Colonialism and the countryside notes: Class 12 history chapter 10 notes
|Colonialism and the countryside
Class 12 history chapter 10 notes, Colonialism and the countryside notes here we will learn about the status of farmers, zamindars and taxes etc.
Raja : –
🔹 The literal meaning of the term is king. The term was often used to designate powerful zamindars.
Taluq and Taluqdar : –
🔹 Taluqdar Literally meant one who holds a taluq or a connection. And Taluq Referred to a territorial unit.
Ryot (Raiyat) : –
🔹 Term used to designate peasants. Not all ryots in Bengal cultivated the land directly. but leased it out to under-ryots.
Benami : –
🔹 Benami Literally means anonymous. It is a term used in Hindi and several other Indian languages for transactions made in the name of a fictitious or relatively insignificant person, whereas the real beneficiary remains unnamed.
Lathyal : –
🔹 Lathyal Literally one who wields the lathi or stick. He functioned as strongman of the zamindar.
Sahukar : –
🔹 A Sahukar was Someone who acted as both a moneylender and a trader.
Rentier : –
🔹 Rentier is a term used to designate people who live on rental income from property.
Sunset Law : –
🔹 The Sunset Law was introduced by the Britishers. According to the law, if payment did not come in by sunset of the specified date, the zamindari was liable to be auctioned.
What was Deeds of hire?
🔹 When debts mounted the peasants were unable to pay back the loan to the moneylender. They had no option but to give over all land under their possession, carts and animals to the money lenders.
🔹 But without animals they could not continue to cultivate. So they took land on rent and animals on hire. Now they had to pay for them which had originally belong ed to them. He had to sign a Deed of hire stating very clearly that these animals and carts did not belong to them.
Colonial Rule In India ( Bengal and the Zamindars ) : –
🔹 In India, the Colonial rule was first established in Bengal. This was the province where first efforts were made to reorganize the rural society and establish a new system of land rights and a new revenue system.
British land revenue systems : –
🔹 Three main Land Revenue Systems : – Permanent Settlement, Ryotwari and Mahalwari
🔸 Permanent Settlement : –
- Introduced by Charles Cornwallis in 1793.
- Introduced in Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Varanasi
- Zamindar as tax collectors.
- Revenue demand fixed and very high
- zamindars responsible for collecting revenue from villages.
- The land of zamindars auctioned in situation of non payment of revenue on time.
🔸 Ryotwari : –
- Introduced in Bombay Deccan by Thomas Munro in 1880.
- Revenue directly settled with the ryot.
- The ryot given the landownership.
- Revenue demand not permanent or fixed.
🔸 Mahalwari : –
- Introduced in North-west region of India.
- Land divided in to Mahals.
- The whole Mahal (village) considered as one unit.
- The headman of the village to collect the revenue.
What was Permanent Settlement?
🔹 The practice of collecting land revenue introduced by Lord Cornwallis in 1793 is known as permanent settlement. In this system the land was given to landlords (Zamindars) permanently. The amount of revenue had been fixed in permanent settlement.
Ryotwari system of revenue : –
🔹 The revenue system that was introduced in the Bombay Deccan came to be known as ryotwari. In this system, the revenue was directly settled with the ryot. The average incomes from different types of soil were estimated. The revenue- paying capacity of the ryot was assessed and a proportion of it fixed as the share of the state.
Difference between Permanent and Ryotwari Settlements : –
🔸 Permanent Settlement : –
🔹 The Permanent settlement was introduced in 1793 in Bengal under the East India Company.
🔹 In Permanent settlement the Taluqdars were the owners of the land. They paid a fixed rent to the company.
🔹 In permanent settlement land was distributed among the peasants. They earned the desire interests.
🔹 The state was unable to claim its share in the enhanced income of the farmers as per permanent settlement.
🔸 Ryotwari Settlement : –
🔹 The Ryotwari settlement was introduced in the the Bombay Deccan came to be known as ryotwari.
🔹 Under the Ryotwari system, the government received tax from the peasants directly.
🔹 In Ryotwari system, the government estimated the average income from different types of soil.
🔹 In Ryotwari system, a proportional amount of the share was fixed as the share of the state.
Zamindars and their Functions : –
🔹 Under the Permanent settlement, the rajas and taluqdars were converted as zamindars. In practice; the zamindar was not a landowner in the village, but a revenue collector of the state.
🔹 They had about 400 villages under their control. In the calculation of the company, one zamindari formed one revenue estate.
🔹 The zamindar collected rent and paid the fixed amount and keep the excess as his income.
🔹 The zamindar collected rent from different villages. He was expected to pay the company on a regular base. If he failed to pay the amount his estates were to be auctioned.
Permanent Settlement : –
🔹 Permanent Settlement introduced in Begal in 1793 by Lord Cornwallis. Permanent settlement was a contract between the Zamindars of Bengal and East India Company to collect revenue. This was also called as Sunset Law.
