SILPAKORN UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, HUMANITIES, AND ARTS, Vol. 6 (Number 1-2) 2006

The Emergence of Proto-entrepreneurial Groups in the City of Ayutthaya During the 17th-18th Centuries

Warangkana Nibhatsukit




Abstract


This article attempts to view the emergence of protoentrepreneurs, groups of people whose social and political status were achieved as a result of commercial wealth, in the society of Ayutthaya. As Kings and nobilities needed trading experts to cope with international trade expansion, resident foreigners and mestizos were able to utilize their skill, and came to dominate commercial activities of Siam. Some outstanding merchants were drawn into the court of Siam and appointed officials while other maintained their wealth and economic strength by making close connections with high-rank nobles and officials. This consequence of social changes in context of economic changes during the 17th-18th centuries significantly reveals the emergence of proto-entrepreneurial groups who were forerunners of the bourgeoisie in Ratanakosin Era. Proto-entrepreneurial groups can be categorized into four groups: the private merchants and tax farmers in Ayutthaya, the trading expert officials and the court merchants, the traders and peddlers, and the local officials.

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