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Revenue and Reform

Revenue and Reform
The Indian Problem in British Politics 1757–1773

$46.99 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521890816

$ 46.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Revenue and Reform offers a reappraisal of British imperial politics in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. It is traditional to regard the 1760s as a time when British politicians were preoccupied with the crises that eventually led to the outbreak of the American War of Independence. In this book, however, it is the Indian problem that is examined. Politicians struggled to come to terms with the East India Company's unexpected acquisition of territory and great wealth in Bengal, and they endeavored to formulate policy related to many new and unfamiliar issues. New light is shed on debate about revenue collection, territorial rights, diplomacy, justice, and administrative reform in order to illustrate the central theme of the book: the gradual and reluctant assumption of responsibility by ministers for the Indian empire.

    • Reveals how the British were first 'forced' into an imperial role through the movement of British firms into South Asian countries
    • Examines how politicians considered Britain's role should develop in the colonies and in what ways British rule should be implemented
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This fine study of the Indian problem in Hanoverian politics represents something of a breakthrough....[Bowen] is able to synthesize many of the issues raised in the periodical pieces and move the debate forward. The result is very rewarding indeed and this whole approach to imperial problems is to be encouraged, for the very simple reason that it augments the traditional concerns of Empire scholarship so well." Philip Lawson, Albion

    "In adopting a global perspective to Britain's late eighteenth century 'imperial problem', the author provides some interesting comparisons of the roles that India and North America played in British politics....Revenue and Reform deals with one of the most important aspects of an imperial policy that was of profound consequence not only to India, but also to eighteenth century Britain and the soon-to-be United States." Journal of Asian History

    "...a milestone in imperial history. This new book provides scholars and students of imperial history with an innovative synthesis of British politics and British activity in India in the period from Plassey to the passage of the Regulating Act. Bowen's lively style and excellent presentation have made a complicated story easier to understand as the author skillfully guides us through the maze of India House and the House of Commons." Linda Kerr, Canadian Journal of History

    "The research is thorough, the material is presented clearly, and the analysis is persuasive....Those fascinated by the rise and development of the British Raj will find this to be a valuable study." Lynn Zastoupil, Journal of Asian Studies

    "Bowen has written a mature and well-crafted book which does much to explain British responses to the challenges of trade and empire in the eighteenth century." John Derry, The International History Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521890816
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables
    List of abbreviations
    1. Traders into sovereigns: the East India Company, 1757–1765
    2. Perceptions of empire
    3. The policy-makers: Parliament and the East India Company
    4. Crown and Company (I): the Diwani and the inquiry of 1767
    5. Crown and Company (II): foreign relations, 1766–1769
    6. Attempts at reform (I): civil, military, and judicial affairs, 1767–1772
    7. Attempts at reform (II): trade and revenue, 1767–1772
    8. The East India Company crisis of 1772
    9. Response to crisis (I): high politics and the committees of inquiry, 1772–1773
    10. Response to crisis (II): trade, finance, and reform
    11. The final act? the passage of Lord North's East India legislation, 1773
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    H. V. Bowen, Rugby School

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