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Towards A New Order 1805-1815

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Chapter Summary

On 12 January 1805, Thomas Maitland was appointed to succeed Frederick North as governor of Ceylon. The first instructions for Maitland mainly referred to the attitude that was necessary towards Kandy and the reorganization of the army. The period of Maitland’s rule is usually considered as stable and conservative, with an authoritarian character. The difference in personality between North and Maitland is obvious, but how this was reflected in his policies and the practice of his government is less clear. This chapter discusses in further detail the ups and downs of Maitland’s government and places his policies in the perspective of those of his English predecessors and the developments in Dutch times. Maitland paid little attention to the growth of cash crops, but focused on the rice production. In the end he did open the way for European investors to start plantations on the island.

Keywords: cash crops; Ceylon; Dutch; English predecessors; European investors; Frederick North; Kandy; rice production; Thomas Maitland

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