Social Studies and Civics

Why did Indian goods become very expensive in britian in the 1770ss ?




Junior High


The Indian goods become very expensive in britian in the 1770ss because:

  • The subject of the economic impact of British imperialism on India remains disputable. The issue was raised by British Whig politician Edmund Burke who in 1778 began a seven-year impeachment trial against Warren Hastings and the East India Company on charges including mismanagement of the Indian economy.
  • Contemporary historian Rajat Kanta Ray argues the economy established by the British in the 18th century was a form of plunder and a catastrophe for the traditional economy of Mughal India, depleting food and money stocks and imposing high taxes that helped cause the famine of 1770, which killed a third of the people of Bengal.
  • In contrast, historian Niall Ferguson argues that under British rule, the village economy's total after-tax income rose from 27% to 54% (the sector represented three quarters of the entire population) and that the British had invested £270 million in Indian infrastructure, irrigation and industry by the 1880s (representing one-fifth of entire British investment overseas) and by 1914 that figure had reached £400 million.
  • He also argues that the British increased the area of irrigated land by a factor of eight, contrasting with 5% under the Mughals.

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