ISSN 2286-976X (Print)

ISSN 2539-5513 (Online)



Volume 8 Number 1, January - June 2021
Northern Vietnam’s overseas Trade in the Seventeenth Century by investigating the British primary Materials

Ngoc Dung Tran and Thi Hong Hoa Nguyen

In the late seventeenth century, both European and Asian merchants arrived to Tonkin for the silk-silver trade. Together with their appearance, they recorded quite clearly the situation of Tonkin, in which commerce was one of the main content of their writing. During the existence of the English factory in Tonkin (1672-1697), the English provided a series of diaries, journals, reports and records mentioning the political, social and commercial issues in Tonkin. By investigating those primary documents in comparison with Vietnamese, Dutch and Chinese sources, the paper wants to clarify the decline of Tonkin trade in the late seventeenth century. After the civil war, Tonkin performed a hard policy towards foreigners and therefore, European merchants gradually paid less attention to this market and finally they withdrew from this place while Asian traders still maintained their influence there. In doing so, the article applied quantitative, qualitative and comparing methods to show the fact of foreigners’ activities in Tonkin. Beyond that, the author evaluates the role of Tonkin in the intra-Asian trade, the importance of Asian network towards the development of Tonkin overseas trade. Then after, the paper raises a suggestion of focusing deeply in the trading connection with regional countries.

Keywords: British primary materials, Tonkin’s trade, the English East India Company, age of commerce, trading knowledge

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DOI: 10.14456/rjsh.2021.1