British Colonialism and India

Subject: History
Pages: 21
Words: 5577
Reading time:
26 min
Study level: Bachelor


In the 19th century, Great Britain had started its occupation of India. Using strict military rule, it exploited India’s resources and its people to use as labour. It was able to justify this for a few reasons. Many theories attempt to explain the motives for Imperialism. One of the theories focuses on profit as the main reason for a nation to expand. Industrialized nations can produce more manufactured goods that their citizens need and can afford to buy. Colonies may provide serve as a market for the unused goods. They provide cheap land and valuable resources. However, this theory does not really explain imperialism because all colonies were not profitable. English economic motivation was a primary factor to their arrival in India, although their control of India was also by military, political and moral duties.

The settlement of the British was essentially driven by economic motives. Initially, when the British came to India, it was to sell their products from their homeland. But quickly, they realized that the Indians did not want them. Their rivals, the Portuguese, who had been trading with India for years, had the ingenious idea to send Indian goods back to Portugal.1 The British started doing the same for a while, but they were not satisfied with this system, and their weak position in the Indian market could not yet compete with the Danes, the French and the Portuguese who were already there.

Soon British demanded taxes, factories, lands from local chiefs. These were located in economically strategic regions, like Bombay, on the west coast of India. This position permitted an easy shipping of Indians’ goods towards European markets. With this mechanism, the English soon became a leading enterprise in India. But their economic strategy was not the only factor that brought them to the top. The economic monopoly of India, had not been easy to obtain, military force was also involved. Certainly, as Horace Walpole, a British writer, once said, “It was easier to conquer than to know what to do with it.” 2The situation in India was somehow unstable, the independence of the East India Company was more and more felt back in England and the early competition with other European companies was ethically insupportable. The greed for power drove the Queen to assemble a 200 men army that would help the company in its conquest. Back in India, the message was not clearly understood or the Company did not find the number of soldiers sufficient. The company not only acquired a British army, but another 200 men from local villages and started manufacturing its own weapons.3

The presence of military forces was not enough. But this was necessary because in some regions rebellions occurred, and the soldiers, when not exercising their duties, would rape or beat to death villagers. 4In the late 1700’s, directors of the company and the Queen decided to establish political rule over the people, on their conquered regions. The British corporation had already started with politic ruling but these were very cruel and merciless. The Bengal Famine was a cause of this ruling. About ten million people died suffering from starvation, and smallpox, which they were very vulnerable to. 5The company’s wealth was partly earned from these poor people by doubling the land taxes and the trade tariffs. As lands came under their control, taxes were expensive.

Even with the unstable situation in India, there was a certain relationship created between the natives and the British families to reinforce their control over people. The friendships between the two nationalities, were not only based on business, but went further. Inter-marriages were frequent, and seen as an effect of living in a foreign country. There was no real opposition to these, from either side. The connections went further, with British officials wearing cool and simple Indian robes. Each tried to know more about the other’s culture. The British were introduced to the Indian dialect, dances, spicy food and in return the British initiated them to the speaking of the English language, the European courtesy, fashion and clothing.6

Surprisingly, this system was soon put to an end with the new combination of the crown and the company. The queen’s representatives were told to impose the English language and lifestyle. They were forced in many ways. One of them was to become servant of a British family, in this way, they believed, Indians learnt faster. India’s change even went further, with architects sent by the queen, to give a touch of European, architecture, to edifices, like the Gateway of India. Great Britain gave as a reason for all these attempts, India was to become civilized.

The primary desire of England during the 19th century was the economic benefits that an empire in India would procure in means of gold, land, and growth. Their greed for power, led the economic objectives turn into military, political and moral duties. One may believe, that this subterfuge was one of the best elaborated in British history. They went from a simple trading port, to the annexation of an entire country. British rule in India modernized the country to a certain extent and made it more European, but at an enormous price. The British stripped India of all of its wealth, resources, and national freedom. Europeans had sought trade relations with India ever since the 15th century. The culturally rich and wealthy country attracted merchants because of its highly sought after spices, as well as its light, colourful, textiles. Since these products were in high demand in Europe, merchants that got a hold of them usually gained decent profit. Once founded in 1600, the legendary British East India Company made revenues of up to one million pounds per year on goods imported from India. India’s wealth was the main factor that eventually attracted imperialist England to India.

