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Economic Life of India Under colonial Rule 1858-1947: Textile Industry - Term Paper Example

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Economic Life of India under Colonial Rule 1858-1947: The Textile Industry Name: Course: Presented to: Date Economic Life of India under Colonial Rule 1858-1947: The Textile Industry Introduction Prior to 19th century, the Indian textile industry was well developed and in fact, the Indian manufacturing industry was in a position to effectively compete with similar manufacturing sectors in most industrialized nations…
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Economic Life of India Under colonial Rule 1858-1947: Textile Industry
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Economic Life of India Under colonial Rule 1858-1947: Textile Industry

Download file to see previous pages... This paper analyses the Indian textile industry, and the consequent de-industrialization of this industry during the colonial period. Deindustrialization of the Indian Textile Industry During Colonial Period Deindustrialization is a theory that depicts a process through which social and economic change takes place, characterized by reduction or removal of industrial capacity in a nation or region, especially in heavy manufacturing industry. The process of deindustrialization signifies the decline of an industry when it remains uncompensated by growth of a modern industry in the same line of production.4 The increasing exploitation of the Indian textile industry by the British in the period explained above was therefore characteristic of this deindustrialisation. The textile industry had for a long time been an important contributor to India’s exports. In fact, archaeological evidence from Mohenjo-Daro shows that dyes were used in India as early as in the second millennium BC1. As noted earlier, the history of India’s prominence in textile industry largely stems from its wealth of natural resources such as cotton, silk and jute crops. A few decades before the colonial period, India had a well developed textile industry, which for many centuries had sold high-quality cotton products on the local market, and throughout the Middle East and large parts of Africa2. The country’s manually operated textile machines were among the best in the world; they were a model for the first production machines in Britain.3 There were large factory towns where skilled labourers could produce so cheaply that the British East India Company, which controlled trade in the region, could purchase from the native industrialists, ship these products to Britain, and sell them at a full 100 percent mark up over their cost.4 Generally, prior to colonial period, the presence of these natural resources and development of manufacturing sector enabled India to enjoy huge surpluses in incomes obtained though textile industry. The prosperous Indian textile industry had increased the local manufacturing sector’s capability of successfully challenging the British manufacturing sector5. After British entry into India in 1858, it reacted to this potential challenge both politically and economically. First, the British textile industries started increasing investments in production equipments, and increased the amount of capital utilized by each worker. They started using more mechanized forms of production in order to increase productivity6. Mechanisation of the textile industry The British textile industries demanded - and were given - protection from imported Indian textiles. To protect local industries further, the British government placed a high tariff on all imported Indian textiles in Britain, thereby pricing them out of market. At the same time, Britain forced home-made textiles out of the Indian market, while accepting the import of raw cotton from India to be used for British production free of any barriers7. In 1860s, American civil war disturbed the supply of cotton to British textile industry, creating a cotton famine and Britain instantly reacted by grabbing cotton in India8. During the same period, new textile technology was imported in India by British traders ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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