Financing trade
European industrialisation and the subsequent expansion of international trade across the Mediterranean and into all regions of North Africa and the Middle East soon required many regional rulers and governments to implement costly economic and monetary reforms in order to try to meet the challenge of ever greater European economic and therefore political penetration and interference. With government budgets increasingly inadequate to cover the costs of reform, European finance institutions were called upon to provide ever more loans, often granted on unfavourable terms. In many countries, debts accumulated to such a degree that state bankruptcy had to be declared, a state of affairs that not only enabled European powers to take direct financial control but also gave them the pretext for projects aimed at imperialist occupation and colonialisation. Meanwhile, British imperialism was incorporating areas such as the Arab-Persian Gulf into its regional, India-based finance and currency systems.
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Financing trade

Banks and stock exchanges
Ottoman coin – 10 Kurush 1876


National Museum of Romanian History, Bucharest, Romania

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the official imperial coinage of the Ottoman empire was legal tender in all of its provinces, including the Balkans. The circulation of Ottoman coins dominated the money markets in Romania, Moldovia and Wallachia.

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In this Exhibition
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Trading routes
Important trading hubs
Financing trade