India and the World Economy, 1757–1947

Tirthankar Roy

in The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Economy

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199734580
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

India and the World Economy, 1757–1947

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  • International Economics
  • Economic Development and Growth



In the two centuries during which India became a part of the British colonial empire (ca. 1757–1947), the world economy experienced an unprecedented transformation. Britain, followed by Western Europe and European settler regions in North America, industrialized. International transactions in goods, labor, and capital grew in scale and diversified in destination as never before. Knowledge of institutions and technologies traveled far and wide. And much of the land located in tropical and equatorial Asia and Africa became colonies of major European nations. The Indian subcontinent was an important player in this transformation process. The region traded heavily with Europe. Indian workers populated tropical plantations in the Caribbean, the Pacific, and Southeast Asia. Indian entrepreneurs bought machines and hired foremen abroad in order to start modern factories. Foreign investment funded the railways and manufacturing industry in India. Many useful and valuable technological skills were transmitted from Europe to India, as were ideas and practices about property rights and contract law.

Keywords: world economy; British colonial empire; industrialization; capital growth; transactions; manufacturing industry; plantation

Article.  10534 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; International Economics ; Economic Development and Growth

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