Port cities and commodities: Luanda in the early modern period

Antunes, C. and Vos, J. (2023) Port cities and commodities: Luanda in the early modern period. In: Curry-Machado, J., Stubbs, J., Clarence-Smith, W. and Vos, J. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Commodity History. Series: Oxford handbooks. Oxford University Press: Oxford, pp. 127-144. ISBN 9780197502686 (doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780197502679.013.24)

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This chapter examines the role of port cities in the construction of global commodity trades in the early-modern era, using the Angolan capital Luanda as a case study. It defines port cities by their urban functions rather than demographic stock, allowing comparison of cases from Africa and the Americas with better-known Eurasian examples. Based on a reading of current urban and maritime historical literature, the chapter explains how port cities built on their hub-and-nodal functions in regional commodity trades to become gateways for global commodity chains. Concentrating on the local contexts in which port cities emerged, it argues that African port cities were more than peripheries supplying raw materials and slave labour to core regions in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds. Ports like Luanda connected local, regional, and global markets and thus created commodity chains that satisfied consumer demands in their hinterlands as well as overseas.

Item Type:Book Sections
Additional Information:Print ISBN: 9780197502679.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Vos, Dr Jelmer
Authors: Antunes, C., and Vos, J.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > History
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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