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Colonial Politics In Dutch Ceylon Till 1780

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses in greater depth the early encounters between the Dutch merchants and the inhabitants of Sri Lanka. It provides understanding of how the Dutch government came into being and took shape and what inland policies were implemented. The chapter also focuses on the question of the actual impact of the Dutch government on local politics and society and discusses the relation between the Kandyan Kingdom and the Dutch. The comparison between the organization of the Dutch and the Kandyan administration in the last part of the chapter sheds light on possible Dutch deviations from local traditions, and gives us an understanding of the functioning of the system of indirect rule and the colonial political culture that developed in the maritime districts. Finally, the chapter serves as the point of departure for the analysis of developments on the island after 1780.

Keywords: colonial political culture; Dutch merchants; inland policies; Kandyan administration; local politics; maritime districts; Sri Lanka



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