Peasant Labour and Colonial Capital: Rural Bengal since 1770 by Sugata Bose

By Sugata Bose

This ebook is a serious paintings of synthesis and interpretation on one of many significant topics in sleek Indian background - agrarian swap below British colonial rule. Sugata Bose analyses the relationships among demography, commercialization, type constitution and peasant resistance unfolding over the long run among 1770 and newer instances. by way of integrating the histories of land and capital, he examines the connection among capitalist 'development' of the broader financial system lower than colonial rule and agrarian continuity and alter. Drawing so much of his empirical facts from rural Bengal, the writer makes comparisons with neighborhood agrarian histories of alternative elements of South Asia. hence, this research stands by itself within the box of recent Indian social and monetary historical past in its chronological sweep and comparative context and makes the complicated topic of India's peasantry obtainable to scholars and the non-specialist.

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The result of the epidemics, however, was clear enough - the pressure of population on land of declining fertility was dramatically relieved. Population density in Burdwan fell back from over 700 to under 550 per square mile during the 1860s and 1870s. The population of Hooghly was said to have been halved between the late 1850s and the late 1870s. In the malaria-infected parts of Midnapur population declined by nearly a third in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Local investigations in selected villages of Nadia, Jessore, Burdwan, Birbhum and Hooghly confirmed the impression of large-scale depopulation in epidemic years.

295; see also Nikhil Sur, Chhiattarer Manwantar o Sannyasi Fakir Bidroha [The Famine of 1770 and the Sannyasi Fakir Rebellion] (Calcutta, 1982), p p . 1 6 - 2 2 . G . ), Extract from the Records in the India Office relating to Famines in India, 1769, 1788 (Calcutta, 1868), pp. 36, 60. The phrase is A d a m Smith's in The Wealth of Nations cited in N . K . Sinha, The Economic History of Bengal: From Plassey to the Permanent Settlement, Vol. II (Calcutta, 1970), p. 58. , p. 54; also, John Shore, Minute of June 1789, PP, 1 8 1 2 , 7, 182.

08%. The relatively high growth rate in agricultural output of 1 . 1 % in the Presidency division can probably be explained by reclamation in the Sunderbans tracts in Khulna and the 24-Parganas. 7% in Chittagong division. 5%. So even in the areas of aggregate agricultural growth, per capita output declined. 62 In the post-independence period, the growth performance of agri5 9 Sen, Poverty and Famines, p p . 1 9 5 - 2 1 6 . Paul Greenough, Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: the Famine of 1943-44 (New York, 1982), pp.

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