Making money circulate: Chemistry and ‘governance’ in the career of coins in the early 19h-century Dutch empire

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

The governance of the early nineteenth century Dutch empire in Southeast Asia heavily relied on the circulation of coins. However, making circulation work was never an easy endeavour. By zooming in the richly documented activities of J. Goldberg (1763‐1828), C.G.C. Reinwardt (1773‐1854), and W.A.A. Poelman (1758‐1835), this paper examines how government functionaries, chemists and assayers struggled to ascribe value and authority over coins in an imperial environment. In particular the in‐depth analysis of a minting site in Surabaya in the eastern part of the island Java, offers a fascinating view on the historical complexity of material management in which practical chemical expertise played pivotal role. Taken together the paper argues that historical inquiries into the materiality of coins provide an ideal vista to shed fresh light on the co‐evolutionary relationship between chemistry and governance in the early nineteenth century world
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2014
EventSituating Chemistry, 1760-1840: Florence Workshop, The History of Chemistry: Materials, Industry, Innovation and Governance, 26-27 September 2014, Cappella - Cappella
Duration: 26 Sep 201427 Sep 2014

Conference

ConferenceSituating Chemistry, 1760-1840: Florence Workshop, The History of Chemistry: Materials, Industry, Innovation and Governance, 26-27 September 2014, Cappella
CityCappella
Period26/09/1427/09/14

Keywords

  • IR-92367
  • METIS-306180

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