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The Price of LandAcquisition, Conflict, Consequence$
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Sanjoy Chakravorty

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198089544

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198089544.001.0001

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Before Independence

Before Independence

(p.71) 6 Before Independence
The Price of Land

Sanjoy Chakravorty

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes two hundred years of history of land policies and their impacts on peasant life in pre-independence India. It begins with a synopsis of pre-colonial conditions, focusing on the land policies of the Mughals and the Marathas. The colonial period is broken into the Company Raj (1765–1857) and Crown Raj (1857–1947) phases and the focus is on how and why these regimes created different types of land markets, especially the zamindari system in the east and north and the raiyatwari system in the south and west. The material includes evidence on taxation rates on agricultural output, the commodification of land and its changing value, increasing fragmentation, and the relative insignificance of acquisition. The chapter ends with a discussion of the very long-term effects of pre-colonial and colonial land policies on the different regions of contemporary India.

Keywords:   Mughal India, colonial India, East India Company, Sepoy Rebellion, zamindari system, raiyatwari system, land revenue, feudal agriculture, Permanent Settlement, moneylenders

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