Land Revenue Policies During The British Rule

Permanent Settlement:: The permanent settlement was introduced in Bengal in 1793. The concept of permanent settlement was also introduced in Pitt's India Act 1784. Thomas law introduced it in Bihar in the form of Muqarrari Settlement, this system was also introduced in Bengal, Orissa, Benaras section of Uttar Pradesh and northern part of Karnataka, it constituted 19% of British India land. Under this system, a new class of zamindar was declared as the owner of the land and they were paid 11th part of the collected revenue. The share of zamindar was fixed but revenue collection from peasants was not fixed and this increased the exploitation of peasants.

Merits of Permanent Settlement: The government revenue became certain. The government got the support of a new class of zamindar as they were also benefited from this system and they became supporters of East India Company.

Demerits of Permanent Settlement: Agriculture development stopped and farmers were now changed into laborers. 

Ryotwari System:: This was implemented by Thomas Munroe and Captain Reed. About 50% of British India was under this system. In this system, peasants were given ownership rights over the land and they directly paid revenue to the government. The land was measured and on the basis of which 55% was taken as revenue. Despite of making peasants owner of land, the conditions of the peasants did not improve,as the measurement of land and determination or the revenue was erratic. This system was implemented in Maharashtra, Madras, East Bengal, Assam and Kurga.
This system resulted in reduction of prices of land and agriculture became unprofitable business. The method of collection of revenue was exploitative which led to indebtedness of the peasants. This system gave rise to class of Mahajans.
The main purpose of this system was to regularize revenue and improving the condition of the peasants.
Mahalwari System :: This system was implemented in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Central Province. 30% land was under this system. The credit if starting this system goes to James Thompson and Mount Stuart Alfenston. In this system, revenue was determined on the basis of the production of whole village (Mahal). This system was two tier:
(1). With the whole village as group.
(2). Individually from peasants as land owner.
The ownership right of the land was with farmers. The peasants were responsible for the payment of revenue both individually and group. The system included the better aspects of earlier two systems. 

Demerits of these systems:: These systems had destructive impact in Indian agriculture. The landlords in this system became absentee businessman concerned only with revenue. As a result of these systems, the traditional, political, economic and social structures of the rural community was destroyed. New social classes like Landlords, Businessman and Mahajan emerged. The rural society declined  and rivalry in the villages emerged that broke the traditional relations between peasants, artisans and labors. Population increased during this period.The Indian cottage industries were destroyed due to increasing English imports. The average size of land holdings decreased.
The farmer had no way to make out the meetings of rising burden and farmers came into the clutches. The external interference in the villages increased with the increase of material goods. The village panchayats gradually started declining.

British impact on Indian Agriculture

Indian economy was mainly an agrarian economy before colonial period. Agriculture was the main occupation of the people and industries like textile, sugar, oil etc were also depended on it.Before the coming of English, Indian villages were self sufficient and used to practice agriculture and handicraft together. They used to pay portion of produce as land revenue and sell one portion in cities. 

British Land Revenue System : The land revenue system of Bengal started by Warner Hastings was based on the principle that all land belong to the crown. He started the system of auctioning of the rights of the land. This deprived old landlords of their lands.
At the time when Clive got Diwani of Bengal, a system of annual settlement was in practice, it was collected by two Diwans, Rheza Khan in Bengal and Shitab Rai in Bihar. (In 1772, the post of Nayab Diwan was abolished and land revenue came directly into the hands of governor and its council.)
Warren Hastings changed annual revenue system into 5 year system. The post of European collector was abolished in 1773 and was reintroduced in 1781 and Calcutta was made the centre of collection of revenue.

Various phases of British colonialism in India

The foundation of British colonialism was led in 1757 after the battle of Plassey. The objective of East India Company was that of capitalist monopolistic companies ie earning maximum profit by gaining control over the factors of production in foreign territory. The initial objective was to take over such resources under their control that can be sold in England markets, for which they took several steps. As a result wealth and resources started draining out of India year after year. The centuries old handicraft declined and agriculture became only medium of substance.
Rajnipalm Dutta has outlined 3 phases of colonialism in his book, India Today:
(1). Commercial phase (1757-1813) :The East India Company had established their monopoly over trade started exporting goods obtained at low prices to Europe. During this period, revenue obtained from Bengal was used for purchasing goods. This was termed as 'investment' by company.
(2). Industrial Free Trade or Commercial Capitalism (1813-58) : In this phase India became a free market for import of British goods and export source of raw materials to England. In 1813, the companies trading in India was prohibited and from 1833 all the commercial activities of the company was stopped. Now the capitalists started exploiting India openly, they used to buy raw materials from India and sell there produce here. This created famine in India.
(3). Financial Capitalism (1860-1947) : The revolt of 1857 was the strong reaction of peasants towards the colonial policy of English. Roads, Railways, Posts, Telegraphs and Banks were developed to fulfill the commercial requirement. These methods provided greater opportunities for capital investment, the British debt over India went on increasing year after year. During this phase, India completely became colony of Britain. The colonialism destroyed old production centres of India. 

