Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion, 1770-1870

Front Cover
CUP Archive, May 19, 1988 - History - 504 pages
1 Review
Widely acclaimed when it first appeared in hard covers, Dr Bayly's authoritative study traces the evolution of North Indian towns and merchant communities from the decline of Mughal dominion to the consolidation of mature Victorian empire following the 'mutiny' of 1857. The first section of the book looks at the response of the inhabitants of the Ganges Valley to the 'Time of Troubles' in the eighteenth century. The second section shows how the incoming British, were themselves constrained to build their new empire on this resilient network of towns, rural bazaars and merchant communities; and how in turn colonial trade and administration were moulded by indigenous forms of commerce and politics. The third section focuses on the social history of the towns under early colonial rule and includes an analysis of the culture and business methods of the Indian merchant family. It is based in part on the private records and histories of the business people themselves.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RajivC - LibraryThing

Most historical texts focus on rulers, great battles that changed the course of history, religious strife and palace intrigue. Dates abound and you learn about the famous men and women about whom we ... Read full review


India about 1785
War and society in eighteenthcentury India
Agriculture ecology and politics
Stability and change in the cities 17701810
The growth ofpolitical stability in India 17801830
The indigenous origins of the colonial economy
The NorthWestern Provinces and Oudh about 1870
Conflict and change in the cities 180057
the qasbah
The merchant family
The merchant family as a business enterprise
Towns trade and society after the Great Rebellion
Bibliographic note

The crisis of the north Indian political economy 182545 23

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1988)

Professor Sir Christopher Bayly, KB, LittD, FBA, is Professor of Imperial and Naval History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. He is currently Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies at Cambridge. He has published works on the history of the city of Allahabad in north India, Indian merchant communities, empire and information in India and the origin of nationality in South Asia. Professor Bayly was awarded the Wolfson Prize in History for 'lifetime achievement' in 2006 and the Royal Asiatic Society's medal in 2008. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Historical Society. He became a trustee of the British Museum in 2008.

Bibliographic information