The politics of commerce in the coastal kingdoms of Tamil Nad 1650–1700

Arasaratnam, Sinnappah (1971) The politics of commerce in the coastal kingdoms of Tamil Nad 1650–1700. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 1 (1). pp. 1-19. ISSN 0085-6401, DOI

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The major preoccupation of the Hindu kingdoms of southern India in the second half of the seventeenth century was in preserving their independence from Islamic powers to the north as well as from each other. At the same time they were deeply interested in the activities in the waters that washed the southern coastline and were following active commercial policies that would secure for themselves a share in the trade of the area. The three kingdoms of Madura, Ramnad and Tanjore, the subjects of this study, shared a coastline that extended from Gape Comorin in the south to Tiru-mullaivasal on the northern shores of the Cauvery delta. They were successor states to the Vijayanagar Empire which had formerly extended its sway over a great part of peninsular India but had declined from the beginning of the seventeenth century. Madura and Tanjore were Nayakdoms or vice-royalties of this Empire, ruled over by hereditary Nayaks: with the declining authority of the imperial centre, they had become independent kingdoms by the mid-seventeenth century. The Thevar of Ramnad was a vassal of the Nayak of Madura but, taking advantage of the Nayaks' preoccupations with their northern adversaries, he entrenched his authority in the district of Ramnad and the island of Rameswaram: in the later part of the period under review the Thevar was able to follow independent policies in the commerce and politics of the area. The coast embracing these three principalities had a few important trading stations such as Kayalpatnam. Tuticorin, Kilakkarai, Nagappattinam, Nagore and Karaikal, besides a number of small ports of call from which small thonies1 left by the hundreds, plying the country trade. This paper attempts to study the policies and attitudes of these rulers towards the trade of the area, their relations with the foreign trading powers, and the impact of these policies on the pattern of trade in the second half of the seventeenth century. © 1971 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Arasaratnam, S. Department of History, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Politics; commerce; Coastal kingdoms of Tamil Nad
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2021 01:08
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2021 01:08

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