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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book Dutch and British Colonial Intervention in Sri Lanka, 1780-1815: Expansion and Reform and its chapters. The book examines colonial intervention in Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as the European powers named it, between 1780 and 1815, a period of worldwide revolutions and imperial change. It explains and analyses the emergence of the modern colonial state on the island, against the background of an increasingly modernizing world. The book focuses on three major subjects. First, it investigates the political formation in the coastal region, by analysing the colonial administrational organization and systems of inland exploitation. Second, it analyses the views the Dutch and the British held on their own presence and territorial power on the island. Third, the book studies the relationship between the kings of Kandy and the Dutch and the British respectively.

Keywords: British; Ceylon; coastal region; colonial intervention; Dutch; European powers; inland exploitation; modern colonial state; political formation; Sri Lanka



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