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Reading35-1 (dragged) 10

Reading35-1 (dragged) 10 - Reading 35-1 11 to nd some heavy...

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11 Reading 35-1 to fi nd some heavy commodity, which could be traded. The problem of ballast was much more acute in the China trade than in any other, since both tea and silk had to be carried in the middle of the ship to prevent any risk of wetting from the sea, from condensation or from rain. China did have 1 major raw material de fi ciency, copper ore, so copper, gold, and silver bullion became the medium of exchange with the Celestial Kingdom. Japan supplied most of the copper before the Euro- peans arrived, after which the various East India Companies came to dominate the copper trade with China. The ships returned with tea, ballasted with mercury, other minerals, and porcelain, which Europeans were unable to make until the 18th century, as mentioned above. Very roughly, a quarter of all tea imported was to be matched by heavy goods—ballast—called kentledge in the 18 th century; and from the ships’ records available, about a quarter of all the kentledge was porcelain. Therefore, for every 100 tons of tea, 6% by weight of porcelain was imported into Europe. Thus if, on average throughout the 18 th century, 4000 tons of tea were imported in England each year, probably 240 tons of porcelain were also imported.
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