A Poor State

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


One of the duties of the state in a poor country should be to help raise the productivity of the poorest earners. The poorest earners were the peasants, the agricultural workers, oppressed castes, and the women among these groups. In many respects, the Raj had a more modern form of government than previous Indian regimes. But it spent little on those heads that would make a real difference to the poorest earners. Why did it fail in this duty?


India Office Public debt Drain theory Gold Exchange Standard Tariffs 


  1. B.R. Tomlinson, The Political Economy of the Raj, 1914–47, London and Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1979.Google Scholar
  2. G. Balachandran, ‘Colonial India and the World Economy, c. 1850–1940’, in Latika Chaudhary, Bishnupriya Gupta, Tirthankar Roy, and Anand V. Swamy, eds., A New Economic History of Colonial India. Abingdon and London: Routledge, 2016, 84–99.Google Scholar
  3. Tirthankar Roy, ‘State Capacity and the Economic History of Colonial India,’ Australian Economic History Review, 2018. (accessed 3 February 2019).

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic HistoryLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK

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