Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire

Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire

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The past twenty years have seen a proliferation of specialist scholarship on the period of India's transition to colonialism. This volume provides a synthesis of some of the most important themes to emerge from recent work and seeks in particular to reassess the role of Indians in the politics and economics of early colonialism. It discusses new views of the 'decline of the Moghuls' and the role of the Indian capitalists in the expansion of the English East Indian Company's trade and urban settlements. Professor Bayly considers the reasons for the inability of indigenous states to withstand the British, but also highlights the relative failure of the Company to transform India into a quiescent and profitable colony. Later chapters deal with changes in India's ecology, social organisation and ideologies in the nineteenth century, and analyse the nature of Indian resistance to colonialism, including the rebellion of 1857.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 246 pages
  • 147.32 x 226.06 x 15.24mm | 113.4g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 1 b/w illus. 5 maps
  • 0521386500
  • 9780521386500
  • 950,008

Review quote

'A treat in store for all students of subcontinental history ... an excellent read for any person interested in recent Indian history.' Tariq Ali, The Guardian 'A masterly work of synthesis and interpretation.' The Times Literary Supplement 'A sophisticated and complex explanation for the failure of the indigenous States to resist British imperialism ... a work of substantial scholarship providing not merely a synthesis of existing material but also original research.' The Times Higher Education Supplement '... The result is a rewarding narrative and nuanced analysis of nineteenth-century colonization ... Price's accomplishment is not only to put together one piece of a bigger puzzle but also to make clear the value of his interactive perspective on imperial encounters wherever they occurred.' The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

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Table of contents

List of maps; General editor's preface; Preface; Introduction; 1. India in the eighteenth century: the formation of states and social groups; 2. Indian capital and the emergence of colonial society; 3. The crisis of the Indian state, 1780-1820; 4. The consolidation and failure of the East India Company's state, 1818-57; 5. Peasant and Brahmin: consolidating 'traditional' society; 6. Rebellion and reconstruction; Conclusion: the first age of colonialism in India; Glossary of Indian terms; Bibliography; Index.

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