• Tirthankar RoyEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


How did British colonial rule shape India’s economy? The answers to this question now available from academic and popular history are not always satisfactory, because these works do not clearly say what facts we should be explaining. The most important element of British economic policy was openness, or the desire to keep the borders open to movements of goods, capital, skills, and technologies. Openness delivered mixed results. It helped businesses grow and end famines, but did not help much the resource-poor countryside. Openness benefited men more than women, capital more than labour, and the upper castes more than others. The legacy of the regime, therefore, was a mix of successes and extraordinary failures. The book shows how this paradox can be explained.


Colonialism British rule in India Economic development of India The Raj Economic history 

Further Reading

  1. B.R. Tomlinson, The Economy of Modern India, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  2. Dietmar Rothermund, Economic History of India, London: Routledge, 2003.Google Scholar
  3. Tirthankar Roy, The Economic History of India 1858–1947, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic HistoryLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK

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