Global Histories, Imperial Commodities, Local Interactions

The history of the modern world can be described through the history of the commodities that were produced, traded and consumed on an increasingly global scale. The contributions to this book show how in this process borders were transgressed, local agents combined with metropolitan representatives, power relations were contested and frontiers expanded. Including cases from Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as a number of global commodities (sugar, tobacco, rubber, cotton, cassava, tea and beer), this book presents a sample of the range of innovative research taking place today into commodity history. Together they cover the last two centuries, in which commodities have led the consolidation of a globalised economy and society – forging this out of distinctive local experiences of cultivation and production, and regional circuits of trade.

Published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Edited by Jonathan Curry-Machado


Jonathan Curry-Machado, ‘Global Histories, Imperial Commodities, Local Interactions: An Introduction’, pp.1-14

Vibha Arora, ‘Routeing the Commodities of the Empire through Sikkim (1817-1906)’, pp.15-37

Alan Pryor, ‘Indian Pale Ale: An Icon of Empire’, pp.38-57

Miguel Suárez Bosa, ‘The Control of Port Services by International Companies in the Macaronesian Islands (1850-1914)’, pp.58-76

Jelmer Vos, ‘Of Stocks and Barter: John Holt and the Kongo Rubber Trade, 1906-1910’, pp.77-99

Jonathan E. Robins, ‘Coercion and Resistance in the Colonial Market: Cotton in Britain’s African Empire’, pp.100-20

Patrick Neveling, ‘A Periodisation of Globalisation According to the Mauritian Integration into the International Sugar Commodity Chain (1825-2005), pp.121-42

Jonathan Curry-Machado, ‘In Cane’s Shadow: Commodity Plantations and the Local Agrarian Economy on Cuba’s Mid-nineteenth-Century Sugar Frontier’, pp.143-67

Steve Cushion, ‘Cuban Popular Resistance to the 1953 London Sugar Agreement’, pp.168-85

Teresita A. Levy, ‘Tobacco Growers, Resistance and Accommodation to American Domination in Puerto Rico, 1899-1940’, pp.186-203

William G. Clarence-Smith, ‘The Battle for Rubber in the Second World War: Cooperation and Resistance’, pp.204-23

Kaori O’Connor, ‘Beyond “Exotic Groceries”: Tapioca/Cassava/Manioc, a Hidden Commodity of Empires and Globlisation’, pp.224-47

Jean Stubbs, ‘El Habano: The Global Luxury Smoke’, pp.248-76