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The Indian Princes and their States

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Overview

Although the princes of India have been caricatured as Oriental despots and British stooges, Barbara Ramusack's study argues that the British did not create the princes. On the contrary, many were consummate politicians who exercised considerable degrees of autonomy until the integration of the princely states after independence. Ramusack's synthesis has a broad temporal span, tracing the evolution of the Indian kings from their precolonial origins to their roles as clients in the British colonial system. The book breaks new ground in its integration of political and economic developments in the major princely states with the shifting relationships between the princes and the British. It represents a significant contribution, both to British imperial history in its analysis of the theory and practice of indirect rule, and to modern South Asian history, as a portrait of the princes as politicians and patrons of the arts.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Now that much necessary ground has been covered with the appearance of this book, one hopes that it will be possible for more emphasis on processes of political and ideological change in indigenous adaptations to conditions of European imperial rule ." Institute of Historical Research

"Anyone seeking to understand India's princely states must begin by reading this thoughtful volume." Working, Thomas R. Metcalf, University of California, Berkeley

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521267274
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Series: New Cambridge History of India Series
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Ramusack is Charles Phelps Taft Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati. Her publications include Women in Asia: Restoring Women to History (1999), and The Princes of India in the Twilight of Empire: The Dissolution of a Patron-Client System, 1914-1939 (1978).

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
General editor's preface
Acknowledgments
List of abbreviations
Map
1 Introduction: Indian princes and British imperialism 1
2 Princely states prior to 1800 12
3 The British construction of indirect rule 48
4 The theory and experience of indirect rule in colonial India 88
5 Princes as men, women, rulers, patrons, and Oriental stereotypes 132
6 Princely states: administrative and economic structures 170
7 Princely states: society and politics 206
8 Federation or integration? 245
Epilogue 275
Bibliographical essay 281
Glossary 294
Index 299
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