The East India Company
- Before the foundation of Calcutta the biggest English settlement in Bengal was Hughli.
- The so-called ‘Black Hole’ tragedy refers to Alleged imprisonment of 123 Englishmen into a small room, resulting in the death of most of them.
- The Revolution of 1760 in Bengal refers to deposition of Mir Jafar and accession of Mir Qasim as nawab of Bengal.
East India Company Headquaters
- On the eve of the Battle of Buxar, Shuja-ud-daula arrested Nawab Mir Qasim because Mir Qasim evaded the payment for the maintenance of the army of Awadh.
- After Bengal, the English secured the rights of duty-free trade in the dominions of Nawab of Awadh.
- The worst crime committed by the English during the great famine of Bengal in 1770 was that they forced the peasants to sell the seed needed for the next harvest.
- Nawab Mir Jafar suffered from Leprosy.
- The nawab of Bengal who made over all the revenues of Bengal in lieu of an annual pension of Rs. 50 lakh was Najm-ud-daula
- The three districts, which were ceded by Nawab Mir Qasim to the Company by the treaty of September 1760 were Burdwan, Midnapur and Chittagong.
- In July 1763 the English declared war against Mir Qasim because he had exempted all merchants from the payment of duties.
- The dastaks, the misuse of which was a source of constant friction between the nawab and the East Indian Company, were actually permits secured by Company as per the farmans of Farrukhsiyar for import-export trade without payment of duties.
- 89 per cent the rental derived by the zamindar from the peasantry was expected to remit to the Company under the Permanent Settlement.
- The rich merchants of Bengal conspired with the English against the nawab of Bengal mainly on account of the insulting behaviour of Nawab Siraj-ud-daula towards the merchants.
Economic Impact of British Rule
- The Permanent Settlement was made with the zamindars.
- The ryotwari settlement was made with the cultivators.
- The ryotwari settlement was primarily introduced by the British government in Madras and Bombay.
Economic Impact of British Rule in India
- In the nineteenth century there was a phenomenal increase of pressure of population on land because the ruin of handicrafts and village industries drove the population to agriculture.
- A famine of the nineteenth century, which has been described as the “Sea of Calamity”, was the, famine in Orissa 1866-67.
- The main reason for the permanent indebtedness of the peasantry was high rate of interest on loans.
- The first serious blow which the British inflicted on India’s prosperous handloom industry was that weavers were forced to sell their goods at dictated prices.
- Under the Permanent Settlement the peasantry fell into the clutches of the zamindars and in the ryotwari areas of the Money-lenders
- The process of transfer of land from the cultivator was particularly intensified during periods of scarcity and famines.
- On account of the various factors of economic exploitation, the impoverishment of the peasantry was accompanied by increase in the incidence of famines.
- The ruin of most of the old zamindars in Bengal, during the first few decades of the British rule, was due to auctioning of the rights of revenue collection to the highest bidders.
- William Bentinck remarked in 1834 that “the bones of the cotton weavers are bleaching the plains of India”.
- The worst feature of the Permanent Settlement, which led to the dispossession of the old zamindars and the rise of the new landlords, was the rigid laws of revenue collection.
- A remarkable feature of the spread of landlordism was the growth of Sub-infeudation.
- Indigo cultivation in India was called a “predial slavery” because the peasants were forced to cultivate indigo and accept the dictated prices.
- The first serious outburst of the peasantry of Bengal against their exploitation by the British was the indigo riots of 1859-60.
- The core of the middle class, which emerged in Bengal, was of Zamindars.
- In 1833 the Company lose its monopoly of Indian trade which was thrown open to all Britons.
- The East India Company was divested of its commercial functions by The Charter Act of 1833.
- After 1833, the single biggest source of drain of Indian wealth to Britain was British capital investment in India.
- The biggest British capital investment in India was made in the railways, banking, insurance, and shipping.
- The effect of British capital investment in India on India’s balance of payments problem was that it aggravated the problem by adding to the list of invisible imports.
- “A two-fold injury inflicted to the Indian economy”, by the British rulers in India, was Ruin of Indian handicrafts and industries and deliberate neglect of India’s industrial development
- The root of the poverty of the people of India during the British rule was that agriculture remained almost the sole occupation of the masses.
- The only major industry in the hands of the Indian capitalists during the late nineteenth century was cotton textile.
- The British industrial policy in India has been rightly called as the policy of “De-industrialisation”.
- In the later half of the eighteenth century, the East India Company encouraged the manufacture of raw silk in Bengal, but discouraged manufacture of silk fabrics because raw silk was needed for the home industries
- The Bengal famine of 1770 has been called “the English manufactured famine” because the English merchants and servants of the Company bought all the rice and refused to sell it, except at fabulous prices.
Bengal Famine of 1770
- The British started draining Bengal of her wealth on a large scale after 1757.
- Dadni merchants came to constitute the core of the rising middle class in India before the Battle of Plassey (1757).
- In course of time, the dadni merchants in India were found to be too independent and disinclined to comply with their contracts. In 1753, the dadni merchants were replaced by Gomashtas.
- The Lancashire Cotton textiles were first introduced in India in 1786.
- The Ryotwari Settlement was first introduced by Thomas Munro and Captain Read.
- Dadabhai Naoroji first put forward his theory of drain of Wealth in his paper England’s Debt to India.
- Dadabhai Naoroji said: “The British rule was a bleeding drain from India”.
- The Indian National Congress adopted a resolution criticising the Drain of Wealth from India in its annual session held in Calcutta (1896).
- The commodity structure and direction of India’s foreign trade was changed by Dutch.
- Indian economy was transformed from a self-sufficient and surplus economy to colonial economy after annexation of Bengal.
- The Indian industries which were completely ruined on account of British economic policies, were Sugar and Ship-building.