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Moral Hinterlands of Pre-Colonial Indian Cities

Moral Hinterlands of Pre-Colonial Indian Cities This paper explores relations between Western Indian cities and the supply areas connected to them. It begins with a discussion of the term “hinterland,” frequently used to describe these relations. As we shall see, the term greatly simplifies a complex set of relationships between cities, smaller towns, and rural villages. We will consider three case studies of money advanced against future assets. The first concerns the relation of thirteenth-century Jewish traders to their indigenous spice suppliers on the Malabar Coast; the second, the relation of eighteenth-century East India Company traders to cloth producers; and the third, the relation of Pune investors to taxation areas against which they loaned money to the Maratha government. In a time of slow communications and transportation the central problem was “trust at a distance”; the operative relationships were as much emotional and moral as economic. Finally, I will suggest a new way to conceptualize cities and their hinterlands. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Review of World Histories Brill

Moral Hinterlands of Pre-Colonial Indian Cities

Asian Review of World Histories , Volume 6 (2): 12 – Jul 19, 2018

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2287-965X
eISSN
2287-9811
DOI
10.1163/22879811-12340036
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper explores relations between Western Indian cities and the supply areas connected to them. It begins with a discussion of the term “hinterland,” frequently used to describe these relations. As we shall see, the term greatly simplifies a complex set of relationships between cities, smaller towns, and rural villages. We will consider three case studies of money advanced against future assets. The first concerns the relation of thirteenth-century Jewish traders to their indigenous spice suppliers on the Malabar Coast; the second, the relation of eighteenth-century East India Company traders to cloth producers; and the third, the relation of Pune investors to taxation areas against which they loaned money to the Maratha government. In a time of slow communications and transportation the central problem was “trust at a distance”; the operative relationships were as much emotional and moral as economic. Finally, I will suggest a new way to conceptualize cities and their hinterlands.

Journal

Asian Review of World HistoriesBrill

Published: Jul 19, 2018

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