ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE
                         BRITISH RAJ
GENERAL SURVEY
Changing Nature of Indian Economy Under the impact of the British rule
in India, radical changes started taking place, rather slowly in the beginning,
but fairly rapidly after 1850, in the spheres of administration, means of
transport and communications, the structure of commerce, the organisation of
agriculture and industries, as also in social and political institutions in the
country and more importantly, in the attitude and ideas of the people. During
the 17th century and early part of the 18th century, the European trading
companies used to purchase various finished goods from India, for sale in
European markets. But markets in India for various European goods were
then extremely limited. There used to be thus, a net excess of India’s exports
over her annual imports. This meant that European countries had to pay in
gold and silver for the various Indian surplus commodities which they used to
purchase.
Impact of Mercantilist Policies on India In view of the prevailing
Mercantilist ideas, flow of gold and silver from England to India for payment
of her exports of finished goods was resented. Also since export of such
goods from India hampered the development of English manufactures, free
import of such Indian goods into England was also resented as it was against
the Mercantilist ideology and practices. The consequence was that severe
restrictions came to be placed on the flow of gold and silver from England
into India. Restrictions also came to be placed on free import of Indian
finished goods into England. These Mercantilist restrictions by England on
the Indian exports of finished goods, which were also ousted from the
European markets due to the acceptance of the Mercantilist principles and
practices there also, brought