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Indian Economy under British Rule 1757-1857
Indian Economy under British Rule 1757-1857

Indian Economy under British Rule 1757-1857

by Irfan Habib

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9789382381280 - Year: 2013 - Pages: 126



Irfan Habib
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Author: Irfan Habib
Publisher: Tulika
Year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 126
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9789382381280


This volume in the People’s History of India series fills a void in the current literature in modern Indian economic history, which lacks a general account of Indian economy in the first century of British rule (1757–1857). R.C. Dutt’s classic Economic History is now over a hundred years old. The present monograph takes account of both the research and controversies that have taken place since R.C. Dutt’s time, and seeks to present a coherent description of the changes in Indian economy brought about by the pressure for tribute, the British land settlements and the triumph of free trade.

In order to set these changes in a proper perspective, it begins by furnishing a survey of pre-colonial economic conditions (in the earlier part of the eighteenth century). A notable feature of the book is its constant reference to how aspects of Indian economy were seen and interpreted by contemporary observers. This is accomplished partly by a rich collection of extracts from the sources.

There are also special notes on current interpretations of eighteenth-century history, the nature of tribute or drain of wealth from India to England, and the scope and problems of historical demography. There are bibliographical notes and a very helpful index. The book constantly keeps in view the needs of the general reader as well as the student. Anyone seeking to understand the major underpinnings of our colonial economy would find in this book much new insight and information




1. Indian Economy before the British Conquests, c. 1700-57

Agriculture and the Agrarian Order

Towns and Manufactures

Trade and Credit

Foreign Trade

The Commercial Origins of Colonialism

Extract 1.1: Traditional Agricultural Practice in India (H.M.Elliot, 1844)

Extract 1.2: Agrarian Rights in Late Mughal India (A Jurist’s Interpretation, c. 1745)

Extract 1.3: Indian Industrial Crafts (Surat, c. 1689-93)

Extract 1.4: Indigenous System of Banking, Bills of Exchange and Insurance (Sujan Rai, 1695-96)

Extract 1.5: The Pre-Colonial Pattern of India’s Sea-borne Trade (Description by an Indian Observer, 1762-63)

Note 1.1: Debate on the Economic and Political History of the Eighteenth Century

Note 1.2: Bibliographical Note

2. Economy in the Mercantilist Phase of British Rule, 1757-1813

The Process of Conquest and the Increasing Scale of Tribute

Economies of Territories under British Dominance, 1757-181

Economic Conditions in India outside the Area of British Domination

Foreign Trade, 1757-181

Extract 2.1: The East India Company’s Economic Role in India as a Sovereign Power (Adam Smith, 1776/1778)

Extract 2.2: Conditions of Bengal under the Company’s Rule (William Bolts, Merchant, Calcutta, 1772)

Extract 2.3: The Economic Effects of Early British Rule: From an Indian Critique of the Company’s Mode of Government, 1781

Extract 2.4: The Pressure of Tribute (‘Drain of Wealth’) and the Scheme of Permanent Settlement (Lord Cornwallis, 1790)

Extract 2.5: Agrarian Administration and Vision of Industrial Improvement, Mysore before 1799

Note 2.1: The Economics of Tribute in Its Early Phase

Note 2.2: Bibliographical Note

3. Indian Economy under Free Trade, 1813-57

The English Industrial Revolution and the ‘Imperialism of Free Trade’

The Land Settlement

The ‘De-industrialization’ of India

Colonial Commercialization and Foreign Capita

The State, the Tribute and External Trade

The People: Population and Famine

Extract 3.1: Heavy Taxation, but No Burden! (John Stuart Mill, 1858)

Extract 3.2: Peasants under the Permanent Settlement (Ram Mohan Roy, 1831)

Extract 3.3: Thomas Munro’s Plan for the Ryotwari System, 1807

Extract 3.4: Peasant Rights in Northern India and Bengal (Holt Mackenzie’s Minute, 1819)

Extract 3.5: The De-industrialization of India (Karl Marx, 1853)

Extract 3.6: The Nature and Size of Tribute (Crawfurd, 1837)

Extract 3.7: Opium Trade (Marx, 1858)

Note 3.1: Historical Demography

Note 3.2: Bibliographical Note


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