New PDF release: Arming the Periphery: The Arms Trade in the Indian Ocean

By Emrys Chew (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1137006609

ISBN-13: 9781137006608

ISBN-10: 1349346632

ISBN-13: 9781349346639

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Additional info for Arming the Periphery: The Arms Trade in the Indian Ocean during the Age of Global Empire

Sample text

For instance, against the volatility of indigenous state formation and resistance in western India, the security of the spice trade and further expansion of British commercial interests influenced the Bombay presidency’s decision to provide the Mysorean warlord Haidar Ali with military aid and equipment in 1765, at a time when Mysore was in danger of being overrun by the Marathas. 88 From the 1780s, arms procurement and production on the subcontinent would rise to fever pitch. 89 Arms and ammunition had already figured prominently among the stock-intrade bartered to petty rajas for spices, but the stakes were raised when great magnates like Mahadji Scindia and the Nizam of Hyderabad were drawn into this volatile military market.

94 A similar set of developments was reshaping the trade and politics of societies further eastward. 95 Even more striking, though, was the transformation of maritime Southeast Asia. After the Malacca Sultanate collapsed in 1511, the Eastern Archipelago witnessed a dramatic pattern of dislocation and relocation of political authority and maritime trade. 96 The fall of Riau, in particular, opened a new chapter of disorganization and warfare in the Malay world, revolving around the Riau-Johor Empire ‘below the wind’.

New technologies in metallurgy and steam power were applied to weapons and warfare, with devastating consequences. 36 For small arms production, the changes would be far-reaching even if the transition from flintlock to percussion ignition occurred only on paper in 1836, and the changeover from smoothbore to rifle was delayed for nearly two more decades. 38 By 1878, all the European powers had rearmed their infantry with the Chassepot, Snider, and Martini-Henry breech-loaders, all using metallic cartridge cases and steel barrels instead of the iron used in the old muskets.

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Arming the Periphery: The Arms Trade in the Indian Ocean during the Age of Global Empire by Emrys Chew (auth.)


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