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