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Ungoverned ImaginingsJames Mill's The History of British India and Orientalism$
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Javed Majeed

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198117865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117865.001.0001

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James Mill's The History of British India

James Mill's The History of British India

(p.123) Chapter 4 James Mill's The History of British India
Ungoverned Imaginings

Javed Majeed

Oxford University Press

The History of British India's main fame rests on its transformation of utilitarianism into what one scholar has described as a ‘militant faith’. This chapter explores the role played by British India in James Mill's thinking, a role whose complexity has been neglected by scholars who view the History as simply an attempt to apply a version of utilitarianism to British India. It is important to make clear from the outset that both Jeremy Bentham's and Mill's opposition to colonization was not as relevant to British India as at first it might appear, except in so far as Mill was in agreement with East India Company policy of actively hindering the settlement of non-official Europeans in British India. A distinction between British India and other colonies was implicit in Bentham's and Mill's writings on colonies. The main purpose of Mill's article was to consider whether emigration and colonization were effective means of solving the problems resulting from overpopulation.

Keywords:   The History of British India, James Mill, British India, utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham, colonization, East India Company, colonies, emigration

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