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Spices were what we would nowadays call mass luxuries. These are luxury goods that the masses can afford in small quantities. They are desired because they are out of the ordinary, and offer a "change of pace." They are expensive on a per-unit basis, but it is the "smallness" of use that makes them affordable. Spices had both these qualities at the time. So ...


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The question here is how did those chartered companies become defunct. While there were some spectacular failures like the South Sea Bubble - most companies would have evolved, split, consolidated, and so on as markets and legislation shifted (nationalisation, anti-monopoly, etc)... Meaning, there are probably many companies that are descendant of those ...


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Before railways the most efficient mode of land transportation was by river - and the Ganges River system runs nearly three quarters of the way from the opium fields (in what is modern Pakistan and Afghanistan) to Calcutta. The only comparable port facility would likely have been Bombay (modern Mumbai), but without the advantage either of large scale river ...


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Calcutta had two functions. One, it was an assembly point for opium gathered from other parts of India because many rivers flowed in that direction from near the opium fields as Pieter mentioned. Second, it was a port in the part of India (east) "nearest" to China and under British control. Third, as of 1772, Calcutta was the headquarters of the British ...


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I don't think there was a huge difference between Spanish and Portuguese methods of colonisation. There was a bigger difference between the places Spain took as colonies and the places Portugal took as colonies. First of all, the penetration of European power in the Americas was much easier than in Africa or Asia. Many Asian states were powerful entities, ...


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I think the difference between Spanish and Portuguese empire were that the force of Portugal was in the navy while the Spanish was on the army. Spain hadnt a good navy until he was taking into account about the power of Portugal. The problem of portuguese army was seen when Portugal decided to invade Afrika after the prosperous conquest of America by Spain. ...



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