🔹 In Permanent Settlement The East India Company had fixed the revenue that each zamindar had to pay. The estates of those who failed to pay were to be auctioned to recover the revenue.
Main features of Permanent settlement : –
- Zamindars given the land on a fixed rent.
- Zamindars had to pay the revenue Fixed on the specified date.
- According to Sunset Law, payment had to be done by the sunset of the specified date.
- If Failed on payment, the zamindari was auctioned.
- The revenue was fixed permanently.
- Zamindars were revenue Collector of the state and the peasants as tenants.
- 10/11 part of the revenue was company’s and 1/11 part of the Zamindar.
- Zamindars to feel secure with the demand or revenue being permanent.
- Company expected improvement is resources with revenue demand being Fixed.
Objectives Of Implementing Permanent Settlement : –
🔹 By permanently fixing the amount of revenue, the company will be able to get regular amount.
🔹 In introducing the Permanent Settlement, British officials hoped to resolve the problems they had been facing since the conquest of Bengal.
🔹 If the revenue demand of the state was permanently fixed, then the Company could look forward to a regular flow of revenue, while entrepreneurs could feel sure of earning a profit from their investment, since the state would not siphon it off by increasing its claim.
Bengal crisis : –
🔹 By the 1770s, the rural economy in Bengal was in crisis, with recurrent famines and declining agricultural output.
🔹 Officials felt that agriculture, trade and the revenue resources of the state could all be developed by encouraging investment in agriculture.
🔹 This could be done by securing rights of property and permanently fixing the rates of revenue demand.
An auction in Burdwan : –
🔹 In 1797 there was an auction in Burdwan (present- day Bardhaman). It was a big public event. A number of mahals (estates) held by the Raja of Burdwan were being sold. Because the raja had accumulated huge arrears, his estates had been put up for auction.
🔹 A number of purchasers came to the auction and the estates were sold to the highest bidder. But it was later realised that over 95 per cent of the sale at the auction was fictitious.
🔹 Many purchasers turned out to be servants and agents of the raja in the auction. Hence, publicly the estates were sold but raja remained in control of his zamindari.
Methods used by zamindars for save his zamindari : –
🔹 In case of non-payment of revenue on time, the zamindari of the zamindars was auctioned according to the sunset Law”, to avoid which they used the following methods : –
- They used to get the Zamindari registered in the name of the women of the house.
- They used to manipulate auctions through their agents.
- Stopped others from bidding through their Lathhaits.
- They willfully used to bid high and later refused to buy.
Reasons why Zamindars Defaulted on Payments ( in short ) : –
🔹 There were many reasons to make zamindars default on payments : –
- the initial demands were very high.
- the high demand was imposed in the 1790s in a time when the prices of Agricultural produce were low.
- Their power was limited to management collecting revenue.
- the power of the zamindar was initially limited to collect rent from the ryot and manage his zamindari.
Reasons why Zamindars Defaulted on Payments ( in detail ) : –
🔹 The reasons behind such default includes : –
🔸 First: the initial demands were very high. This was because it They believed that with low initial price they would never be able to set high income from land when prices rose and cultivation expanded. Hence, the Company argued that the burden on zamindars would decline with expanded agricultural production and price rise.
🔸 Second: this high demand was imposed in the 1790s, a time when the prices of agricultural produce were depressed, making it difficult for the ryots to pay their dues to the zamindar. If the zamindar could not collect the rent, how could he pay the Company?
🔸 Third: the revenue was invariable, regardless of the harvest, and had to be paid punctually. In fact, according to the Sunset Law, if payment did not come in by sunset of the specified date, the zamindari was liable to be auctioned.
🔸 Fourth: the Permanent Settlement initially limited the power of the zamindar to collect rent from the ryot and manage his zamindari.
Measures taken by the state to control the zamindars : –
- The state subdued their authority and restricted their autonomy.
- The troops of the zamindars were disbanded, customs duties abolished
- Their courts-‘cutcheries’ were brought under the supervision of a collector appointed by the company.
- The zamindars lost their power to organize local justice and the local police.
- In course of time the collectorate emerged as powerful and restricted the power of zamindar.
🔸 Example : – In one case when raja failed to pay the revenue, a company official was sent to his zamindari to destroy power and influence of the zamindar.
Problems faced by the zamindar during rent collection : –
🔹 An officer of the zamindar came around to the village at the time of revenue collection. The revenue collection was a “perennial problem” for the zamindars.
🔹 Sometimes bad harvest and low prices, reasons for difficult for the ryot to pay the rent.
🔹 At other times the ryots delayed the rent payment deliberately Rich ryots and village headmen were happy to trouble the zamindar.
🔹 The zamindars were unable to easily establish their power over them.
🔹 The zamindars had the authority to prosecute the defaulters, but the judicial process was long drawn.
🔹 According to sources in Burdwan alone some 30000 were pending related to the arrear payment in 1798.