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Chapter Summary

The aim of this book is twofold. On the one hand, the economic and social history of the British crown colony Ceylon in the last twenty years of the nineteenth century stood at the core of the work. After a deep economic depression, the advent of tea cultivation completely transformed the plantation sector and all of the involved factors of production. The collapse of the coffee enterprise in Ceylon was unusually quick and thorough. Based on this, the author has also tried to show how the collapse of coffee cultivation and the economic depression that followed in its wake severely curtailed the government's room for manoeuvre in a variety of important fields. Ceylon in the 1880s and 1890s provides an excellent example for a study like this book due to the swiftness and the thoroughness of the economic transformation that the island went through.

Keywords:Ceylon; coffee plantations; economic depression; social history; tea cultivation



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