The rise of Imperialism marked the point after which European powers mainly the East India Company began to see India as a chance to gain a monopoly on the spices and textiles that made it so highly sought after, as well as other useful resources. Adding to the already flaming motivation of Imperialist powers were tax revenues, which would go to the first nation that took control of India. 7The gradual decline of the Indian rulers at the time left India weak, giving outside forces an excellent opportunity to seize power. The East India Company took that opportunity, as it gained supremacy over different regions of India, one by one.

British Reforms in India

After Britain took control of India, it forced many cultural changes upon its people. As British opinions of Indian culture became harsher, more and more Indian customs were being abolished. Opinions of Indian art and literature increasingly declined down to the level where British scholars considered Indian culture utterly worthless. Eventually, English became the official language in India, and the British government sent in missionaries to try to convert the people to Christianity. As these changes finally took their effect, India became closer to a European nation.

The British also altered India’s economy so that it would bring more benefit to them. The British government no longer allowed India to manufacture its own products. Instead, the British forced India to ship raw materials to England, where the British used them to manufacture the products themselves. Indian citizens were required to buy the same products imported from England, as the ones that they could have produced at home. This new law added to all of the profit already gained from heavy taxation on Britain’s new colony. At the same time, most of the Indian manufacturing companies went broke and disappeared.

To improve India’s efficiency, Britain installed better communication, and transportation. The British constructed railroads, harbours, telegraphs and post offices to improve India’s productivity, as well as make their control of the region more effective. In addition, with the construction of the Suez Canal, transportation by sea became much faster, making it more efficient. Although Britain did not have much success at fully industrializing India, the improvements that it did make contributed to India becoming a more modern nation. 8The colonization of India by Britain helped pass on several modern ideas and technologies. However, at the same time the British also completely sapped India of all wealth and resources, as well as took away its cultural freedom for the duration of British rule. When India finally gained back its independence, it never again became the same powerful empire it once was.

The British imperialism in India had many effects on both Britain and India. For India, the main benefits were peace and unity. However, it is arguable that neither was fully achieved. The British made much of India safer with laws and enforcement of punishment and also established some kind of economic unity. A currency system was set up, as well as miles of railroads and roads, making it much easier to travel across India. Also, schools and universities were opened to educate the Indians. However, the British wanted to educate the Indians in an English way, westernize them, and finally change the Indian culture to suit the British. Ironically, this introduction of other, foreign ideas ultimately led to the downfall of the British Empire, as Indians realized the imperialism and mercantilism they were subjected to. Britain helped agriculture and attempted to deal with famines, but not entirely successful. The British also began industrialization, but the Indians actually set up most of the new industry in later centuries. In essence, most of the good Britain had done for India can be refuted.

In 1857, the Indian soldiers rebelled and Britain lost a large part of northwest India due to the unbalance of forces. The mutiny was put down in 1858 and the army was converted to a smaller sized, more balanced force. Civil service was the second authority controller. British men were put into positions of leadership almost like a feudal system. Most British became district officers in charge of up to a million people.

Overall, Britain definitely benefited from the colonization of India. The British received money and trade through mercantilism and also more land through their colonization. Since the British controlled taxes on goods, India bought a large amount of goods from Britain to the substantial profit for the British. “In the early 1800s imports of Indian cotton and silk goods faced duties of 70-80%. British imports faced duties of 2-4%. 9

Furthermore, India provided jobs for many British and added to the power of the British Empire. Once they held rule over most of India, the British attempted to thrust their culture and opinions upon the Indian people. Also, they forced heavy duties on British goods but removed almost all tax from Indian goods. What Britain did to India was essentially mercantilism, just as Britain attempted to colonize America for the same reasons. All the benefits of British rule went to the British, with no noticeable beneficial effects for the Indians. The British were no aggressors, but they did influence the Indian culture. Whether beneficially or not is debatable, but when the Indians did discover the imperialism to which they were subjected to, as opposed to other British governing, they revolted.

