The Transition to a Colonial Economy: Weavers, Merchants and Kings in South India, 1720-1800

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In a challenge to the widespread belief that poverty and poor living s tandards have been characteristic of India for centuries, Prasannan Pa rthasarathi demonstrates that, until the late eighteenth century, labo ring groups in South India were in a powerful position, receiving inco mes well above subsistence. It was with the rise of colonial rule, the author maintains, that the decline in their economic fortunes was ini tiated. This is a powerful revisionist statement on the role of Britai n in India that will interest students of the region, and economic and colonial historians.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Parthasaranthi's study of cotton textile weavers of South India during the eighteenth century comprises an important addition to the extensive historical literature on early modern South Asia—particularly the period that witnessed the transition to the early colonial state of the English East India Company. Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"...crisply written, deeply researched, and analytically powerful study of South India....An important contribution of Parthasarathi's book is that it makes politics and political norms central to our understanding of social and economic change..."

—Robert Travers, Cornell University

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of tables; Acknowledgements; Note on Indian words and place names; Note on money; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Weavers and merchants 1720–1760; 2. Agriculture and cotton textiles; 3. Weaver distress 1765–1800; 4. Weaver protest; 5. Labourers, kings and colonialism; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

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