An Economic History of India: From Pre-Colonial Times to by Diet Rothermund

By Diet Rothermund

This compact publication describes the ecomonic historical past of India from the Moghul invasions, during the East India corporation and colonialism to the 20 th century. a lot has been written at the Indian economic system, yet this e-book makes an attempt to offer India's fiscal heritage as a technique. The booklet areas the improvement of agriculture and in political context and discusses foreign money and financial guidelines, that are of relevant significance in all sessions of Indian historical past.

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Instead, India exported more and more agricultural produce to Europe and imported industrial goods from there. The British cotton textile industry had its major export market in India from 1870 to 1895. Therefore the representatives of that industry watched everything concerning that market with keen interest. In 1870 British textiles worth £80 million sterling were exported to India, but then there was a recession in 1879 and the value of these exports declined to £65 million. The British textile lobby then forced the government to remove the Indian cotton import duties, which had been imposed for purely fiscal reasons and not as a protective tariff.

A study of certain Bengal districts shows this development very clearly. 1 shows a comparison of rice prices before and after the railway reached Dinajpur and Mymensingh. ) In both cases the prices rose by about 50 per cent, while their fluctuation was halved. The difference between the prices in the two districts before they were reached by the railway was due to the fact that Mymensingh was reached much later and that the prices were rising generally in this period. In the period before 1885, prices showed great fluctuations everywhere whenever the harvest deviated from the average.

Many years later, Keynes castigated the Indians for their inordinate love of liquidity, which according to him was a major obstacle to economic development in India. Although he analysed the seasonal circulation of the Indian currency and was aware of its inherent problems, he did not explain the quest for liquidity in terms of the whole economic and fiscal system, but attributed it to an emotional craving. Similarly, most British commentators who expressed their opinions about peasant indebtedness in India would refer to individual improvidence, rather than to the compulsion of the system under which the peasants had to work.

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