Series: European Expansion and Indigenous Response, Volume: 32
In The Agency of Empire: Connections and Strategies in French Expansion (1686-1746) Elisabeth Heijmans places directors and their connections at the centre of the developments and operations of French overseas companies. The focus on directors’ decisions and networks challenges the conception of French overseas companies as highly centralized and controlled by the state.
Through the cases of companies operating in Pondicherry (Coromandel Coast) and Ouidah (Bight of Benin), Elisabeth Heijmans demonstrates the participation of actors not only in Paris but also in provinces, ports and trading posts in the French expansion. The analysis brings to the fore connections across imperial, cultural and religious boundaries in order to diverge from traditional national narratives of the French early modern empire.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elisabeth Heijmans, Ph.D. (2018), Leiden University, is post-doctoral researcher in Economic and Social History. She published ‘Investing in French Overseas Companies: A Bad Deal? The Liquidation Processes of Companies Operating on the West Coast of Africa and in India (1664–1719)’ in: Itinerario (43:1).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
General Series Editor’s Preface
List of Abbreviations
List of Maps, Tables, Figures and Graphs
I - When Principals Become Agents
1. Structure and Continuity
2. Metropolitan Directors
3. Upward Social Mobility and the Chamber of Justice
4. Safe Investment? Institutional Factors
5. Market Access
II - Overseas Directors as Mediators
1. Overseas and Company Contexts
2. Trading Systems and Commercial Actors in Pondicherry and Ouidah
3. Multiplicity of Interests within Companies
III - Cross-cultural Relations with Rulers
1. Sovereign Powers
2. Negotiating Cross-cultural Relations
3. Competition and Foreign Intermediaries
IV - Inter-imperial Cooperation
1. European Power Dynamics
2. Means of Cooperation
3. Motives of Cooperation
4. Nuances of Competitive Interactions
V - Attempts at Self-sustainability
1. Accessing Funds
2. Integrating Regional Trading Networks
More information here.