Before the British came, India was one of the richest countries in the world. Towards the end of 18th century, India was economically more developed than Britain. Indeed the British had nothing forsale that could interest India. However, when the British left in 1947, India was poor and industrially backward. How did that happen and how did British Rule affect India’s economy ? Let’s come totoday’s topic: The Economic Effects of British Rule in India.

First of all, I will make a brief presentation on how India’s economy was during the pre-colonial period in 3 aspects: agriculture, tradeand handicraft. Then we pass on the main part of the subject on how the british rule affected India’s economy and the impacts?

India’s economy prior to British Rule

1. self-sufficientagriculture
Before the British came, agricultural operations were carried on in India by subsistence farmers, organised in small village communities. Villages were more or less self-sufficient economicunits and business contacts with the outside world were limited to payment of land revenue and the purchase of a few necessities from the towns nearby. The farmer raised only those crops needed for hisown use and shared the same with the village artisans who supplied him with simple products needed for domestic comsumption.
The farmer usually grew enough produce to feed himself and thenon-agricultural members of the village community. If his crop yielded was more than needed, due to favourable weather, the surplus was stored for use in the lean years. Storage of grains was a common practiceand also the only safeguard against famines.

2. flourishing trade
in spite of the fact that the Indian villages were largely self-sufficient units and the means of communication were quiteprimitive, India enjoyed extensive trade both within the country and with Asia and Europe. A balance of imports and exports was maintained. The items imported into India were pearls, wool, dates, dried... [à continuer]

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