Economic impact of British in India

India was the largest producer of industrial goods in the world in the 17th century. The principle exports were cotton textiles, Silk, Spices, Indigo, Sugar, Medicinal Herbs, Gems and Handicrafts. The balance of trade favored India as imports were lesser.
The trade and commerce in India started declining towards the end of Aurangzeb reign.The economy of that period has been termed as shrinking economy. The decline of Mughal empire after the death of Aurangzeb led to a non condensive environment for the production and marketing of commercial goods.
An act was passed in 1700, that prohibited the import of Asian Silk, printed and colored textile to India. In 1720, another act was passed prohibiting the wearing of cloth not painted in England.
After the battle of Buxar, India became a colonial economy from surplus economy and the British trade became monopolistic from competitive.
The wealth of Bengal started flowing out to England in the 18th century and population of Bengal was reduced to 1/3 and 1/3 became jungle in which animals used to live. The textile of Bengal were famous worldwide on which Britishers established monopoly. The agent of company established monopoly over weavers by paying them in advance (Dadani).
In 1772, an officer of the company, Bolts wrote,'Those weavers who well their produce to any other than company, their produce were confiscated and were fined, in case of non payment of fine they were imprisoned, there were cases of cutting of thumbs, this encouraged most weavers to quit their profession.'
In 1765, Clive gained monopoly over the manufacture of Salt by a society. In 1768, manufacture of salt was stopped and then Zamindars and Indian traders could make only on payment of 30% duty. In 1772, Company once again started making salt. In 1776, Warren Hastings started the system of leasing, the right to make and sell salt. (In 1758, Clive obtained monopoly over Salt Petre from Mir Jaffer).
In 1793, Indigo became an important commodity of export. 'British free traders' were Indigo planters who exploited Indigo peasants.
Like Indigo, company also established monopoly over Opium in Bengal and Bihar. This Opium was mainly exported to China.
The Industrial revolution in England in the last decade of 18th century and early decades of 19th century led to increase in productive capacity. The British producers managed to capture the large market for their goods in India by their political power. This led to an economic revolution and India became the land of poors.
In 1815, the government of Bengal reduced import duty on Britishers by 25% which was a serious blow to the Indian Cotton industry.

Third Anglo Mysore War (1790-92)

Nizam and Marathas allied against Tipu Sultan but Tipu defeated the alliance. Then Cornwallis made a triple  alliacne with Nizam and Maratha (Cornwallis was the first governor to India with military administrative power). Tipu attacked Travencore, East India Company took the side of king of Travencore. British troop captured Bangalore on 29 Januray 1791 and reached Srirangapatnam on 13 May. In March 1792, the Treaty of Srirangapatnam took place when Tipu realized the impossibility of further resistance. By this treaty Tipu surrendered half of his empire. East India Company got Barahmahal, Dindigul and Malabar, Marathas got the area north of Tungabhadra and Nizam got the area between river Pennar and Krishna. Tipu sent his two sons as hostages to Cornwallis camp.

Second Anglo Mysore War (1780-84)

Tipu Sultan
When Marathas attacked Mysore in 1770-71, the English did not help Hyder Ali as per the Treaty of Madras.
In 1779, Hyder Ali joined confederacy with Nizam against English, Marathas also joined this confederation.
In July 1780, Hyder Ali attacked Karnataka and defeated English force under col. Belli and got victory over Arcot. Sir Iyer defeated Hyder Ali in November 1781 at Porto Nova.
December 1782, Hyder Ali died and his son Tipu continued the war against East India Company.
In March 1784, the governor of Madras and Tipu Sultan signed a treaty of Mangalore and ended the war

First Anglo Mysore war (1767-69)

Hyder Ali
The Nizam and the English attacked Mysore in 1767. But Nizam influenced by Nawab of Karnataka, allied  himself with Hyder Ali. In September 1767, captain Smith defeated new allies at Changama valley. After this defeat, Nizam left Hyder Ali and concluded a treaty with East India Company on 23 February 1768. Hyder Ali continued to fight and got victory over Mangalore and surrounded Madras.
On 4 April 1769, English were forced to sign a treaty that favored Hyder Ali, Treaty of Madras. 

