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Unit-1 Historical Background

Unit-1 Historical Background - THE CONSEQUENCES OF...

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THE CONSEQUENCES OF COLONIALISM Structure Objectives Introduction Defining Colonialism Consequences of Colonialism 1.3.1 Nature and phases of the Colonial Empire 1.3.2 Impact: The First Phase-Peasantry and its Impoverishment 1.3.3 Impact: The Second Phase-De-industrialisation and its Effects 1.3.4 Impact: The Third Phase-Imperialism and Industrialisation Let Us Sum Up Key Words some usehi Books and Articles Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 1.0 OBJECTIVES To understand the challenges faced by India properly after Independence, it is necessary to study the consequences of colonial rule. Understanding the multiple and contradictory nature of consequences is itself an engrossing exercise. But the making of modem India is still more fascinating. After reading this unit, you should be able to: understand how India came to become what it was at the time of Independence; and grasp political, social and economic processes which took place in India after Independence. 1.1 INTRODUCTION /' The British built in India the largest colonial empire anywhere in the world. But it was a different kind of colony from most others. Many of the colonies especially in Latin America, with the exception of Dutch East Indies (now called Indonesia), were built .with either slaves or indentured labour. Most of the Indians that we find in Fiji (and many other places) today were taken as indentured labour. The British built their colony in India with peasants and freely recruited labour. There was alsoeo white "settler population" in India like for example in Kenya or Zimbabwe which took control of land and became the edifice of colonial domination. While the peasant and the labour were coerced, the larger landowners and social notables were won over to the British side; sometimes after wars but nonetheless most of them eventually came over to the British side. They also created new groups to cooperate with them by granting them Zamindaries or other land rights by displacing the old ones. India therefore was a colony built on collaboration of "natives". The British ruled India by drawing a lion's share of surplus out of the Indan
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Historical Background economy through heavy exactions on peasanty in the shape of revenue demands, indirect taxation plus some tribute; in the earliest period there was plunder as well but this very soon stopped. How all this was done? What were ways in which it was done? Who were the gainers and losers among the classes and strata? What were the result for India? And finally, how did Britain gain out of it? Answers to these will tell us a fascinating story. A story which is our history. A history which is still alive for us. Before we do that let us take a brief pause and be clear about what colonialism was. Today there is imperialism and neocolonialism but colonialism has come to an end.
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