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From Market-Determined To Coercion-Based: Textile Manufacturing In Eighteenth-Century Bengal

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Chapter Summary

For many centuries prior to the nineteenth, India had been a major producer and provider of textiles of all kinds. This chapter focuses on the geography and the structure of textile manufacturing in Bengal in the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth century. It analyses in some detail the situation in the second half of the eighteenth century when a fundamental alteration in textile manufacturing and procurement occurred. This was a direct outcome of the availability of substantive political leverage to the English East India Company in Bengal following the battle of Plassey in 1757 and the grant of diwani rights to the Company in the province in 1765. The kapas grown in and around the aurungs of Haripal, Dhaniakhali and Chandrakona was of a similar variety and the number of fields planted was strictly regulated in accordance with the amount likely to be consumed locally.

Keywords: battle of Plassey; Bengal; Chandrakona; Dhaniakhali; English East India Company; Haripal; textile manufacturing



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