Policies of British Empire in India

By | September 2, 2015

The administrative policy of the East Indian Company underwent frequent changes during the period between 1757 to 1857. To increase the Company’s profit and to be sustainable for long term the British hold over India, they have passed many acts in India during there period so that trade and exploitation of resources with India can be carried on without an disturbances.

Economic Policy in India by Britishers

  • The East India company was a purely trading company dealings with import of goods and precious metals into India and export of species and textiles.
  • The East Indian Company used revenue from Bengal to finance experts of Indian goods.
  • The Company used its political power to monopoly trade and dictate terms to the weavers of Bengal.

Land Revenue System in India by Britishers

Zamindari System

  • Zamindari System (Permanent Settlement) was introduced in Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and districts of Banaras and northern districts of Madras by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.
  • John Shore planned the permanent Settlement, who later succeeded Cornwallis as Governor General.
  • It declared Zamindars as the owners of the land. Hence, they could keep 1/11th of the revenue collected. The Zamindars were free to fix the rents.
  • Assured of their ownership, many Zamindars stayed in towns (absentee landlordism) and exploited their tenants.

Ryotwari System

  • Ryotwari System was introduced in Bombay, Madras and Assam region by Lord Hastings in 1822 whereas Munro and Harles Reed recommended Ryotwari system.
  • In this system, a direct settlement was made between the government and the ryot (cultivator).
  • The revenue was fixed for a period not exceeding 30 years, on the basis of quantity of the soil and the nature of the crop.
  • The position of cultivator became more secure but the rigid system of revenue collection often forced him into the clutches of the moneylender.
  • Besides, the government itself became a big Zamindar and retained the right to enhance revenue at will while the cultivator was left at the mercy of its officers.

Mahalwari System

  • Mahalwari System was a modified version of Zamindari settlement system introduced in the Ganga valley, North-West Frontier, Provinces parts of Central India and Punjab. Mahalwari System was also implemented by Lord Hastings in 1822.
  • Revenue settlement was to be made by village or estates with landlords or heads of the families who collectively claimed to be the landlords of village or estate. In western Uttar Pradesh, a settlement was made with the village communities, which maintained a form of common ownership known as Bhaichara, or with Mahals, which were groups of villages.
  • In Mahalwari System revenue got periodically revised.