Ideology and Empire in Eighteenth-Century India: The British in Bengal
Cambridge University Press, 19.04.2007.
Robert Travers' analysis of British conquests in late eighteenth-century India shows how new ideas were formulated about the construction of empire. After the British East India Company conquered the vast province of Bengal, Britons confronted the apparent anomaly of a European trading company acting as an Indian ruler. Responding to a prolonged crisis of imperial legitimacy, British officials in Bengal tried to build their authority on the basis of an 'ancient constitution', supposedly discovered among the remnants of the declining Mughal Empire. In the search for an indigenous constitution, British political concepts were redeployed and redefined on the Indian frontier of empire, while stereotypes about 'oriental despotism' were challenged by the encounter with sophisticated Indian state forms. This highly original book uncovers a forgotten style of imperial state-building based on constitutional restoration, and in the process opens up new points of connection between British, imperial and South Asian history.
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Abbreviations and note Abulafia adalat name given branch of Mughal British Empire British in Bengal British Library British officials British political British to refer C.A. BAYLY Centre of South Century Bengal CHANDAVARKAR Chris Bayly Commonwealth History Company in 1772 Cornell University criminal court current rupees David Armitage diwan East India Company Eighteenth Eighteenth-Century India elite Empire in Eighteenth-Century faujdari adalat Glossary of Indian GORDON JOHNSON Harvard Society History and Society history department Ideological Origins Ideology and Empire ijara Imperial and Commonwealth India Office Collections Indian History Indian terms Journal of Imperial lakh Linda Colley Map of Bengal Modern Asian Studies Mughal empire Mughal government Muhammad Reza Khan Murshidabad Muslim nawab’s government nawabs nizamat note on currency OIOC Oriental and India Persian term policy-makers in Bengal Preface and acknowledgements Robert Travers Society of Fellows South Asian history South Asian Studies Studies in Indian supposedly discovered thank University of Cambridge zamindar