Wow. You know more than I do about what you mentioned. Thanks much.<quoted text>
Nope. Narcotic drugs rather than oil was the stock-in-trade. Poppy fields rather than oil fields. Swire. Jardine. Matheson. Massive fortunes amassed in trading opium (and, yes - tea, silk, and other commodities).
All the hand-wringing and wailing by the oil-obsessed today fades to a yawner when viewed in an historical context. We've seen wars fought and cultures destroyed over gold, silver, diamonds, opium, pot, cocaine ... today some say it's oil, tomorrow it'll be something else.
Now, there have been also misrepresentations like Columbus after spices.
However, there's always Iran.