Exporting The Revolution Settlement

In the most general terms, the empire created before the mid-nineteenth century represented the extension abroad of the institutions and principles entrenched at home by the Revolution of 1688. The export version of the new order was compelled to adjust to the conditions it encountered overseas, but it remained a recognisable reflection of its domestic self. Indeed, the various crises of empire helped to define the profile of the gentlemanly order in Britain more clearly both by revealing and by determining the limits of its flexibility. The imprint of the landed interest was felt most obviously in the colonies of settlement, especially in the New World, which was the most important growth area for British trade and influence in the eighteenth century. The planters in the West Indies and the gentry in the mainland colonies saw themselves as being Britons and wanted to remain so.10 If they distanced themselves from some aspects of the emerging British way of life, they also espoused gentlemanly ideals, succumbed to the ‘irresistible lure’ of London,11 and employed the rhetoric of the ‘country’ opposition to express their dissent and their preferences. 12Even in regions where white settlement was unimportant, such as India, extensions of imperial control were accompanied by systematic attempts to establish property rights in land, and the new rulers instinctively looked to indigenous landholders to provide steady support for civil order.13 In settled and non-settled parts of the empire alike, the patronage system provided employment for the younger sons of magnates and gentry, and endowed authority with a military bearing and a paternal style that survived long after 1850. 14The influence of the City and the newer forces thrown up by the financial revolution was very evident too, especially in the impetus given to overseas trade by improved credit facilities, by the expansion of the mercantile marine, powerfully supported by the Navigation Acts, and by advanced forms of commercial capitalism, such as the East India Company, with its close links with Westminster and its predominantly City-based investors. 15Overseas expansion was backed by other important interest groups: manufacturers who needed a vent for their surplus products, export merchants who handled their goods, and import merchants and their associates who dealt with the re-export trades.16 Expansion abroad also conferred indirect benefits on the home government, which gained from enlarged customs revenues, on the landed interest, which in consequence enjoyed favourable tax treatment, and on investors in the national debt, whose returns rose when borrowing and interest rates increased.17

The pursuit of what Adam Smith termed ‘opulence’ merged with the interests of defence to produce Britain’s long-serving ‘Blue Water’ policy. 18Since Britain could not hope to control continental Europe and felt herself to be threatened by the emergence of any large single power there, she capitalised on her geographical location and her comparative advantage in services by building up her naval power instead. The Navigation Acts, as we have seen, boosted British shipping, which in turn fostered both trade and defence. This policy commended itself because it was cheap, and hence kept taxation within acceptable bounds and avoided the need for a standing army, which was a highly sensitive option on political grounds as well as a costly one. By commanding the seas, Britain hoped to prevent France from blockading her trade with the continent and to frustrate any attempt at invasion. By the middle of the eighteenth century, these calculations had already been made and acted on. In the 1750s, Pitt was well aware that the threat of invasion endangered both financial and political stability. He observed that ‘paper credit may be invaded in Kent’, and anticipated the ‘consternation that would spread through the City, when the noble, artificial yet vulnerable fabric of public credit should crumble in their hands’.19 However, Britain’s focus on naval defence did not mean that she was isolated from the continent. On the contrary, both diplomacy and money were devoted to the task of creating allies in Europe, especially among the smaller states that were conscious of their vulnerability in the face of larger neighbours. But the balance of advantage lay in the blue water and overseas; and one of the consequences of this decision was to elevate the standing of those who supported it, so that in time they became defenders of the national interest and not merely advocates of sectional advantage.

Once the initial institutional changes had been made, Britain’s main interest lay in developing trade and increasing revenues, and that this priority is not captured by measures of administrative activity. However, the failure of overseas trade to grow at a pace that met the expectations of powerful mercantile lobbies in London helped to push Walpole into war with Spain between 1739 and 1748; and the Seven Years’ War that followed in 1756 witnessed the further development of an ideology of aggressive commercial expansion. 20When the war came to an end in 1763, France had been driven out of Canada and India, and Britain had emerged as a major colonial and commercial power. In the course of this struggle, Britain had tightened her hold on the colonies in order to secure her defences. After the war, as the costs of victory began to be counted, she extended her grip in searching for ways of balancing the budget and servicing the national debt. This quest led to increased revenue demands both at home, as we have seen, and in the colonies, where it was accompanied by a spirit of assertiveness that was one of the legacies of military success.21 Since Britain’s fiscal problems were not offset by domestic economic growth or by foreign trade during the 1760s and 1770s,22 there was some anxiety about her ability to maintain the level of re-exports needed to settle the import bill, and at moments of crisis doubts were also expressed about her creditworthiness. 23It is against this background that Britain’s changing relations with India and her mainland colonies in the third quarter of the century can best be approached.

