ECONOMIC CONDITIONS OF BY PRACHI GUPTA TH
INTRO India in the 1 8th century failed to make progress economically, socially, or culturally at a pace, which would have saved the country from collapse. The increasing revenue demands of the state, the oppression of the officials, the greed and rapacity of the nobles, revenue- farmers, and zamindars, the marches and counter marches of the rival armies, and the depredations of the numerous adventurers roaming the land during the first half of the 18th century made the life of the people quite despicable.
AGRICULTURE AND TRADE Indian agriculture during the 18th century was technically backward and stagnant. The techniques of production had remained stationary for centuries. Even though the Indian villages were largely self-sufficient and imported little from outside and the means of communication were backward, extensive trade within the country and between India and other countries of Asia and Europe was earned on under the Mughals. India imported- pearls, raw silk, wool, dates, dried fruits, and rose water from the Persian Gulf region; coffee, gold, drugs, and honey from Arabia; tea, sugar, porcelain, and silk from China;
Constant warfare and deterioration of law and order, in many areas during the 18th century, banned the country's internal trade and disrupted its foreign trade to some extent and in some directions Many trading centres were looted by the Indians as well as by foreign invaders. Many of the trade routes were damaged with organized bands of robbers, and traders and their caravans were regularly looted. The road between the two imperial cities, Delhi and Agra, was made unsafe by the marauders. With the rise of autonomous provincial regimes and innumerable local chiefs, the number of custom houses or chowkies grew by leaps and bounds.
The important centers of textile industry were- Dacca and Murshidabad in Bengal; Patna in Bihar; Surat, Ahmedabad, and Broach in Gujarat; Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh Burhanpur in Maharashtra; Jaunpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, and Agra in U.P
DEMOGRAPHIC OR RELIGION BASIS-HINDU 1. Caste was the central feature of the social life of the Hindus. 2. Apart from the four vanes, Hindus were divided into numerous castes (Jatis), which differed in their nature from place to place. 3. The caste system rigidly divided people and permanently fixed their place in the social scale. 4. The higher castes, headed by the Brahmins, monopolized all social prestige and privileges. 5. Caste rules were extremely rigid. Inter-caste marriages were forbidden. 6. There were restrictions on inter-dining among members of different castes
MUSLIMS 1. Muslims were no less divided by considerations of caste, race, tribe, 2. The Shia and Sunni (two sects of Muslim religion) nobles were 3. The lrani, Afghan, Turani, and Hindustani Muslim nobles, and officials 4. A large number of Hindus converted to Islam carried their caste into the and status, even though their religion enjoined social equality. sometimes at loggerheads on account of their religious differences. often stood apart from each other. new religion and observed its distinctions, though not as rigidly as before
1. The family system in the 18th century India was primarily patriarchal, that is, the family was dominated by the senior male member, and inheritance was through the male line. 2. In Kerala, however, the family was matrilineal. Outside Kerala, women were subjected to nearly complete male control. 3. Women were expected to live as mothers and wives only, though in these roles they were shown a great deal of respect and honour.
1. The two great social evils of the 18th century India, apart from the caste system, were 2. Sati involved the rite of a Hindu widow burning herself (self-immolation) along with 3. Sati practice was mostly prevalent in Raiputana, Bengal, and other parts of northern 4. Even in Raiputana and Bengal, it was practiced only by the families of rajas, chiefs, 5. Widows belonging to the higher classes and higher castes could not remarry, though the custom of sati and the harrowing condition of widows. the body of her dead husband. India. In the South it was uncommon: and the Marathas did not encourage it. big zamindars, and upper castes. in some regions and in some castes, for example, among non-Brahmins in Maharashtra
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