The Business of the Cities

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


Colonial India was a trading economy. Financial and industrial development happened to serve the needs of commodity trade and with profits from commodity trade. Capitalists prominent in this business system usually had a stake in all three and spread risks between the three. They did not stop with earning money. Leading business families spent their money on public goods and took part in politics. The port cities and their satellites were not only hubs of enterprise, but also hubs of education. They were sites where self-government was first put into practice. What was this business world like?


Business history of India Industrialization Capitalism Business community Philanthropy in India 

Further Reading

  1. D. Bogart and L. Chaudhary, ‘Railways in Colonial India: An Economic Achievement?’, in L. Chaudhary, B. Gupta, T. Roy and A. Swamy, eds., A New Economic History of Colonial India, London: Routledge, 2015.Google Scholar
  2. Douglas Haynes, Small Town Capitalism in Western India: Artisans, Merchants, and the Making of the Informal Economy, 1870–1960, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.Google Scholar
  3. Tirthankar Roy, A Business History of India: Enterprise and the Emergence of Capitalism 1700–2015, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.Google Scholar
  4. Tirthankar Roy, Traditional Industry in the Economy of Colonial India, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic HistoryLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK

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