LEC2 - colonial legacies.docx

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Political Science
Professor Kanta Murali

Week 2 – Colonial Legacies Mughal India -political consolidation -pre-modern agrarian bureaucracy -some political sophistication -legal system and systematic court administration -capacity to mobilize armed forces -tax extraction -monuments and lifestyle at the height of the empire -weak impulse towards modernity -largely agrarian society with developed commerce and trade land titles and intermediaries -weak impulse to modern statehood and industrial revolution -disintegration and weakening from early 18 C th Early Colonial Patterns -British not the only colonists – French, Dutch East India Company -competition between British and French – Br won the challenge Company Rule: 1757 – 1857 -establishment of state apparatus -centralized political administration by civil servants (largely recruited from England) -parliamentary supervision of company activities -sizeable army with Indian recruits – central to Britain’s imperial ambitions -aspects of indirect rule -two-fifths remained under local princes -variety of arrangements with traditional elite (eg. zamindars in Bengal) -rely on local notables and local power structures Company rule and economic patterns -shift to a colonial pattern of exchange -raw material exports from India -growth of certain cash crops (cotton, jute) -import of British manufactured goods -traditional weaving industry destroyed -three-way trade pattern with China -British demand for tea from China (Trade deficit with China) – balanced this by exporting opium from India to China -development of infrastructure and a national market -national post and telegraph system in the 1840s -railway construction -legislation and social practices -societal involvement and promotion of Western education -grouping people in castes/social classes based on their own understanding of Indian society -Thomas Macaulay and the 1835 minute on education -goal of Western education in India – to create a “class of persons Indian in blood and colour but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.” -change the language of gov’t from Persian and Urdu to English -to create a class of interpreters – a buffer population between the British and the vast population of india -led to the development of an education elite – formed the core of the nationalist movement 1857 rebellion -first time that organized discontent against colonial rule became evident -East India Company (EIC) marginalized native rulers and squeezed them heavily in the form of taxes -source of discontent -3 groups involved: 1) native rulers 2) peasants 3) native soliders of the EIC army -Britain ultimately quelled rebellion -important b/c: 1) first time there’s a sense of nationalism and patriotism 2) took Britain a year to defeat the rebellion and a lot of funds -influenced how they decided to organize the political economy of India -rebellion concentrated in north and central India -disagreement over who were the rebels –involved a wide range of classes -princes and lower aristocracy, agricultural populations -a populist element (however the extent to how populist it was is disputed) -some sections of the pop’n still loyal to Brits (local capitalists, some princes) Crown rule: 1858-1947 -Reordering the political economy of India -India now directly governed by Br. -centralized control through Secretary of state for India and Viceroy (acted as rep of Queen) -accommodation with local aristocrats and gentry -princely states and indirect rule -experience of 1857 rebellion showed they had to change the power structure -local aristocrats given a number of benefits and powers by the Br so they would remain loyal to them -Institutional change and state construction -reorganization of army -on the basis of social groups the British identified as “martial races” -changed the ethnic balance -civil service -formalized -Indian representation -in 1861 – allowed Indians into local city councils -social engineering -separate electorates and census -1909 – introduction of communal electorates (Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs) -changes the political dynamics – ushers an era of identity politics -economic patterns -colonial patterns of trade -home charges -now India has to pay money to the metropolis (Britain) b/c it is a formal colony -ideas of economic nationalism development – the “drain critique” -criticism of Britain for colonial patterns of trade and home charges – draining India’s wealth Colonial Impact -key legacies -ideas -state and institutions -representation and electoral experience -economic inheritance -nationalism -partition Key Legacies: ideas -english education -class of Indian educated elites – core of nationalist movement and formed a buffer class between the Br and the Indian masses -communication between regional elites -these elites view Br rule as progressive – view Britain as bringing an element of modernity to India -scientific and technological progress -democracy -first experience of democratic representation Key Legacies: state and institutions -political consolidation -huge institutional persistence of the British design -bureaucracy -exam-based civil service in 1838
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