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Tea WarA History of Capitalism in China and India$
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Andrew B Liu

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300243734

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300243734.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

The Two Tea Countries

The Two Tea Countries

A Brief History of the Global Tea Trade

Chapter:
(p.26) 1 The Two Tea Countries
Source:
Tea War
Author(s):

Andrew B. Liu

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300243734.003.0002

This chapter traces the history of tea cultivation and consumption in imperial China, its popularity in Euro-American markets, and experimental colonial projects to transplant cultivation to eastern India. For these regions in East and South Asia, participation in the global tea trade entailed a transformation from an early modern luxury trade to a decisively modern competition between capitalist industries. This competition between Chinese and Indian tea simply marked the next chapter in an ongoing story of expansive world trade featuring the exchange of tea, opium, sugar, cotton, and silver. As commodities, their exchange also connected countless systems for employing, organizing, and disciplining producers. In the “tea countries” of Huizhou, the Wuyi Mountains, and Assam, it was during the nineteenth century when falling prices and productivity pressures asserted themselves upon local populations.

Keywords:   tea cultivation, tea consumption, imperial China, Euro-American markets, colonial India, global tea trade, capitalism, Chinese tea, Indian tea, tea countries

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