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Transregional Trade and TradersSituating Gujarat in the Indian Ocean from Early Times to 1900$
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Edward A. Alpers and Chhaya Goswami

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199490684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199490684.001.0001

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Reaching Across Land and Sea

Reaching Across Land and Sea

The Transregional Networks of a Local Man*

Chapter:
(p.141) 6 Reaching Across Land and Sea
Source:
Transregional Trade and Traders
Author(s):

Samira Sheikh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199490684.003.0007

Although the last nawab of Bharuch was ousted by the East India Company’s forces in 1772, his trusted minister Lallubhai flourished under Company rule. Lallubhai’s influence and income derived from his deep understanding and control of late-Mughal revenue systems and their role in the flourishing cotton supply chain of south Gujarat. As Mughal control waned in Gujarat, revenue entrepreneurs such as Lallubhai virtually ran the military–fiscal apparatus of successor states and then the Company. Equally, and unlike most commodity traders and bankers, Lallubhai and his kind were deeply involved in politics. This chapter locates Lallubhai’s career within overlapping circles of influence—some deeply local, others radiating out into the trade networks of the Arabian Sea—and argues that Gujarat’s celebrated transregional trade cannot be understood without its agrarian backdrop. Lallubhai, like Gujarat itself, faced both land and sea.

Keywords:   Bharuch, East India Company, Mughals, Bombay, land revenue, Lallubhai, cotton trade, Parsis, Shah Alam II, Gaekwads of Baroda

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