The aim of this article is to demonstrate that Lorient was a major port of global dimension in the eighteenth century. In the irst part we deine what constituted a world port on the French Atlantic-Channel coast from a comparative perspective by providing indicators to compare the data of the ports of Rouen, Le Havre, Nantes, La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Lorient: the overall movement of the port, the role of overseas trafic, international cabotage and national and regional cabotage, as well as the armaments and shipbuilding functions. This comparative study, because of existing published sources and monographs, is only possible in the second half of the eighteenth century and, in fact, only in the last decade of the Ancien Régime, but this is not problematic for the study of Lorient that constitutes the second part of this article. Indeed, if we can follow the growth of the port of the Second India Company, it is only between 1783 and 1787 that the global dimension of the port of Lorient asserted itself and was, therefore, a temporary achievement.
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