Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Company-StateCorporate Sovereignty and the Early Modern Foundations of the British Empire in India$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip J. Stern

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195393736

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393736.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2019

Introduction

Introduction

“A State in the Disguise of a Merchant”

Chapter:
(p.3) Introduction
Source:
The Company-State
Author(s):

Philip J. Stern

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393736.003.0000

The Introduction explores the nature of corporations, states, sovereigns, and imperial power in the early modern period. It argues that early modern “commercial” companies, like the English East India Company, must be seen not just as economic firms but, like other forms of urban, educational, religious, and other corporations and associations, as political and social bodies unto themselves, especially as in the context of overseas trade and empire. Insisting that early modern sovereignty was not confined to a system of singular, territorially-bounded state, but was hybrid, fragmented, layered, and composite in nature, this chapter challenges the understanding of the East India Company as having transformed from a commercial into a political body only with its acquisition of territory in the middle of the eighteenth century, and of its early history as being categorically distinct from that of its contemporaries in the European Atlantic and Asia. It maintains instead that the East India Company’s political constitution rested in a complex mixture of grants and rights from both European and Asian sources, as well as its own active behavior and institution-building, and must be approached as a subject of political and intellectual history in its own right and on its own terms.

Keywords:   corporation, state formation, sovereignty, East India Company, colonialism and imperialism, British Empire, Harold Laski, British Atlantic, Europeans in Asia

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .