An Economic History of Early Modern India

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2013-06-18
  • Publisher: Routledge
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This book presents a coherent and readable account of the economic history of India from the end of the Mughal Empire early in the eighteenth century to the formal beginning of the British Empire in the mid-nineteenth. Interest in the transition process and the period of time when it happened has revived recently owing to two unfinished debates. One of these considers the economic implications of the transition. In one view, it led to political turmoil and economic decline. In another, Indian Ocean trade and a new partnership between regional states and merchants encouraged accumulation and growth. The second debate concerns the origins of international inequality in the modern times, and asks when disparity in levels of living began to widen. The answer, it is believed, should suggest to us the historical roots of world inequality. Early modern India represents an under-researched case study in this debate. Historical scholarship that can address such themes remains limited in two ways. First, the major ingredients of a history “ trade, politics, and institutions “ have developed as discrete specializations. Students, therefore, need to sift through a large number of articles written from diverse points of view, and infer the big picture. Second, whereas regions within India differed greatly, a narrative that pays equal attention to the larger processes and distinct regional experiences is yet to emerge. The book intends to fill in these two gaps. It will present a connected history of economic change, and show how the major regions participated in the macro processes in rather different ways. It will, thus, offer students a historiography, and a narrative history in one place.

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