East India Company and Bengal

The contemporary Bengal included modern West Bengal, Bangladesh, Bihar and Orissa. It was the most prosperous state. In 1700, Murshid Kuli Khan became Diwan of Bengal and in 1717 he declared his independence. During his period, three Zamindar revolt occured; first by Sitaram Rai, second by Udai Naryan and Ghulam Mohammed and third by Sujat Khan and Najat Khan. Defeating these three their zamindari was given to Ramjeevan.
In 1727, after the death of Murshid kuli Khan his son in law Suja ud din sat on the throne and remain ruler till 1739.
In 1739, Sarfaraj became the nawab of Bengal and in the same year Ali vardi  Khan became the ruler after killing Sarfaraj Khan in the Giriya war.
All these three rulers gave equal importance to both Hindus and Muslims in their court and they all made one mistake that they ignored the importance of navy and this was why they were defeated in the end.

Causes for the defeat of French in India

(1). The involvement of French in European wars.
(2). Administrative weakness.
(3). Dependance of French company on French government.
(4). Economic prosperity of English company due to their supremacy over Bengal.
(5). Relatively better political and military leadership of the British company.
(6). Duplex responsibility.

Third Carnatic War (1758-63)

This war broke soon after the beginning of seven year war of Europe. French appointed count Lolly as governor and during this period English had established their supremacy over Bengal and financially very strong.
On 1st May 1758, Lolly had won over the fort of St. David but the battle of Wandivaas on 22nd June 1760 proved to be the decisive battle and the fate of French was finalized. The victor of Wandivaas, Iyer went a step further and won over small colonies of French. English also got hold over Jinji, Mahe and Pondicherry, these were returned to French after the treaty of Paris.

Second Carnatic War (1749-54)

Dupleix turned into secret alliances with Chanda Saab and Mujaffarjung. On 3rd May, the three allaying parties defeated and killed Anwar ud din in the battle of Ambur near Vellore. The son of Anwar ud din, Mohd Ali fled to Trichanapalli.
The English tried to form alliance with Nasirjung and Mohd Ali but could not succeed .
In Dec 1705, Nasirjung was killed and Mujaffarjung was made subedar of Deccan by the French. Mujaffarjung appointed Dupleix as the governor of the whole Mughal territory of South of river Krishna and gave the state near Pondicherry and coast of Orissa as Jagir. In return, Duplex gave Mujaffarjung services of his best officer Busi along with the platoon of his army. (It was the first subsidiary alliance formed by Duplex in India).
But the downfall of French was not far away. Mohd Ali, son of Anwar ud din had taken shelter in Trichannapalli, to which Chanda Saab and French could not win. Clive attacked Areot so as to reduce pressure of Trichannapalli and this attack was successful, Chanda Saab was killed by the king of Tanjore. The defeat in Trichanapali proved to be the doomsday of Duplex and he was called back to France. Thus the second stage of war ended and the territorial expansion was dominated by English and Mohd Ali became Nawab of Karnataka and Hyderabad was still in hold of French. 

First Carnatic War (1745-48)

The struggle started in India after English fleet under Bernet took over the French ships.The French had surrounded Madras from both sides,land as well as sea and forced them to surrender. This war was going on in the state of newly appointed nawab Awar ud din of Carnatic.The English requested nawab to intervene, then Anwar ud din ordered French to remove the build up around Madras but Duplex refused to do so. The nawab sent a huge army who were defeated by the French army in St. Thome.
The war of Carnatic ended with the end of war in Europe. The succession war of Austria ended with the treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle (1748) and Madras was returned to English, thus first stage of struggle ended and no side gained territorial expansion.

Anglo-French Struggle

When the Mughal power became week and the Subedars of Deccan were unable to protect the companies, the company took sword to defend themselves. The objective of both these companies was to earn more and more profit and was possible only if there was no competitor and for this political control was essential.
In 17th and 18th century, these companies were staunch rival  and whenever these countries clashed in Europe, a war between companies started everywhere.

The Anglo-French war in India begun with the war of succession in Autria. At that time the headquarter of French was at Pondicherry. Karaikal, Masulipatnam, Mahi, Surat and Chandranagar were other centres. English had main centres at Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.

Advent of some other companies in India

Denmark came to India in 1616 AD and opened factories at Travancore in 1620 and at Srirampur in 1676.

Swedish company was established in 1731 and it restricted its market upto China only.

The rivalry among the companies continued, first between Portuguese and Dutch then between Portuguese and English and then between French and English. English finally defeated Dutch in 1759 in the battle of Bedara and French were defeated in the battle of Vandivaas in 1761.

