Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire

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The past twenty years have seen a proliferation of specialist scholarship on the period of India's transition to colonialism. This volume provides a synthesis of some of the most important themes to emerge from recent work and seeks in particular to reassess the role of Indians in the politics and economics of early colonialism. It discusses new views of the 'decline of the Moghuls' and the role of the Indian capitalists in the expansion of the English East Indian Company's trade and urban settlements. Professor Bayly considers the reasons for the inability of indigenous states to withstand the British, but also highlights the relative failure of the Company to transform India into a quiescent and profitable colony. Later chapters deal with changes in India's ecology, social organisation and ideologies in the nineteenth century, and analyse the nature of Indian resistance to colonialism, including the rebellion of 1857.