Chapter

Introduction

Tirthankar Roy

in Company of Kinsmen

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780198063780
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080144 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198063780.003.0001
Introduction

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In nineteenth-century India, before modern forms of property and commercial law came into wide usage, organization of business was an extension of the organization of society. The rules of doing business were framed and enforced by collectives that also regulated division of labour. This is currently recognized in new institutional economic history. This book explores how a kind of corporatism that was possible only in colonial India evolved. It examines the experiences of major economic actors — workers, artisans, merchants, and peasants — in relation to the unfolding commercial and political commercial. It discusses the salient features of the relationship between state, market, and society in pre-colonial India. The later references to collectives in India usually use three keywords interchangeably — caste, community, and joint family. The book adds a fourth, endogamous guild, and explains how these terms were interrelated.

Keywords: India; economic history; society; market; state; corporatism; merchants; endogamous guild; peasants; community

Chapter.  10517 words.  Illustrated.

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