THE MONEY TREES: The Spice Trades by George Masselman

THE MONEY TREES: The Spice Trades

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Lavish title, limited content: the rise and fall Of Dutch Supremacy in the spice trade, and inter-European struggles for control of Bantam, Djakarta and the Moluccas in attempts to monopolize trade with the East. Jan Coen, governor-general of the United East India Company, appears as the guiding force behind Dutch domination as he plays Bantam against Djakarta and learns to use spices as capital for trade with china and Japan. The Portuguese are quickly and easily disposed of, and the English hardly have a chance. It is a series of unintentional insults and culture conflicts (the Dutch hand the Mohammedan Sultan a pigskin parchment, they slaughter some of the cows for food) as well as military exploits, and no one is particularly saddened by the bankruPtcY of the company in 1798 when the Dutch government takes it over. Less complete than Hewes' Spice Ho! which includes the Venetian and Portuguese roles and discusses how spices grow, it derives no benefit from concentrating on the Dutch role, and fails to live up to the claim to explore ""the real reasons"" for wars, charting unknown waters and struggles for wealth. In the doldrums much of the time.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1967
Publisher: McGraw-Hill