Until the mid- eighteenth century, Britain’s interests in India were represented by the East India Company and associated private traders, and were almost exclusively commercial.24 From the 1720s, however, the Company’s trade in its main spheres of activity in western India and Bengal began to run into difficulties. The problem stemmed principally from the dislocation caused by the break-up of the Mughal. Empire, but was compounded by competition from French companies and by military costs incurred during the conflict with France in the middle of the century. The attempt to resolve these problems, by restructuring trade relations to improve profitability and by using local revenues to subsidise the Company’s activities, produced two important initiatives. The first, prompted by Clive’s enterprise, led in 1756 to the Battle of Plassey, which delivered Bengal into British hands and a fortune into his own. 25The second resulted in 1759 in the capture of Surat, which gave Britain a commanding position on the west coast. 26The British government’s interest in these advances was aroused by a desire to annex some of the Company’s gains for its own budgetary needs: 27‘Plassey plunder’ did not fund the Industrial Revolution, as was once supposed, but it did enable Britain to indigenise the national debt by purchasing foreign (especially Dutch) holdings. 28Thereafter, the quest for revenues to pay for military costs became a permanent one, and it greatly distorted the Company’s commercial operations. As the East India Company began to generate debts and not just revenues in the 1770s, the British government found itself drawn further into the task of controlling the Company’s administration and, in this way, of managing India too. 29

Britain was not pulled into India simply by a breakdown of ‘law and order’. The decline of central authority disrupted existing relations, but it did not lead to anarchy and it spawned a cluster of independent and semi-independent states whose ambitions sometimes cut across Britain’s own purposes. Nor was Britain’s advance the product of new industrial forces at home. The role of private traders expanded in the second half of the century, but their interest lay in selling Indian rather than British manufactures. 30It is more plausible, we suggest, viewing the move into India as being the result of competition between two military-fiscal organisations, one represented by the Mughals and their successor states and the other by the Company and the British government. 31Both sides sought revenues to bolster trading profits, and both became involved in territorial expansion as a result. The outcome was strongly influenced by the military resources that the two were able to mobilise, and this in turn depended largely upon finance. The key decisions in this respect were made by local merchant bankers, who stood at the point of intersection between British and Indian commercial and political systems. In the end, the British were able to present themselves as the side likely to succeed, if not deserving of success: they won the support of the ‘great moneyed men’ of Surat before capturing the port; 32and the balance of advantage in Bengal tilted in the Company’s direction when local financiers deserted the nawab in 1756 and jeopardised his control of provincial treasuries. 33Clive’s actions were not directed from London; but they cannot be understood unless they are placed in the broader context of the financial revolution, the expansionist forces that it generated, and the problems these forces experienced on distant frontiers, where credit lines were fully stretched and where the junctions made with representatives of indigenous financial and fiscal systems were a necessary precondition of commercial success.

Similar influences — the search for revenue and the extension of commercial credit — were at work in the New World too, the main difference being that in North America they ran into young states that were being built up, whereas in India they were entangled with an ancient empire that was breaking down. 34Just as the war with France had heightened an awareness of the importance of the empire, so the coming of peace in 1763 was accompanied by a determination to strengthen Britain’s grasp on the mainland colonies. Mercantilist regulations were tightened by a battery of controls designed to raise revenues and to limit the independent economic development of the colonies. 35As Charles Jenkinson, the Secretary of the Treasury, put it in 1765, the idea was to administer the colonies ‘in such a manner as will keep them useful to the Mother Country’. 36Exactly how burdensome Britain’s demands proved to be is a matter of debate; but the point to emphasise in the present context is that they were resented partly because they disappointed the expectations of the colonists, who anticipated being rewarded for their loyalty during the war with France, and partly because they were perceived to be unjust on grounds of principle. At the same time, key interest groups in the mainland colonies also found themselves subjected to pressures arising from developments in the private sector. The massive expansion of overseas trade that had occurred in the course of the century had been financed largely by advances made by merchant bankers in London.

India’s Economic Growth under Colonial Era

On the eve of World War I, India was still the largest market for Britain’s exports in the empire, and was particularly important for the older staple manufactures, such as textiles and metal products. Yet India, like many other parts of the empire, disappointed the expectations of a generation of British industrialists in the period before 1914. As we have seen, India’s share of Britain’s exports reached a peak early in the 1880s, while Britain’s share of India’s imports fell steadily during the second half of the nineteenth century. 37To some extent, of course, the expectations of manufacturers were, as ever, exaggerated, not least because India remained resolutely poor and the new frontiers opened by the railway either lacked potential or were slow to realize it. Nevertheless, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that free trade provided ambiguous benefits for British industry in India, as indeed elsewhere. The open door offered a market for British goods, but it allowed entry to foreign rivals, too, and it did nothing to halt the development of indigenous competitors. 38Moreover, India’s need to generate an export surplus to fund her remittances to London gave the Government of India an incentive to restrain imports, where possible, and to promote import-substituting activities. But Manchester was tied into free trade as she was tied into the empire: had Britain adopted protectionism, India would have followed suit, and Manchester would have suffered more from the change than from continuing to endure the rigors of free trade. Similarly, although Manchester found few favours within the empire, her prospects were still better there than in countries that were neutral but uncongenial, or unfriendly and therefore forbidding.