The principle exports from India were textiles, food pulses like rice, sugar etc, commercial products like Indigo, opium, salt peter etc.

The 17th century and the beginning of 18th century can be said as the golden age of the sea trade of India with Europe. But this prosperity was short timed and soon the European commercial relation gripped India into colonial subjugation.

French East India Company

French East India Company
The coming of French to India started very late and their initial attempts failed because of Dutchess. even then people like Henry IV. Rislu and Colbert (finance minister of Henry IV) realised the significance of Eastern trade. On Colbert's request in 1664, Compagnie Des Indes Orientals was established in India. In 1667, an expedition group came to India under the leadership of Francis Caro and established first factory in Surat.

In 1669, Mercara established second factory in Masulipatnam after getting permission from the Sultan of Golkunda.

In 1672, the French acquired Santhome near Madras.

In 1673, Franco Martin and Laspino got a village from the Muslim Subedar of Valikondapur, this latter became Pondicherry.

In 1674, Shaista Khan, nawab of Bengal provided a place for the French settlement where the famous mansion of Chandranagar was built in 1692.

The rivalry between the Dutch and French were going on in Europe due to which Dutch took Pondicherry away from french in 1693, but after the Rizwik treaty in 1697, Dutch returned Pondicherry to French.

In 1706, the population of Pondicherry had reached 40000.

In June 1720, the company was restructured as permanent in India.

Initial English Settlements of Bengal

Bengal was one such place where goods could not be purchased near coast and one had to enter into inlands in order to purchase the goods and there the Britishers had to pay toll taxes at several points and they were harassed by local officers.

In 1651, Shah Shuja (son of Shah Jahan) made a firman by which the company was granted the right to trade in lieu of rupees 3000 annually.

In 1656, another firman (declaration) was passed by which the goods going to the British factories or coming out of it will be exempted from toll tax and those goods shall not be opened.

In 1672, the company obtained a firman from Shaista Khan (governor of Bengal) by which they were exempted of duties.

In 1680, Aurangzeb issued a firman, according to which, not to trouble Britishers for tax and no obstacle should be imposed on their trade. He also ordered a Jizya of 1.5% apart from 2% of toll tax on the goods of the Britishers. But the agents of company could not escape from the demands of the officials. Troubled by the local officials, Britishers changed their policy and decided to defend themselves by the use of power and they planned for fortified settlement in Hoogli so that offensive could be launched when required.

In August 1682, a group of delegates under the leadership of William Hadges (first English governor of Bengal) was sent to the Mughal Subedar so as to put an end to the forced toll tax, but they failed.

In 1686, the Mughals attacked Hoogli and the Britishers revenged by occupying Mughal forts, Thana. But in the end , the Britishers were defeated and had to take shelter on an island, suffering from fever.

In 1687, Britishers got permission to return to Bengal after agreement with Job Charnauk.

In 1690, Job Charnauk built a mansion in Sutanty that led the foundation of the future capital of English.

In 1691, Ibrahim Khan issued a firman by which the Britishers were exempted from toll tax on paying rupees 3000 annually. The Britishers got the permission for the fortification of Sutanty mansion in 1696 in the name of protection against the Jamindar of Burdwan, Shobha Singh.

In 1698, east India Company were given the Zamindari of Sutanaty, Kalikata and Govindpur in lieu of rupees 1200, this team came to be known as Fort William and the Presidency and council were established here.

In 1700, the factories of Bengal were placed under Fort William and Charles Iyer became the first President of Fort William. In Fort William, the Britishers had the right both on the British and Indian subjects. On the British subject as per the English laws and on the Indians by the virtue of Zamindar.

The prosperity beyond expectation of the company made the enemies in England and they start objecting company's monopoly. In 1694, the House of Common passed a resolution that all the citizen of England had the equal right to trade in India. After the resolution, two companies were formed in 1698: General Society and English Company of Merchants. These companies became the competitor of East India Company and it send William Nauris to the court of Aurangzeb in order to get some commercial facilities. These companies decided to merge in 1702 and finally merged in 1707-08.

In 1715, a group of representatives were sent to the Mughal court for securing the trading monopoly over the whole Mughal empire and to get some villages near Calcutta. This delegation was led by John Sumon and was assisted by Edward Stephenson and a surgeon called William Hamilton and an interpreter Khwaja Sehurd (Mughal emperor during that time was Farukshiyar). Hamilton saved Farukshiyar from a chronic desease, please by this he issued a firman in 1717, by which,

1) East India Company had not to pay any tax other than the annual tax of rupees 3000.

2) East India Company was allowed to acquire land on rent near Calcutta.

3) The exemption of tax in Hyderabad was maintained.

