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Schwartzberg Atlas, v. , p. 211.

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The early period of British rule in India ushered in many important economic changes. Among the most important of these was the institutionalization of a variety of land revenue systems over different parts of the country, each based on imperfect British perceptions of the nature of preexisting indigenous patterns. Map (b) of plate VII.B.2 indicates the areas over which the several systems were imposed. While the government's primary interest in land always centered on revenue col- lection, land taxes typically providing more than half its total budget, many indi- viduals and firms turned to India and Ceylon as fields for commercial ventures in agriculture, contracting with cultivators for the growing of cash crops such as indigo and cotton and opening new lands for the establishment of plantations. Addition- ally, British capital was applied to the opening of mines and, rather late in the period under review, to new industrial ventures in the processing of cotton and jute.

In 1833 the East India Company, which had already lost its trading monopoly in the charter renewal of 1813, was directed to cease trading altogether, becoming thenceforth a wholly administrative agency. But the new restrictions did little to dampen the zeal of many of the able men it sent to India, who subsequently directed their energies to a variety of public works. As early as 1817, construction of a new canal system along the Jumna River began, and in 1836 the task of rebuilding the Grand Trunk Road was undertaken. Along with the improvement of roads went the extension of a telegraph network and a steady improvement in the postal sys- tem. As the productivity of parts of the Indian hinterland increased, private capital was attracted to the financing of railroads. Though the first line, from Bombay to Thana, opened only in 1853, by the year 1857 the construction of a number of major routes had already begun, including those from Bombay to Calcutta and Madras and another from Calcutta to Delhi. Plate VII.B.2 shows the important changes that had been introduced into the economic landscape of South Asia by 1857 and also indicates the regional variations in patterns of land use and the localization of indigenous industry, which, despite increasing competition from British manufactures, was then still highly varied and viable.

The final plate of this section (VII.B.3) provides a detailed view of the events attending the Indian Revolt of 1857–59, noting also which princely states rebelled against the British, which remained loyal, and which were neutral, and the areas over which British administration was disrupted. A separate map compares the regional disposition of British and native Indan troops and garrisons before and after the revolt.

A single dynastic chronology, on plate VII.A.2, covers the entirety of the period of atlas section VII and extends beyond it to 1875. This is the last such chrono- logical chart to appear within the atlas proper. For a continuation of the dynastic bars past 1875 one should consult the folded chart "Major States and Rulers of South Asia," in the end cover pocket of the atlas.

The sources utilized in compiling the maps and other materials for sections VII through IX differ notably in kind and amount from those employed for previous sections. There is now very little dependence on primary sources in Persian and in Indian vernaculars. It is not that they are unavailable or deficient in intrinsic utility, but rather that for the distinctive purposes the atlas is intended to serve, namely, those related to the plotting and interpretation of the spatial distribution of processes and events, the best available primary materials are to be found in English and other European documents, whether treaties, maps, statistical tables, contemporary histories, or other literary works. From the 18th century onward these are available in ever-increasing volume. By the mid-19th century many of the primary sources become available as serial documents in more or less standardized form, though the standardization may in fact sometimes be more apparent than real. No doubt, for large-scale regional studies the mining of indigenous sources will one day yield abundant returns to scholarly research; but it has not proved feasible in preparing the sweeping views put forward in this work to make use of such sources to the degree that might theoretically be possible. If one were to single out but one source of primary data of utmost importance for sections VII and VIII, one would have to mention the compendious Aitchison's treaty series. Collectively, contemporary maps have also been of inestimable value.


Aitchison, Charles Umpherston, comp. A collection of treaties, engagements, and sanads relating to India and neighboring countries. 14 vols. 5th rev. ed. Calcutta: Foreign and Political Department, 1929.

Dodwell, Henry Herbert, ed. British India 1497–1858. Vol. 5 of Cambridge his- tory of India. Cambridge, 1929.

Duff, James Grant. A history of the Mahrattas. 2 vols. 4th ed. London and Bom- bay, 1878; reprinted in 1971.

Hunter, William Wilson. A history of British India. 2 vols. London, 1899–1900.

Imperial gazetteer of India. 26 vols. Rev. ed. Oxford, 1907–9; vol. 26 (Atlas) re- issued in 1931.

Irvine, William. Later Mughals. Ed. and continued by Jadunath Sarkar. 2 vols. Calcutta, 1921–22.

Lyall, Alfred C., The rise and expansion of the British dominion in India. 5th ed. London, 1910; reprinted in 1968.

Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra, ed. The history and culture of the Indian people. Vols. 9 and 10. Bombay, 1963, 1965.

Mill, James. History of British India. 10 vols. 5th ed. Ed. H. Wilson. London, 1858.

Owen, Sidney James. The fall of the Mogul Empire. London, 1912; reprinted in Varanasi, 1960.

Roberts, Paul Ernest. History of British India under the Company and the Crown. 3d. ed. Completed by T. G. P. Spear. London, 1952.

Sardesai, Govind Sakharam. A new history of the Marathas. 3 vols. Bombay, 1946–48.

Sarkar, Jadunath. Fall of the Mughal Empire. 4 vols. Calcutta, 1932–50.

Spear, Thomas George Percival. The Oxford history of modern India, 1740–1947. Part 3 of The Oxford history of India. 3d ed. Oxford, 1967.

——. Twilight of the Mughuls: Studies in late Mughul Delhi. Cambridge, 1951; reprinted in 1969.

