Thursday, 15 August 2013

TRIGGERS FOR MIGRATION - Rise of British East India Company

Rise of British East India Company

The establishment of British power furnished the conditions for the Marwari migration. On the one hand, it caused the decline of their older fields of activity in financing the warring princely states and trading along Rajasthan’s caravan routes. On the other, it opened new opportunities, to serve as intermediaries in the new foreign oriented commerce that the British were developing.

On one hand, the British imposed all sorts of discriminations against businesses based in the princely states of Rajasthan. On the other them provided relative security of property to those based in British India.

Most dramatically, the British impact was to cause the decline of former centre's of political power  and the rise of new commercial ones to shift the trade routes on which merchants perform must live.

The British needed to find experienced intermediaries as their agents, to supply armies, and to help in the conduct of government finance.

The expanding market demanded the provision of credit to craftsmen and peasants, the British rule provided an opportunity to secure this credit against land. Increased physical security gave additional assurance to moneylenders and traders, that they would be able to see the fruits of their ventures.

The Marwaris with some capital, a wide “resource group” on which to draw for credit, and a high level of commercial skill, were among the obvious candidates for the roles opened up by the British. As Parlov points out in his work, that Marwari enterprise was a product of the British. Marwari firms in general responded to the greater physical security in British India.

Origins of British Rule In India

British Conquest of India

Before the British East India Company established itself in India following was the situation which was clearly not conducive for development of trade.


A plethora of currencies  was in circulation in different parts of the country. Their relative value was determined by their metal content and the prevailing price of the metal in a given market. To complicate matters further, the purchasing power of the currency in the same market varied depending on the age of the coin, the older the coin, the less the value to allow wear and tear. The company’s silver rupee was declared to be the legal tender throughout India in 1835.

Custom Chowkies

Thevenot, who visited india in the first quarter of the 18th Century, counted 16 custom points within a distance of less than 60 miles. Anyone who could assert a measure of administrative control could extract payments for goods passing through its territories.

Metric System

The situation in the realm of weights and measures was chaotic. Standards varied not only among region, provinces, and districts, but sometimes even between 2 villages. For instance ser, a basic unit of weight used all over the land, ranged between 20.63 tolas and 78 tolas

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