Author: Pius MalekandathilPublisher: ManoharYear: 2002Language: EnglishPages: 324ISBN/UPC (if available): 8173044066
Cochin, where the Portuguese established their first settlement in the Indian Ocean region, was the principal base for their commercial and political expansion. The central purpose of this study is to see what role did Cochin, the first political headquarters of the Estado da India till 1530 and later their commercial capital, play in organizing the maritime trade of India and how its trade contributed to the building up of the universal empire of the Lusitanians. It also throws light on the intricate operations of the India-centered trade of the casado merchants in parallel and contrast to the Europe-centered commerce of the crown. Asian trade and Indo-European trade are discussed in detail laying emphasis on merchants, routes, licences, monopoly, contracts, trade-voyages and smuggling. It also dwells on the internal contradictions of the Portuguese system as well as the commercial alternatives developed by the natives to confront the trade-policies of the Portuguese. The extent of Portuguese penetration into far-flung production centres and hinterland is also studied to see how far the inland territories were incorporated by the Portuguese through the window of Cochin for their overseas commerce and empire building ventures.