Tirthankar Roy

in Company of Kinsmen

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780198063780
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080144 | DOI:

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This chapter examines the nature of relationship between the king and the economic order in India and offers a theory to explain the origin of the business community. It proposes a political theory of guilds and shows that on the planes of ideology (and history), kingly power was regulated in India. The autonomy of capitalists was sufficient for them to implement their own civil law. But this freedom was enjoyed not by the individual capitalist but usually by an association of families. This chapter first considers the place of the king in economic history, and then proceeds to analyse the controversy surrounding the nature of the Mughal state, law and justice in Mughal India, local justice in the eighteenth century, and commercial law in the nineteenth century. Finally, the chapter considers three propositions to explain how statecraft was related to economic order in Indian history.

Keywords: India; Mughal; capitalists; economic order; business community; law; guilds; statecraft; economic history; justice

Chapter.  16854 words.  Illustrated.

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