ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Policy-Making in Advanced Capitalist Societies

But once most parts of Coromandel were overrun and annexed by the imperial Mughals by 1690, this whole system, based on close relations between political and commercial elites, collapsed. The welfare of Coromandel was not of central concern to the Mughal rulers; what they were concerned with in that decadent phase was only a short- run increase in the tax income and avoidance of troubles. They gave the European companies liberal concessions and a degree of freedom of action in the hinterlands of their respective port settlements. This resulted in the gradual expansion of these settlements into viable territorial powers by the mid-18th century and in their armed interference with the regional politics. The disappearance of independent local courts automatically meant the discontinuity of the patronage Indian traders of Coromandel had been receiving from them so far. In the same manner, the political patronage which Coromandel merchants enjoyed in southeast Asian kingdoms was also eroded with the loss, following European ascendancy, of the positions of power they held there. This was one reason why indigenous trading declined in general during the 18th century, and many Coromandel shippers ceased to be carriers of trade themselves.

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