Catalogue


Revenue and reform : the Indian problem in British politics, 1757-1773 /
H.V. Bowen.
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
description
xi, 204 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521403162 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
isbn
0521403162 (hardback)
catalogue key
2246746
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 190-197) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-07:
Bowen's specialized work deals with government policy toward the East India Company when it had acquired extensive power in India. This occurred at a time when Britain was involved in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) with France on three continents, and in the war for independence by the American colonies. The Seven Years' War added upward of 75 million pounds, in addition to the 54 million pounds caused by the War of the Austrian Succession (1743-1748), to the National Debt. Britain was financially strapped; the East India Company was supposed to help fill government coffers. Instead, through corruption and private profiteering, it became bankrupt. This led to calls for impeachment of Company officials, for a reorganization of the Company, and for government control of the Company in England. Bowen's study ends with Lord North's Regulating Act of 1773, which set Britain on the road to empire in India. Originally a doctoral dissertation, this book successfully updates Lucy Sutherland's standard work, The East India Company in Eighteenth-Century Politics (Oxford, 1952). Research libraries.-R. D. Long, Eastern Michigan University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...a milestone in imperial history. This new book provides scholars and students of imperial history with an innovative synthesis of British politics and British activity in India in the period from Plassey to the passage of the Regulating Act. Bowen's lively style and excellent presentation have made a complicated story easier to understand as the author skillfully guides us through the maze of India House and the House of Commons." Linda Kerr, Canadian Journal of History
"Bowen has written a mature and well-crafted book which does much to explain British responses to the challenges of trade and empire in the eighteenth century." John Derry, The International History Review
"In adopting a global perspective to Britain's late eighteenth century 'imperial problem', the author provides some interesting comparisons of the roles that India and North America played in British politics....Revenue and Reform deals with one of the most important aspects of an imperial policy that was of profound consequence not only to India, but also to eighteenth century Britain and the soon-to-be United States." Journal of Asian History
"The research is thorough, the material is presented clearly, and the analysis is persuasive....Those fascinated by the rise and development of the British Raj will find this to be a valuable study." Lynn Zastoupil, Journal of Asian Studies
"This fine study of the Indian problem in Hanoverian politics represents something of a breakthrough....[Bowen] is able to synthesize many of the issues raised in the periodical pieces and move the debate forward. The result is very rewarding indeed and this whole approach to imperial problems is to be encouraged, for the very simple reason that it augments the traditional concerns of Empire scholarship so well." Philip Lawson, Albion
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1992
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
Revenue and Reform considers how politicians in London tackled the many problems stemming from British expansion in India. The book illuminates the nature and purpose of British imperialism, and explains why the administration of overseas territory could no longer be left entirely in the hands of a private trading company.
Description for Library
Revenue and Reform describes in detail how politicians in London tackled the many problems stemming from British expansion in India. Having acquired an empire through the East India Company's conquest of Bengal, the British government had to decide what purpose it served, and how it should be governed. The book reveals much about eighteenth-century politics, and much about the nature and purpose of British imperialism. It also explains why the administration of overseas territory could no longer be left entirely in the hands of a private trading company.
Main Description
Revenue and Reform offers a reappraisal of British imperial politics in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. It is traditional to regard the 1760s as a time when British politicians were preoccupied with the crises that eventually led to the outbreak of the American War of Independence. In this book, however, it is the Indian problem that is examined. Politicians struggled to come to terms with the East India Company's unexpected acquisition of territory and great wealth in Bengal, and they endeavored to formulate policy related to many new and unfamiliar issues. New light is shed on debate about revenue collection, territorial rights, diplomacy, justice, and administrative reform in order to illustrate the central theme of the book: the gradual and reluctant assumption of responsibility by ministers for the Indian empire.
Main Description
Revenue and Reform offers a reappraisal of British imperial politics in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. It is traditional to regard the 1760s as a time when British politicians were preoccupied with the crises which eventually led to the outbreak of the American War of Independence in 1775. Here, for the first time, a different imperial problem - the Indian problem - is examined in detail. Politicians struggled to come to terms with the East India Company's unexpected acquisition of territory and great wealth in Bengal, and they endeavoured to formulate policy related to many new and unfamiliar issues. New light is shed on debate about revenue collection, territorial rights, diplomacy, justice and administrative reform in order to illustrate the central theme of the book: the gradual and reluctant assumption of responsibility by ministers for the Indian empire. Firm guidelines for the development of the Anglo-Indian imperial connection were eventually laid down by Lord North's Regulating Act of 1773, and the background to, and principles underpinning, this important legislative landmark are fully explored in the concluding chapters.
Table of Contents
List of tables
Preface
List of abbreviations
Introduction
Traders into sovereigns: the East India Company, 1757-1765
Perceptions of empire
The policy-makers: Parliament and the East India Company
Crown and Company (I): the Diwani and the inquiry of 1767
Crown and Company (II): foreign relations, 1766-1769
Attempts at reform (I): civil, military, and judicial affairs, 1767-1772
Attempts at reform (II): trade and revenue, 1767-1772
The East India Company crisis of 1772
Response to crisis (I): high politics and the committees of inquiry, 1772-1773
Response to crisis (II): trade, finance, and reform
The final act? the passage of Lord North's East India legislation, 1773
Conclusion
Select bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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