Agriculture, Labour, and the Standard of Living in Eighteenth-Century India
The high standard of living of weavers as well as other labouring groups in the Indian subcontinent was rooted in the traditions and practices of the labour market, which gave labouring groups enormous bargaining power in their relations with merchants, ‘employers’, and even political authorities. Perhaps, the most critical of these traditions was the freedom that weavers, peasants, and other producers possessed to pick up and move. As the use of coercion to limit this mobility was not a legitimate exercise of state power, rulers were forced to undertake agricultural improvements in order to compete for peasants and agricultural labour. This meant that there was a high rate of investment in agriculture: high quality lands were cleared, water control systems were erected, and the cultivation of more valuable crops supported. This investment, in turn, supported high standards of living.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.