Finance, Services and Manufacture Sector

With the Industrial Revolution and colonial rule, the composition of buyers changed, the elites withdrew, buyers became distant and anonymous, and in need of cheap standardized goods. In turn, the space for a mercantile economy more free from political power could expand. In the crafts studied here, merchants specialized, proliferated, and subdivided. Europeans and Americans, some having multinational operations, entered the trades. Artisans themselves entered trade. Trade in mass-produced inputs became an important new field. And capital became more mobile than before. This last tendency has a parallel from agriculture. From about the 1860s, regional accounts continued for many decades to report migration and resettlement of mercantile financial communities to finance cultivation, and to set up as shopkeepers in towns that lacked such services.

New avenues of profitability and easier transit were not the only attractions. Previously, a village shopkeeper’s banking services depended on a delicate balance between the creditor’s literacy with accounts and the debtor’s comparative advantage in brute power. With the latter somewhat curbed, banking became a more lucrative profession and land exercised, directly or indirectly, a pull that dominated over most others. Such a movement can be seen in the crafts as well, but its character was different in two ways. First, there was agglomeration rather than dispersion. Secondly, there was greater coalescence of finance and production. Financing cultivation did not involve great knowledge, nor did grain require a costly search for markets. But the crafts did require special knowledge, and a search for markets. Thus, crafts demanded more than money capital, that is, traders willing to specialize. There was no place here for ‘the’ shopkeeper. To the extent specialization implied that the risks and returns from trade derived from the craft itself, and not from caste qualifications, it was easier for a producer to become a merchant or a financier. As a result, caste barriers to trade, which are usually preserved by privileged access to credit, were generally lower in the crafts.

There were instances of manufacture shifting from the town to the country; but, perhaps more generally, the town specialized in skilled tasks, in trade and finance, leaving labour-intensive industry to flourish in the country. In principle, the entire process can be seen as a precondition for full-blown industrial capitalism. It might have enabled increased population growth, accumulation by merchants, and commercial agriculture. Later research and debates, however, qualify the claim. Proto-industrialization is a dynamic process which shaped the transition to industrial society, but neither in denial of other processes–like the rise of manufacture in the towns–nor as a uniform, linear, irreversible trajectory. As a conception of organizational change, it is a special case and an example of putting-out.


In the eighteenth century these forces made their mark both on the colonies of white settlement, where deliberate attempts were made to reproduce and hence to reinforce British landed society, and on India, where efforts were made to raise up a class of indigenous land-holders and where the East India Company, one of the principal manifestations of the new commercial order, extended its sway. The subsequent history of the loss of the American colonies and the acquisition of India was closely bound up with the extension of commercial credit, the search for revenue, and the centralising tendencies of the British state. After 1815, and especially after 1850, City finance and associated services performed a vital, indeed historic, function of integrating countries that lacked adequate capital markets of their own. By funding export development overseas, the City enabled newly incorporated regions to raise and service an increasing volume of foreign loans; by generating a massive invisible income from these activities, the City made a crucial contribution to Britain’s balance of payments. In this way, the City and sterling acquired a world role, and London became the centre of a system of global payments that continued to expand right down to the outbreak of war in 1914.

The impulses drawing Britain overseas merged economic considerations with a wider programme of development that aimed at raising the standard of civilisation as well as the standard of living, and were accompanied, accordingly, by exports of liberal political principles and missionary enterprise. The underlying purpose of the venture was to nurture congenial allies at critical points of entry or passage for British trade and finance, thus tightening Britain’s control over the system of multilateral exchanges on which her prosperity increasingly depended and strengthening her ability to ward off threats from old rivals in Europe and new competitors further afield.

