from place to place and were thus restricting internal trade, were abolished by
internal trade. As a result of the adoption of the principle of the free trade by
England after 1815 and because of imposition of that principle on India
which was a subject country, almost all import duties came gradually to be
abolished in India by 1882. Similarly, all export duties came to be totally
abolished by 1888.
THREE STAGES OF COLONIALISM
British colonialism established its firm roots in India in three stages, each
stage representing a different pattern of subordination of the colony and
consequently different colonial policies, ideologies, impact and the colonial
people’s response. The change from one stage to another was due partly to
the changes in the metropolis itself and partly to the changes in the colonies.
The three stages are not strictly bound. But each stage has some main
features, though the features of the earlier one may continue into the later
one. Again some stages are atrophied in some colonies, as the third stage in
Period of Mercantilism (1757–1813)
The objectives of the British during this time were monopoly of trade and
direct appropriation of revenue. The main features were:
Very strong element of plunder and direct seizure of power.
Absence of large-scale import of British goods.
No basic changes in the colony’s administration, judiciary, culture, economy,
Period of Laissez Faire (1813–1860)
The main features of this period were:
Determination of the administrative policies and economic structure of the
colony by the interests of the industrial bourgeoisie of the metropolis.
Making the colony a subordinate trading partner which would export raw
materials and import manufactured goods.
Transformation of the colony’s economy, polity, administration, society,