Effects Of De-Industrialization In 19th Century India

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In the 18th century India represented one of the world’s most important manufacturing centres. In fact, it supplied about twenty-five percent of world’s industrial output, and an even larger percent of world textile exports. When Britain colonized India it caused the decline of the country’s economy and, as it is argued by Allen (2011), by the end the 19th century Indian shares of the world’s manufacturing had dropped to one percent. India’s de-industrialization has been argued and analysed for years and historians have diverging opinions regarding its causes. With the term “de-industrialization” is meant the “movement of labour out of manufacturing and in to agriculture” (Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2004). While Morris D. Morris and D. Thorner…show more content…
As R.C. Dutt (1969) claims, the self-centered commercial policies followed by the British Parliament and the East India Company during the last years of the eighteenth century and the first years of the nineteenth century aimed at boosting the production of England manufactures though the repression of Indian industries. Starting from 1813, an internal transit duty of 15% was paid by cloth made in Bengal when carried to Calcutta, Dacca or other towns and cities in the province. British cloth didn’t have to pay this internal tax and paid a nominal import tax of 2.5%. These tariffs, as R.C. Dutt (1969) states, are known as “one way free trade”, and were enforced to make India a supplier of raw material to British industries so that they could exploit the resources of their colony to produce value-added goods. Moreover, British policies discouraged the use of India made-ship, a sector that was already in decline because of British iron ships. Relevant in this discourse is the Registry Act of 1815, which imposed a 15% duties on goods that were imported in India ships. Thus, colonial economic policies, that avoid tariff protection and did not help Indian industry (Nehru, 1946), can be considered partly responsible for India’s poor economic
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