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Journal ArticleDOI

Land Market in Eastern India, 1793-1940 Part II : The Changing Composition of the Landed Society:

01 Jan 1975-Indian Economic and Social History Review (Sage PublicationsSage CA: Thousand Oaks, CA)-Vol. 12, Iss: 2, pp 133-167
Abstract: community, and its composition inevitably changed over the years. Recent researches, however, call for a revision of the popular notions about the change. According to the popular version, two broad developments occurred : first, the old aristocracy had everywhere been largely eliminated and, secondly, the persons who replaced them were mostly connected with the new trade and commerce, i.e. persons who made fortunes by participating in various ways in the new economy. more

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Abstract: Un examen des changements agraires a l'oeuvre dans l'Etat indien d'Orissa montre une tendance a la polarisation de la structure fonciere. Tandis que les mesures de modernisation profitent aux proprietaires les plus riches, qui consolident la valorisation de leurs terres, elles poussent les plus pauvres a vendre des terres qui n'assurent plus la securite economique. Il ne s'agit pas d'un mecanisme de libre concurrence, car il est lourdement biaise par les structures de pouvoir des villages, influences directement par la segregation dans l'acces au credit et aux services gouvernementaux, ainsi que par le monopole exerce par les elites villageoises sur l'organe juridique local, le panch more

11 citations

Posted Content
Abstract: The evolution and metamorphoses of wealth underpins historical questions of growth and distribution. This article develops new, homogenized series of the wealth-income ratio in India over fifteen transformational decades: from colonial rule after the demise of the Mughals to the contemporary rise of Indian capitalists on a global scale. Over the long run, there were two major waves of wealth accumulation. The first ended around World War II and was characterized by a Ricardian vision - landlords appropriated surplus value under low productivity conditions, benefiting from a large divergence of asset prices relative to consumer price infl ation. Between 1939 and 2012, the Indian wealth-income ratio mimics the U shaped trend observed in other large economies. The second wave (between 1960 and 2012) is partly explained by capital accumulation but price effects consistently dominate large changes in wealth dynamics. Implications for distribution are noteworthy. Upswings of the wealth-income ratio are nearly always accompanied by rising concentration of economic power. Finally, over the last three decades the structure of national wealth favors private wealth over public capital. These ndings underline an important stylized fact: despite large structural differences between rich and emerging countries, wealth-income ratios are rising everywhere in the twenty first century. more

7 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Rajat Datta1Institutions (1)
Abstract: This article attempts an analysis of the problems of social participation by non‐peasants in agricultural production and of the pattern of domination they shaped over the peasants. The historical context of this analysis is the Indian province of Bengal in the late eighteenth century. The problematics of non‐peasant participation and domination are historically important in as much as they focus attention upon the wider class basis of agricultural production and the nature of commercialisation in the economy. This essay also seeks to provide a critique of some analytical models which seek to establish the existence of semi‐feudalism in Bengal. The critique is based on the re‐examination of the historical evidence available; it is not intended to be a theoretical exegesis alone. Arguing against the utility of semi‐feudalism as a category for the analysis of Bengal's social formation, this article suggests an alternative explanation in terms of commercial exploitation of small‐peasants under conditions of f... more

6 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Debjani Bhattacharyya1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The movement of the Hughli River in 1804-5 resulted in the deposition of alluvion along Calcutta’s river banks which unfolded as an ownership crisis for the East India Company. The Company responded by developing new legal categories and administrative language to manage these newly formed lands and thereby fashioning itself as a public agent of Calcutta’s land and landed property. Focusing on specific legal aspects of colonial hydrology that arose in the making of property in these amphibious spaces, the article argues that the soaking ecology of Bengal became a site for productive law-making by creating open-ended possibilities for taking land. It demonstrates how the Company used this new land formation to gradually institute a legal architecture regulating alluvion and dereliction and subsequently subjecting these soaking ecologies to an intricate documentary regime with the aim of disciplining the existing landed property relations in Calcutta. Documenting the haphazard extension and enactment of these new legal doctrines in a mobile landscape illuminates a particular history of the colonial regime of property and the Company-State’s early articulations of a particular type of quasi-eminent domain as a manner of taking land. Pushing a new direction in legal geography, the piece shows how the legal arena became a productive site for geographical knowledge production and legal experimentation in the colony. more

6 citations