The Crisis of the North Indian Political Economy, 1825–45

C. A. Bayly

in Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars

Third edition

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780198077466
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081110 | DOI:

Series: Oxford India Perennials Series

The Crisis of the North Indian Political Economy, 1825–45

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This chapter focuses on the crisis in the political economy of north India during the period from 1825 to 1845. It suggests that the most striking fact about the downturn of the 1830s in north India was the way in which a wide range of adverse climatic, ecological, and monetary conditions converged. It explains that this crisis resulted from a disturbance of the links between state, commerce and agrarian society which had been established after 1740. It also argues that the decline of princely consumption and agrarian patronage in the intermediate economy magnified the disruption caused by a political assault on the north Indian monetary system and the collapse of the false commercial economy which had remitted its Europeans' political perquisites to Britain. This was not a crisis of modernisation, it represented the impact on the Indian localities of imperialism.

Keywords: political economy; north India; commerce; agrarian society; agrarian patronage; commercial economy; princely consumption; Indian monetary system; imperialism

Chapter.  18561 words. 

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