These expansionist impulses were pacific as well as imperialist in character; and the imperialist option was peaceful and informal as well as aggressive and territorially acquisitive. Broadly similar impulses therefore produced international environment at the time. The colonies of white settlement, for example, fell more firmly under British influence in the second half of the nineteenth century. As British finance and influence extended their range in the second half of the century, it became clear that indigenous societies were often unwilling to respond to external demands on the terms set by foreign interests, even when they were able to do so. India, of course, had already been incorporated into the empire and was managed by English gentlemen in ways that guaranteed conformity to priorities established in London. There, as we have seen, policy was directed towards ensuring that India’s external obligations continued to be met: when a choice had to be made between the claims of finance and those of manufacturing, as was increasingly the case in the late nineteenth century, preference was given to the former. The most spectacular example of territorial annexation, the partition of Africa, offers a detailed illustration of how the penetration of British interests produced conditions that caused Palmerston’s rules to be broken. In the two key cases, Egypt and South Africa, a preoccupation with finance and its attendant political implications provided powerful incentives for moving inland. The City’s interests were also at the forefront of Britain’s presence in areas of informal influence. Following the Ottoman default of 1875, the City’s representatives became heavily involved in managing the empire’s affairs to ensure that debt service was resumed, and at the same time less willing to supply new finance, with the result that the Foreign Office was hard-pressed to uphold Britain’s wider interests in the region. The case of China demonstrates the central part played by finance in different circumstances, for China remained credit-worthy, and when gaps finally opened in the Great Wall after her defeat at the hands of Japan in 1895, British banks were the first to enter, and Britain became the dominant foreign influence on the Ch’ing regime thereafter.

Iraq, similar to many colonies ruled by the British, had to deal with the complications and inherent difficulties present in the British system. While Iraq, unlike many former British colonies, was ruled by the Ottomans prior to the British’ arrival, a fundamental shift in how land was owned and the operation of labour markets also had substantial changes, going from a relatively autonomous tribal system to a semi-feudal system similar to that of the Middle Ages, where there were several classes of those who owned land and everyone else had to live on the land. The British enhanced the power of the landlords by giving them authority and attempting to give them prestige and money for listening to the British. Agricultural workers were impacted most heavily by the British through policies of irrigation, the lack of interest for land reform from either the British government or Iraqi elites, and the fact that unless one was rich, there were unable to receive monetary loans. All of these issues resulted from British policies or Iraqi policies designed to appease the British, creating a cleavage between various classes in Iraq, whether by economic class or through religion. In conclusion, the British mandate in Iraq had long term effects on all workers in Iraq, but especially agricultural workers because of inequities that were inherent in the policies that the British and new Iraqi government chose to enact and enforce.

This evidence points to the need to revise some of the central features of the historiography of British imperialism during the classic phase of nineteenth-century expansion. We have questioned the widespread and long-standing assumption linking the ‘triumph of industry’ to imperialist expansion, and have emphasised instead the role of finance and services. These activities, as we have noted, have long been either underestimated or neglected by historians, yet they arose before the Industrial Revolution, continued to expand during the nineteenth century and maintained their dynamic after manufacturing had entered its long period of relative decline. The representatives of British industry were less wealthy than their counterparts in the City, made their money in ways that did not meet the approval of their social superiors, and exercised only limited political influence at national level. Of course, to the extent that British finance and services were funding the distribution of British manufactures, the two had an important interest in common. But the City’s activities were not simply an offshoot of industry; still less were they beholden to it. The international order that was erected on the basis of free trade and the gold standard served the purposes of finance and services rather better than it did those of manufacturing: the increasing scale and complexity of multilateral trade relations gave the City opportunities and commitments that extended far beyond the distribution of British manufactures.


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  35. R. E. Robinson and J. Gallagher, “‘The Partition of Africa'”, in F. H. Hinsley, ed. New Cambridge Modern History, XI ( Cambridge, 1962), p. 616.
  36. R. J. Moore, “‘India and the British Empire'”, in C. C. Eldridge, ed. British Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century ( 1984); and William A. Green and John P. Dewey, “‘Unifying Themes in the History of British India, 1757-1857: an Historiographical Analysis'”, Albion, 17 ( 1985).
  37. Rajat Ray and Ratna Ray, “‘Zamindars and Jotedars: A Study of Rural Politics in Bengal'”, Mod. Asian Stud., 9 ( 1975)
  38. Rhoads Murphey, The Outsiders: The Western Experience in India and China ( Ann Arbor, Mich., 1977), pp. 73-6.
  39. Ricahard Wellesley, Governor-General from 1798 to 1805, quoted in Bayly, Indian Society, p. 83.
  40. Rudrangshu Mukherjee, “‘Trade and Empire in Awadh, 1765-1804′”, Past and Present, 94 ( 1982), pp. 89-90, 99-100; Chaudhuri, “‘India’s Foreign Trade'”, pp. 355, 358-63.
  41. Sumit Sukar, Modern India, 1885-1947 ( New Delhi, 1983)
  42. Suresh Chandra Ghosh, “‘The Utilitarianism of Dalhousie and the Material Improvement of India'”, Mod. Asian Stud., 12 ( 1978).
  43. Thomas R. Metcalf, Land, Landlords and the British Raj ( Berkeley, Calif., 1979).
  44. V. G. Kiernan, Marxism and Imperialism ( 1974). The debate about the relationship between early and late Marx is treated by Suriti Kumar Ghosh, “‘Marx on India'”, Monthly Review, 35 ( 1984).
  45. W. J. Barber, British Economic Thought and India, 1600-1858 ( Oxford, 1975)
  46. W. J. Barber, British Economic Thought and India, 1600-1858: A Study in the History of Development Economics ( Oxford, 1975).


