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Chapter Summary

Gujarat was a region of commercial towns and cities, of powerful merchant families and banking houses, and of a highly commercialized agriculture. Its economy was oriented towards maritime commerce and its vitality depended much on prosperous merchant groups and industrious manufacturers. This chapter argues that the relationship between the state and the economy was limited to the formers appropriation of a part of the produce and a fee on all market exchanges, beyond which the economic processes were free of state intervention or control. To a large extent, economic growth followed the Smithian evolutionary pattern in which the essential stimulus to produce or exchange goods came largely from market economic forces. A concomitant development was the emergence of active trading ports in north-western Gujarat such as Gogha, Bhavanagar, Dhollera and Mandvi.

Keywords: economy; Gujarat; merchant groups



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