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This article considers the Indian Ocean in the eighteenth century, a period often seen as a moment of transition for the Ocean as an economic space. It argues that notwithstanding the increasing European presence, the eighteenth-century Indian Ocean world remained quintessentially Asian. The trade of cotton and the flow of American silver expanded an already developed system of trade and exchange. This article concludes by reflecting on the chronological and spatial boundaries of the Indian Ocean in the eighteenth century and considers the field of Indian Ocean studies in relation to global and Atlantic histories.