  1. Manas: History and Politics.” SSCNET.Edu. Manas. Web.
  2. “British India 1848-58.” Map. Encarta 2007. Microsoft Corporation, 1993. p.983
  3. “British India 1848-58.” Map. Encarta 2007. Microsoft Corporation, 1993.p.984
  4. British East India Company.” Wikipedia.Com. 2006. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Web.
  5. Manas: History and Politics.” SSCNET.Edu. Manas. Web.
  6. Viollet, Roger. British Family in India. India. Microsoft Encarta 2007. Liaison Agency. P.1050
  7. Marx, Karl. “The East India Company.” New-York Daily Tribune. 1853. Web.
  8. Yapp, Malcom. The British Raj and Indian Nationalism. 1977. St. Paul: Greenhaven Press, 1980. p. 248
  9. Wild, Antony. The East India Company Trade and Conquest from 1600. 1999. New York: First Lyons, 2000. p. 171
  10. Nicholas Canny and Anthony Pagden, eds. Colonial Identity in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800 ( Princeton, NJ, 1987); Carl Bridge, P. J. Marshall and Glyndwr Williams , “‘Introduction’: a British Empire'”, Internat. Hist. Rev., 12 ( 1990). P. 67
  11. Richard L. Bushman, “‘American High-Style and Vernacular Cultures'”, in Jack P. Greene and J. R. Pole, eds. Colonial British America: Essays in the New History of the Early Modern Era ( Baltimore, Md, 1984), p. 367.
  12. Richard Pares, A West India Fortune ( 1950); idem, Merchants and Planters ( Cambridge, 1960); Tamara P. Thornton, Cultivating Gentlemen: The Meaning of Country Life Among the Boston Elite, 1785-1860 ( New Haven, Conn., 1989); and Pocock, Three British Revolutions, ‘Introduction’, and Chs. 8, 10 and 11.
  13. For two contrasting cases see Rajat Roy and Ratna Roy, “‘Zamindars and Jotedars: a Study of Rural Politics in Bengal'”, Mod. Asian Stud., 9 ( 1975); and Neil Rabitoy , “‘System v Expediency: the Reality of Land Revenue Administration in the Bombay Presidency, 1812-1820′”, Mod. Asian Stud., 9 ( 1975).
  14. Stephen S. Webb, The Governors-General: The English Army and the Definition of Empire, 1569-1681 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1979); Paul David Nelson, William Tryon and the Course of Empire: A Life in British Imperial Service (Chapel Hill, NC, 1990); Marshall, East India Fortunes, pp. 9-14; Bayly, Imperial Meridian, pp. 133-6.
  15. The Navigation Acts were reinforced in 1696 and the East India Company, founded in 1600, was restructured in 1708. On the capitalist qualities of the Company see K. N. Chaudhuri, The Trading World of Asia and the English East India Company, 1660-1760 ( Cambridge, 1978), and Hoh-cheung Mui and Lorna H. Mui, The Management of Monopoly: A Study of the English East India Company’s Conduct of its Tea Monopoly, 1784-1833 ( Vancouver, 1984). Complementary views are expressed in Leonard Blusse and Femme Gastra, eds. Companies and Trade: Essays in Overseas Trading Companies During the Ancien Regime ( The Hague, 1981). “‘Investment and Empire in the Later Eighteenth Century: East India Stockholding, 1756-1791′”, Econ. Hist. Rev., 2nd ser. XLII ( 1989).
  16. On mercantile lobbies see Brewer, Sinews of Power, pp. 169, 231-49.
  17. D. W. Jones, War and Economy in the Age of William III and Marlborough ( Oxford, 1988).
  18. Richard Pares, “‘American Versus Continental Warfare, 1739-63′”, in idem, The Historian’s Business ( Oxford, 1961); W. A. Speck, “‘The International and Imperial Context'”, in Jack P. Greene and J. R. Pole, eds. Colonial British America: Essays in the New History of the Early Modern Era ( Baltimore, Md, 1984); 141-50
  19. J. S. Bromley, “‘Britain and Europe in the Eighteenth Century'”, History p. 66 ( 1981).
  20.  For summary and further references see Brewer, Sinews of Power, pp. 173-8, and H. T. Dickinson, Walpole and the Whig Supremacy ( 1973), Ch. 6 and pp. 105-6, 135-7.
