companies in Asia and the nature of their interactions with Asian rulers, officials, merchants, soldiers, and brokers. With contributions from the most innovative historians in the field, this book presents new ways to understand these organisations by focusing on their diplomatic, commercial, and military interactions with Asia.
Adam Clulow is the author of the prize-winning monograph, The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan (Columbia University Press, 2014). His most recent article appeared in the American Historical Review in 2016. He teaches at Monash University.
Tristan Mostert is a Ph.D student at Leiden University.