Law and the Economy in Colonial India

Author: Tirthankar Roy
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022638764X
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By accessibly recounting and analyzing the unique experience of institutions in colonial Indiawhich were influenced heavily by both British Common Law and indigenous Indian practices and traditionsLaw and the Economy in Colonial India sheds new light on what exactly fosters the types of institutions that have been key to economic development throughout world history more generally. The culmination and years of research, the book goes through a range of examples, including textiles, opium, tea, indigo, tenancy, credit, and land mortgage, to show how economic laws in colonial India were shaped neither by imported European ideas about how colonies should be ruled nor indigenous institutions, but by the practice of producing and trading. The book is an essential addition to Indian history and to some of the most fundamental questions in economic history."

Law and the Economy in Colonial India

Author: Tirthankar Roy
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022638778X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Since the economic reforms of the 1990s, India’s economy has grown rapidly. To sustain growth and foreign investment over the long run requires a well-developed legal infrastructure for conducting business, including cheap and reliable contract enforcement and secure property rights. But it’s widely acknowledged that India’s legal infrastructure is in urgent need of reform, plagued by problems, including slow enforcement of contracts and land laws that differ from state to state. How has this situation arisen, and what can boost business confidence and encourage long-run economic growth? Tirthankar Roy and Anand V. Swamy trace the beginnings of the current Indian legal system to the years of British colonial rule. They show how India inherited an elaborate legal system from the British colonial administration, which incorporated elements from both British Common Law and indigenous institutions. In the case of property law, especially as it applied to agricultural land, indigenous laws and local political expediency were more influential in law-making than concepts borrowed from European legal theory. Conversely, with commercial law, there was considerable borrowing from Europe. In all cases, the British struggled with limited capacity to enforce their laws and an insufficient knowledge of the enormous diversity and differentiation within Indian society. A disorderly body of laws, not conducive to production and trade, evolved over time. Roy and Swamy’s careful analysis not only sheds new light on the development of legal institutions in India, but also offers insights for India and other emerging countries through a look at what fosters the types of institutions that are key to economic growth.

A New Economic History of Colonial India

Author: Latika Chaudhary
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317674324
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A New Economic History of Colonial India provides a new perspective on Indian economic history. Using economic theory and quantitative methods, it shows how the discipline is being redefined and how new scholarship on India is beginning to embrace and make use of concepts from the larger field of global economic history and economics. The book discusses the impact of property rights, the standard of living, the labour market and the aftermath of the Partition. It also addresses how education and work changed, and provides a rethinking of traditional topics including de-industrialization, industrialization, railways, balance of payments, and the East India Company. Written in an accessible way, the contributors – all leading experts in their fields – firmly place Indian history in the context of world history. An up-to-date critical survey and novel resource on Indian Economic History, this book will be useful for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on Economic History, Indian and South Asian Studies, Economics and Comparative and Global History.

Stages of Capital

Author: Ritu Birla
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 082239247X
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In Stages of Capital, Ritu Birla brings research on nonwestern capitalisms into conversation with postcolonial studies to illuminate the historical roots of India’s market society. Between 1870 and 1930, the British regime in India implemented a barrage of commercial and contract laws directed at the “free” circulation of capital, including measures regulating companies, income tax, charitable gifting, and pension funds, and procedures distinguishing gambling from speculation and futures trading. Birla argues that this understudied legal infrastructure institutionalized a new object of sovereign management, the market, and along with it, a colonial concept of the public. In jurisprudence, case law, and statutes, colonial market governance enforced an abstract vision of modern society as a public of exchanging, contracting actors free from the anachronistic constraints of indigenous culture. Birla reveals how the categories of public and private infiltrated colonial commercial law, establishing distinct worlds for economic and cultural practice. This bifurcation was especially apparent in legal dilemmas concerning indigenous or “vernacular” capitalists, crucial engines of credit and production that operated through networks of extended kinship. Focusing on the story of the Marwaris, a powerful business group renowned as a key sector of India’s capitalist class, Birla demonstrates how colonial law governed vernacular capitalists as rarefied cultural actors, so rendering them illegitimate as economic agents. Birla’s innovative attention to the negotiations between vernacular and colonial systems of valuation illustrates how kinship-based commercial groups asserted their legitimacy by challenging and inhabiting the public/private mapping. Highlighting the cultural politics of market governance, Stages of Capital is an unprecedented history of colonial commercial law, its legal fictions, and the formation of the modern economic subject in India.

Economic History of India 1857 1947

Author: Tirthankar Roy
Publisher: OUP India
ISBN: 0198074174
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book provides an understanding of the political and economic transition of India's economy to a stable and democratic state. Capturing a crucial span of 90 years, it presents a comprehensive account of structural changes in the economy initiated by colonial rule and globalization.

India and the British Empire

Author: Douglas M. Peers
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192513524
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South Asian History has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance over the past thirty years. Its historians are not only producing new ways of thinking about the imperial impact and legacy on South Asia, but also helping to reshape the study of imperial history in general. The essays in this collection address a number of these important developments, delineating not only the complicated interplay between imperial rulers and their subjects in India, but also illuminating the economic, political, environmental, social, cultural, ideological, and intellectual contexts which informed, and were in turn informed by, these interactions. Particular attention is paid to a cluster of binary oppositions that have hitherto framed South Asian history, namely colonizer/colonized, imperialism/nationalism, and modernity/tradition, and how new analytical frameworks are emerging which enable us to think beyond the constraints imposed by these binaries. Closer attention to regional dynamics as well as to wider global forces has enriched our understanding of the history of South Asia within a wider imperial matrix. Previous impressions of all-powerful imperialism, with the capacity to reshape all before it, for good or ill, are rejected in favour of a much more nuanced image of imperialism in India that acknowledges the impact as well as the intentions of colonialism, but within a much more complicated historical landscape where other processes are at work.

The Economy of South Asia

Author: Tirthankar Roy
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319547208
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This book explores the historical roots of rapid economic growth in South Asia, with reference to politics, markets, resources, and the world economy. Roy posits that, after an initial slow period of growth between 1950 and the 1980s, the region has been growing rapidly and fast catching up with the world on average levels of living. Why did this turnaround happen? Does it matter? Is it sustainable? The author answers these questions by drawing connections, comparisons, and parallels between the five large countries in the region: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It shows why, despite differences in political experience between these countries, similarities in resources and markets could produce similar trajectories. Home to a fifth of the world’s population, South Asia’s transformation has the power to change the world. Most accounts of the process focus on individual nations, but by breaking out of that mould, Roy takes on the region as a whole, and delivers a radical new interpretation of why the economy of South Asia is changing so fast.

Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

Author: Nandini Bhattacharyya Panda
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199087903
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This book, strongly grounded in primary sources, makes an important contribution to the intellectual history of early modern Bengal. It brings to light the complex interpenetration of diverse interests, opinions, and ideologies articulated by various social groups implicated in the process of colonization on the lines of Ranajit Guha's work on property relations in Bengal and Radhika Singha's work on law. There is no comparable work specifically on the subject of Hindu property rights and how these came to be perceived or interpreted in early modern Bengal. The author explores the so-called compendia prepared under British auspices and argues that there was hardly any link between the Smritis and the laws. The latter were determined almost entirely by changing British policy with regard to land revenue and that many of the positive features of Hindu custom like women's rights to property were undermined in the process.