  21. On the mood of assertiveness that took hold in the 1760s see P. J. Marshall, “‘Empire and Authority in the Later Eighteenth Century'”, Jour. Imp. and Comm. Hist., 15 ( 1987); and for the perception (by others) that Britain was the main threat to peace and stability after 1763 see H.M. Scott, British Foreign Policy in the Age of the American Revolution ( Oxford, 1990). 96-99
  22. For the abysmal performance of Britain’s exports during this period see Crouzet, ‘Toward an Export Economy’, p. 52.
  23. For example, Riley, International Government Finance, pp. 123-5
  24. The detailed literature has now been brought together in two complementary studies: P. J. Marshall, Bengal: The British Bridgehead. Eastern India, 1740-1828 ( Cambridge, 1987), and C. A. Bayly, Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire ( Cambridge, 1988).230-33
  25. Huw V. Bowen, “‘Lord Clive and Speculation in East India Company Stock, 1766′”, Hist. Jour., 30 ( 1987). P.88
  26. Pamela Nightingale, Trade and Empire in Western India, 1784-1806 ( Cambridge, 1970). P. 224-27
  27. Huw V. Bowen, “‘A Question of Sovereignty: the Bengal Land Revenue Issue, 1765-67′”, Jour. Imp. and Comm. Hist., 16 ( 1988). P.11
  28. Marshall, East India Fortunes, p. 256; Davis, The Industrial Revolution, pp. 55-6.
  29. H. V. Bowen, Revenue and Reform: the Indian Problem in British Politics, 1757-1773 ( Cambridge, 1991). P.100-102
  30. P. J. Marshall, “‘Economic and Political Expansion: the Case of Oudh'”, Mod. Asian Stud., 9 ( 1975); and Anthony Webster, “‘British Export Interests in Bengal and Imperial Expansion in South-East Asia, 1780-1824: the Origins of the Straits Settlements'”, in Barbara Ingham and Colin Simmons, eds. Development Studies and Colonial Policy ( 1987). P.14
  31. Richard B. Barnett, North India Between Empires: Awadh, The Mughals and the British, 1720-1801 ( Berkeley, Calif., 1980). 119-22
  32. Lakshmi Subramanian, “‘Banias and the British: The Role of Indigenous Credit in the Process of Imperial Expansion in Western India in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century'”, Mod. Asian Stud., 21 ( 1987). P.32
  33. J. D. Nichol’s important study, ‘The British in India, 1740-1763: a Study in Imperial Expansion into Bengal’, (Ph.D. thesis, Cambridge University, 1976), pp. 62-75, Chs.3-4, and pp. 163-71
  34. Michelgug lielmo Torri , “‘Trapped Inside the Colonial Order: the Hindu Bankers of Surat and their Business World during the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century'”, Mod. Asian Stud., 25 ( 1991). P.178
  35. Jack P. Greene, “‘The Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution: the Causal Relationship Reconsidered'”, in Marshall and Williams, British Atlantic Empire, pp. 90-5. For a case study see Thomas C. Barrow, Trade and Empire: The British Customs Service in Colonial America, 1760-1775 ( Cambridge, Mass., 1967).
  36. Peter Marshall and Glyn Williams, eds. The British Atlantic Empire before the American Revolution ( 1980)
  37. Calculated from Chaudhuri, “‘Foreign Trade'”, pp. 832-7. See also Tomlinson, “‘India and the British Empire'”, p. 339.
  38. Belgian iron and steel products and German textiles provided increasing competition after about 1900; whatever the fate of Indian handicraft workers earlier in the century, the new textile industry in Bombay made considerable headway under British rule from the 1880s onwards. See M. D. Morris, The Emergence of an Industrial Labour Force in India: A Study of the Bombay Cotton Mills, 1854-1947 ( Berkeley, Calif., 1965); and Makrand Mehta, The Ahmedabad Cotton Textile Industry: Genesis and Growth ( Ahmedabad, 1982). 66-70