4) East India Company had to pay rent in Madras.

5) The coins of the company minted in Mumbai were allowed to be circulated throughout India.

Orme has called this firman of Farukshiyar as 'Magna Carta' of the company.

East India Company

31st December 1600 marked the beginning of commercial prosperity when the East India company earlier known as "Merchant Adventurer" was given trading rights with India for 15 years. 

The first Effort begun in 1600 when captain William Hawkins was sent with a letter of James I in the court of Akbar (but reached in the court of Jahangir). Hawkins was welcomed nicely but he could not establish factory because of Portuguese opposition. Hawkins left Agra in 1611. In the beginning of 1613, Jahangir issued a firman by which the English were allowed to establish a permanent factory in Surat. James I sent another ambassador, Saint Thomas to the Mughal Court with the objective of signing a commercial treaty. St. Thomas was in the court of Jahangir from December 1615 to the end of 1618, but he could not succeed in forming a treaty with Mughal emperor. Sir Thomas Row left India in November 1618.

Charles II
In 1668, Charles II gave Bombay to East India Company on the annual rent of 10 pound and thus Bombay became more important place than Surat in 1687.

In 1611, the Britishers established a factory at Masulipatnam on the South Eastern coast (it was the main seaport of Golkunda state). From this area, textiles were purchased and exported to Persia, but due to the Dutch opposition in 1627 another factory was established at Armagaon.

In 1632, the Sultan of Golkunda gave Britishers a golden firman, according to which they could trade freely from the port by giving 500 pagoda tax annually.

In 1633, factories were opened in Hariharpur and Balasaur in North East of Mahanadi.

In 1639, Francis Dey took Madras on lease from the ruler of Chandragiri. Fort of St. George was built in here and it became the headquarter of the settlement of Coromondal coast.

In 1651, Mr. Bridgeman opened a factory in Hoogli.

In 1658, Bengal, Bihar, Orisaa and Coromondal coast factories were placed under St. George fort.

Gradually the company changed its policy , instead of peaceful trading it started trying to establish its dominance by means of territorial expansion and it gained success due to political weakness of India.

Advent of the Dutch

In 1583, Linsanton came to Goa and route a book on the sea routes of the eastern world. This book was published in 1595.

Dutch East India Company
In 1602, Dutch East India Company was established by merging several companies, it was given the right to trade,war, treaty and conquest in India for 21 years. Establishments in India were:

1605 - Masulipatnam

1610 - Pulicat

1616 - Surat

1653 - Chinsura

1658 - Patna, Kasimbazar

1663 - Cochin

The Indigo produced in the central India reached Dutch from Surat and raw silk, woolen cloth, opium, salt peter and rice were exported from Bengal, Bihar and Coromondal.

In 1619, Negapatnam became the principle centre of Dutch on the Coromondal coast.
In 1661, a treaty was signed between the Kings of Portuguese and England (Charles II). In this treaty, Charles II got Bombay as dowry along with Catherine Bragenja and in return Charles II promised to help Portuguese against Dutch. (Bahadur Shah of Gujarat had gifted Bombay to Nunha Da Kunha).

The Dutch on the one hand expelled Portuguese out of the overseas trade in India and on the other hand gave new direction to the Indian trade. The Dutch gave importance to cloth instead of spices. In Modern age, the making of Indian textile credit goes to Dutch.

Decline of Portuguese

Several internal and external factors were responsible for its decline in India. Portuguese was a small country and it lacked in man power, also death rate during travel was more than 60%, Religious intolerance made various Indian super powers their enemies.

After the discovery of Brazil, the colonial activities of Portuguese shifted towards west. Other reasons include the auctioning of administrative posts and maltrade practices.

Impact of Portuguese Trade on Indian trade

The Portuguese overseas empire was named as "Estado Da India" and its initial objective was to establish monopoly over trade of Black Pepper and spices of the East. Portuguese used force to earn money, for which they used unique methods such as,

1) forced the Asian traders and ships to pay security duties.

2) the security tax charged by Portuguese for the sea route under their control was known as Cartaze. Under this system, each ship had to purchase entry pass from the Portuguese viceroy.

Indian trade with Japanese was a contribution of Portuguese (Copper and Bronze were imported from Japan).

Several words of Portuguese language are found in Indian language such as Kamraa, Kameej and Kunji. Tobacco, Maize, Potato, Papaya, Guvava, Alfanso Mango, Hukka and cultivation of Cauliflower are all the contribution of Portuguese.

Catholic Christianity in India was also brought by Poruguese.

In 1565, Portuguese established the first printing machine in India and the first book printed was on medicinal plants.