Policies of British Empire in India

The administrative policy of the Company underwent frequent changes during the long period between 1757 to 1857. To increase the Company's profit and be sustainable for the long term, the British held over India; they passed many acts in India during their period so that trade and exploitation of resources with India could be carried on without disturbances.

Economic Policy in India by Britishers
  • The East India company was a purely trading company dealing with importing goods and precious metals into India and exporting species and textiles.
  • The East Indian Company used revenue from Bengal to finance experts in 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) in Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and districts of Banaras and northern districts of Madras by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.
  • John Shore planned the permanent Settlement and 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
  • Lord Hastings introduced Ryotwari System in the Bombay, Madras and Assam region in 1822, whereas Munro and Harles Reed recommended the Ryotwari system.
  • This system made a direct settlement between the government and the ryot (cultivator).
  • The revenue was fixed for a period not exceeding 30 years based on the soil quantity and the crop's nature.
  • The position of cultivator became more secure, but the rigid revenue collection system often forced him into the clutches of the moneylender.
  • Besides, the government 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 the 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 joint ownership known as Bhaichara, or with Mahals, which were groups of villages.
  • In the Mahalwari System, revenue got periodically revised.

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