Socio-Economic History

Vol. 68, No. 2

The local circulation of Bank of Chosen notes in Manchuria, 1910-1920

Bank of Chosen notes issued by the central bank of colonial Korea began to circulate in Manchuria from the late 1910s. This article clarifies the role of these notes in the local economy of Manchuria in this period through a case study of Kanto (present Yanbian) district, which is on the borders of Korea and Russia.

Bank of Chosen notes started to flow into this district from 1916, as a result of the increasing export of farm products to the United States and Europe. However they could not destroy the value of Jilin Guantie, the local currency of north-eastern Manchuria. Jilin Guantie were used for dealings in agricultural products in rural areas, while Bank of Chosen notes were used mainly in market towns. The circulation pattern of the latter was ruled by the fluctuation in supply and demand for the former.

This case shows that Bank of Chosen notes did not destroy the existing multi-layered currency system of Manchuria, but rather came to be one component of the system. It can be said that the expansion of their circulation was supported not only by Japanese policies, but also by the existing currency system.

Sayako MIKI
The salt trade in Bengal under the monopoly of the English East India Company, 1788-1836

The purpose of this paper is to explore the resilience of indigenous mercantile activities under colonial control through a case study of the salt trade in Bengal. When the English East India Company introduced the sale of salt by public auction in 1788 to increase its revenue by raising the price, new indigenous salt traders emerged. They can be classified into two main groups: wealthy trader-cum-bankers from Calcutta who speculated in salt, and local traders who distributed salt to the market.

These two groups met with contrasting fates in the 1820s and early 1830s, as the Company could no longer maintain high prices owing to structural deficiencies within the monopoly system. The trader-cum-bankers, having little access to the internal market, were easily affected by the state of the monopoly. In contrast, local traders were able to use the situation to dominate the market. Through the trading system centred on ganjs [wholesale markets], they were able to gain control of salt prices. It is likely that access to the indigenous trading system determined traders' ability to participate in the internal trade in Bengal.

Kota ITO
The 'Greet' Boat Race: the making of a 'local society' in nineteenth century Tyneside

The purpose of this paper is to show how sport can be related to the context of 'local society', a concept which I will argue was invented in the north of England in the nineteenth century. In the industrializing Tyneside of the mid-nineteenth century, rowing was the most popular sport. Professional oarsmen of lower class origin raced against each other for big prizes. Not only did huge working class crowds eagerly gather on the banks of the Tyne to watch and enjoy the races, but local manufacturers and merchants often led campaigns in support of the sport; among them were such locally eminent figures as MPs and wealthy industrialists.

Local newspapers, biographies and popular songs explicitly show that the boat race embedded itself as part of the local characteristics of Tynesiders. For example, local oarsmen were depicted as representing the industriousness, perseverance, innovativeness, resourcefulness for practical science and skills, and the industrial superiority of the 'north' over the 'south'. Thus, the sport which represented such local characteristics helped Tynesiders to view themseleves as a coherent and successful industrial society, into which their community was then being dramatically transformed.

The political stance of a provincial city during the French Revolution and its regional background: Rouen and the problem of its grain supply

Rouen, the capital of Normandy, showed a firm and unchanging loyalty despite the fluctuating nature of the French Revolution and of its government in particular. The political leaders of Rouen found it necessary to observe the actions of the government and react to them with prudence. Claude MAZAURIC, one of the most famous specialists on the French Revolution, explains this loyalty by pointing to 'the national viewpoint' of the local leaders, and 'the union of the state' that they considered it vital to sustain. But why was it vital for them to sustain 'the union of the state'? This can only be understood through an examination of the regional background of Rouen.

In this article, the author therefore investigates the problem of the supply of grain to the city. Rouen depended on government help for its supply of grain, especially in 1793 and 1794. This economic situation and dependence on the government had a great influence on the political stance and the choices open to Rouen, and was the reason behind its loyalty to the government.