Western European Merchants and West Africa, 1750–1850: Continuity and Change
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This chapter attempts to address how the age of revolutions shaped Western European shipping of Indian textiles from South Asia to West Africa. It starts with Britain’s West African trade in Indian textiles during the transitional phase from the slave trade to ‘legitimate’ commerce. Using the records of the English merchant Thomas Lumley, it then shows the detailed trade network of Indian textiles from India to West Africa via Britain. The discussion on the continuity and change in British trade with West Africa follows. Finally, the chapter examines the case of the French trade with Asia and West Africa, with special reference to the guinée trade.