De-industrialization in the Nineteenth Century: Myth or Reality
Amit Bhattacharya
COLONIALISM AND INDIAN ECONOMY by Amiya Kumar Bagchi Oxford University Press, 2011, 303 pp., 795
January 2011, volume 35, No 1

This book is a collection of nine articles on different aspects of the economic history of India during British colonial rule. They were published in Nineteenth Century Studies, Bengal Past Present, Journal of Development Studies, Frontier, Journal of Peasant Studies, IESHR, as also in edited books like Essays in Honour of Professor S.C.Sarkar.

If one makes a comparison between the condition in India during the preBritish/lateMughal period with that in contemporary Britain/preIndustrial Revolution Britain, one will be able to see that the quality of products made in the Indian industrial centres was far superior to that produced in Britain. There was no factory industry in Britain then; whatever industry there was in India at that time belonged mainly to the category of handicrafts and partly to that of manufactory. Indian products, particularly cotton and silk textiles were fairly wellknown throughout the world and exported to many countries in Southeast Asia, West Asia and Europe. However, British colonial rule coming in the succeeding stages of merchant capitalism and industrial capitalism, ruined indigenous industries along with their technical knowhowsa phenomenon seen in other colonies also and generally came to be known as ‘deindustrialization.’

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