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Rulers, Townsmen and BazaarsNorth Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion 1770-1870$
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C.A. Bayly

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198077466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077466.001.0001

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The Merchant Family

The Merchant Family

(p.447) Chapter 10 The Merchant Family
Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars

C. A. Bayly

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the behaviour and perceptions of the merchant family in north India during the early colonial period. It traces the emergence of some of the key elements which came to make up the middle classes of north India in the later nineteenth century and provides an account of the connection between India's colonial and pre-colonial history. It examines how far the legal and administrative systems erected by the British impinged on the moral community of the merchants and highlights the strains between different elements of the intermediate classes which were reflected in explosions of communal violence and conflicts with the colonial authorities. The reorganisation of tolls, bazaars duties and urban taxation by the colonial authorities posed another subtle threat to merchant status since it overturned local indemnities and privileges.

Keywords:   merchant family, middle classes, communal violence, legal system, administrative system, tolls, bazaars duties, urban taxation

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