By Maria Misra
This examine examines the political, racial, and financial attitudes of an incredible crew of British businessmen in India. In explaining the explanations for his or her decline, Misra casts new mild on British colonial society and makes a big contribution to the present debate at the function of race and tradition within the erosion of British imperial strength.
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Additional resources for Business, Race, and Politics in British India, c. 1850-1960 (Oxford Historical Monographs)
Between the 1790s and the mid1830s British trade with India and within India was largely con®ned to a few commodities, of which the most important were indigo and opium. 4 The outbreak of the American Civil War marked another stage in the development of the relationship, as Indian raw cotton became an essential substitute for American cotton. 7 Political change following the Indian Mutiny of 1857 also brought new economic opportunities. The creation of a formal colonial 3 S. Chapman, Merchant Enterprise in Britain from the Industrial Revolution to World War I (Cambridge, 1992), 82±5; P.
Privately printed, 1963); [Duncan and Co. ], Being a Short History of the House of Duncan Brothers and Company, 1859±1959 (Privately printed, 1959). 21 Harrison, Bird of Calcutta, 75. 22 They provided under one roof the services of an entrepreneur, a merchant bank, and a management board for the companies they managed. 25 Subsequently most of them then went on to establish completely new enterprises in these ®elds. Their technique was to use their own capital and that of friends to establish or revive the company and then, once it was running smoothly, to withdraw most of their own initial investment by offering shares to the public.
T. 84/1±2 (1983). 53 J. Burns, interview, IOLR, MSS Eur. R. 168 (1983); H. C. Bannerman, interview, IOLR, MSS Eur. T. 80/1±2 (1983). 99 13:47 01 Chapter BRPBI The Era of High Imperialism 31 those who travelled to India as the representatives or `supercargoes' of British merchants and shippers and who stayed on to form partnership ®rms of their own; thirdly those who went to India entirely independently after the 1830s to make a fortune in the East. Most of the men who became partners in these ®rms between the 1830s and 1880s were from lesser gentry, wealthy farming, professional, or mercantile families.