Thompson, Edward John, and Garratt, Geoffrey Theodore. Rise and fulfillment of British rule in India. 2d ed. Allahabad, 1958.

Various authors and dates: Gazetteers relating to provinces, districts, and princely states (see plate XIII.C.1 for citations).


VII.A.1. Mughal Disintegration and the Rise of Regional Powers, 1707–66; Maratha Expansion, 1708–c. 1800; the Carnatic Campaigns, 1740–63

The disintegration of Mughal power is more apparent in retrospect than it was to contemporaries. Local rulers often masked their virtual autonomy by continuing to recognize the emperor in Delhi. Several leading Rajput houses enjoyed a de facto independence of Delhi from 1708; the powerful Nizam of Hyderabad was independent in practice, if not in name, from 1724, and rulers of Bengal and Oudh became increasingly autonomous. The power and prestige of the Mughal emperor were particularly undermined by the expansion of Maratha power that separated large areas from Mughal control and by the Afghan raids (most notably Nādir Shāh's sack of the im- perial capital in 1739).

Map (b) focuses on Maratha expansion during the 18th century, carrying beyond the 1766 cutoff date of map (a) so as to provide greater coherence to the representation of that subject. It makes evident the remarkably broad extent of terri- tory over which the highly mobile Marathas carried out their raids to collect the taxes they had forced the Mughal rulers to assign to them along with whatever additional tribute they could obtain. Over a large but indeterminate portion of that area they claimed the right to administer the government on their own. Our representation of the limits of such claims at various times, though based largely on the treaties the Marathas entered into with the Mughals, the Nizam, and others, should be interpreted with caution, not only because of the vague descriptions of the areas mentioned, but also because of the wide gap between what was claimed or provided for by treaty and what could actually be effected in the way of political ad- ministration. Similarly, our interpretation as to the areas over which direct Maratha rule actually was imposed on something more than an ephemeral basis is open to question. An addi- tional difficulty in comprehending the significance of map (b) stems from the fact that, although the Maratha Confederacy, as portrayed there, appears to be an integrated entity, its various components, centered on the Peshwa and including also the Bhonsle, Sindhia, Holkar, and Gaikwar houses, often acted at cross purposes, particularly after 1761, not infrequently enter- ing individually into alliances with non-Maratha powers and actually engaging, from time to time, in internecine warfare. A single map cannot hope to portray adequately the political geography of the period of Maratha prominence, and we con- fidently expect that future research will not only modify the view we have presented, but also provide a much fuller ex- planation of the pattern of events.

The area now known as Afghanistan had, before the 18th century, long been largely ruled by the Mughals in the east and the Persians in the west. But in 1716–17 a successful revolt against the latter by the Ghilzai tribe led not only to Persia's expulsion from Afghanistan but to the overthrow of the mighty Safavid dynasty, paving the way for the entry of the Afsharid Turk Nādir Kuli (later Nādir Shāh), who between 1732 and 1738 came to rule over virtually the entire region from the Caucasus to the Indus. Of particular note was his sack of Delhi in 1739, the year Kashmir was also annexed. Assassinated in 1747, Nādir Shāh was succeeded in the eastern part of his domains by an elected chieftain of the Ābdāli tribe, and the modern nation of Afghanistan was born. Subsequently, Af- ghans engaged in protracted warfare with the Mughals, annex- ing the Punjab, Sind, and Baluchistan and reannexing Kashmir to form one of the most powerful and extensive states in modern South Asian history. In 1761 the Afghans, under Ahmad Shāh, and the Marathas met in climactic battle at Panipat, and the latter, greatly weakened in the fray, were forced to retreat southward. For a variety of reasons, how- ever, the Afghan forces failed to pursue their advantage, re- turning instead to their mountainous homeland. One major consequence of this battle was the relief it provided for the kingdom of the Nizam, which had been under unrelenting military pressure from the Marathas and had surrendered large portions of its territories after its defeat in the battle of Udgir in 1760.

Meanwhile, other significant regional powers appeared on the peripheries of the old Mughal Empire during the 1750s and 1760s. In Burma, King Alaungpaya began the creation of a new empire based at Ava (see plate VII.A.3, map (b)); the military adventurer Haidar 'Alī successfully usurped the Hindu throne of Mysore and became a major power in the south (plate VII.A.2, map (c)); the Gurkhas succeeded in capturing Katmandu and by the end of the 18th century controlled an area twice the size of modern Nepal (plate VII.A.2, map (d)); and in the Punjab a confederation of Sikh misls (clan terri- tories) (plate VII.A.2, map (b)) rose against both Marathas and Afghans.

Simultaneous with the rise of these latter regional powers came the emergence of the British East India Company as a contender not only for commercial influence, but also for political ascendancy. The Company's factory/forts at Madras and Calcutta had grown into sizable cities whose safety was threatened by the general turmoil of the subcontinent and whose prosperity seemed threatened by the rapidly growing commercial penetration of the French. Politically, too, the British sensed a threat in the growing French influence in the court of the Nizam and in the military support they furnished him. War, starting in 1740 among the Great Powers in Europe over the issue of the "Austrian Succession," eventually prompted a military clash between the French and the British in South India. This conflict (see map (c)), accompanied by a bewildering series of intrigues with local powers, ended with the defeat of France in 1761. It also led the nawab of Bengal to side with the French in an attempt to prevent the spread of the war into his domain and initiated a chain of events culminat- ing in Robert Clive's defeat of the nawab at the battle at Plassey in 1757, the British thereby attaining political su-

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