The Scandinavian Trade with China

  • Hanna Hodacs
Part of the Europe’s Asian Centuries book series (EAC)


Excitement, speculations and rumours swirled around the world of the East India trade in the early 1730s. The supercargoes of the Ostend Company worked their last season in Canton in 1730, although the closure of the trade route between Asia and the southern parts of the Low Countries had been on the agenda since 1727. This was not due to its unprofitability, but rather the opposite: together with the English the Ostenders had managed to capture eighty per cent of the growing European market in tea.1 Trading mainly with China the Ostenders were able to run a low-budget operation; in contrast to the Dutch and the English they did not need to fund an extensive system of factories and forts across Asia. Moreover, the Ostend Company focused on tea at a time when the European craving for caffeinated drinks seemed to have no limits. The game changer was diplomatic pressure: the Dutch and the British demanded that Charles VI, the Habsburg emperor who since the Peace of Utrecht in 1713 had ruled the southern Low Countries, close down the General India Company as it was formally known. In return they agreed to recognize his daughter, Maria Theresa, as the legal heir to his throne.2


Eighteenth Century Negotiation Protocol Swedish Company East India Company Direct Trade 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanna Hodacs
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Swedish Academy of SciencesStockholmSweden

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