Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars - North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion 1770-1870

Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars - North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion 1770-1870

Product ID: 7188

Regular price
Sale price
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Shipping Note: This item usually arrives at your doorstep in 10-15 days

Author: C A Bayly
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 516
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195663454


Long established as essential reading for scholars and students of modern Indian history, this pioneering study will also appeal to general readers interested in India’s colonial past.

This book is widely acknowledged as a path-breaking work on the social and economic history of colonial India. It traces the evolution of north Indian towns and merchant communities from the decline of Mughal dominion to the consolidation of Britain’s empire in India following the 1857 mutiny.

The book begins by looking at the response of the inhabitants of the Ganges valley to the upheavals in the eighteenth century that paved the way for the incoming British. Bayly goes on to show how the colonial enterprise was built on an existing resilient network of towns, rural bazzars and merchant communities; and how, in turn, colonial trade and politics. Later chapters focus on the social history of the towns under early colonial rule, and include an analysis of the culture and business methods of the Indian merchant family. A substantial epilogue examines the historiography on colonial India produced in recent years.


With this immensely important volume, C A Bayly has given us a full-length study of a central, yet surprisingly little studied era in the history of India: the transition form Mughal to British rule in the northern plains.

-Thomas R Metcalf, American Historical Review

Bayly’s ground-breaking volume will long remain central to the discussion of early modern north Indian history.

-Michael H. Fisher, Journal of Asian Studies


List of maps



Notes on the use of Indian words and on geography


1.Prologue: War and society in eighteenth-century India
2.Agriculture, ecology and politics
3.Stability and change in the cities, 1770-1810
4.The rise of the corporation
5.The growth of political stability in India, 1780-1830
6.The indigenous origins of the colonial economy
7.The crisis of the north Indian political economy, 1825-45
8.Conflict and change in the cities, 1800-57
9.Small towns in the political economy: the qasbah under pressure
10.The merchant family
11.The merchant family as a business enterprise
12.Towns, trade and society after the Great Rebellion


Epilogue to the Indian Edition

Bibliographic note