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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume III: The Nineteenth Century$
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Andrew Porter

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205654.001.0001

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India, 1818–1860: The Two Faces of Colonialism

India, 1818–1860: The Two Faces of Colonialism

Chapter:
(p.395) 18 India, 1818–1860: The Two Faces of Colonialism
Source:
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume III: The Nineteenth Century
Author(s):

D. A. Washbrook

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205654.003.0018

India was subjected to a battery of changes aimed at drawing it more closely under the authority of Britain and converting its culture and institutions to Western and Anglicist norms and forms. Its social economy became increasingly agrarian and peasant-based. It addresses the following question: why and how did British rule itself affect the imperatives towards the reconstruction of a traditional India? The received historiography has been guilty of too eclectic an approach to the discourse(s) of colonialism, and also of overemphasizing the significance of discourse (and texts) at the expense of analyses of both institutional practice and politico-economic context. The economics of backwardness is elaborated. Next, it deals with the traditionalization of Indian society. The contradictions continued after the Mutiny, although taking on different forms. Technological transformation increased in intensity. These developments enabled Indian primary products to finally find outlets on world markets. After the Mutiny, the Westernizing and Orientalizing propensities of colonial rule still remained in tension, although as the century advanced a new element also began to enter their relationship.

Keywords:   India, colonialism, Western norms, Indian society, economics, Mutiny, social economy, colonial rule, British rule

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