AN ASSESSMENT OF FRANCOIS BERNIER’S TRAVEL ACCOUNT: A FRENCH COMMERCIAL INFORMER OR A CRITIC OF THE FRENCH STATE?
French commercial and, later, political expansion in South Asia from 1600 to 1800 has attracted the attention of many historians. French travellers played a significant part in exploring overseas markets and establishing commercial links between Europe and South Asia. However, there has been a lack of historical research, on assessment of commercial information regarding India and its converse impact on the French state, provided by Francois Bernier in his travellers accounts. Therefore this article made an attempt to make an assessment of Francois Bernier’s Travel account in relation to its commercial relevance. An attempt shall be made to present a true picture of Bernier’s contribution in analyzing Indian commercial prospects and his hidden warning to Louis XIV against politicizing his ambitious goals to expand his political control over the need for improvement of French commercial structures.
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