GOOD AND BAD IMPACTS OF BRITISH GOVERNMENT EXPLAINED
Good Impacts Of British Government
(a) Commercial agriculture started showing green shoots. Farming gradually came to be accepted as a profitable venture rather than merely a means of subsistence.
(b) Spread of railways, roadways, and communications opened up new opportunities for economic and social growth. It also implied greater cultural affinity across different parts of the country.
(c) Expanding means of transportation and communication served as a support system to combat the spread of famines. Food supplies could be rushed to the drought-hit areas.
(d) The British rule in India left a legacy of an efficient system of administration.
(e) There was a significant transition from a barter system of exchange to the monetary system of exchange. Which facilitated specialization of labor, large-scale production, and the spread of the market.
Bad Impacts Of British Government
(a) Commercialisation of Agriculture. The British pursued a trade policy that encouraged the export of raw materials and the import of manufactured goods. Farmers were forced, through zamindars (landlords) and British agents, to switch over from food crops (wheat, paddy millets) to cash crops (cotton, jute, tobacco, indigo) and export the latter to Britain. The process of commercialization of agriculture was intensified by the development of the railway.
(b) New and Revenue System. Land improvement was ignored by both owners (the absentee landlords) and the tenant cultivators. Since cultivators were not sure about their tenancy they 3did not improve the land. Moreover, any improvement Mof land on their part would have increased the rent in the following years. The abs3entee landlords led a li of luxury in big cities and hardly took an6y interest in improving and high land rents.
(c) Decline of Handicrafts. India’s indigenous handicrafts could not stand
competition from imported machine-made goods which were relatively
cheaper and attractive. The development of railways, roads, and
communications intensified the competition between indigenous and
foreign goods. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 reduced the
transportation cost and made exploitation of the Indian markets easier.
This led to the decline of handicrafts. The destruction of Indian
handicrafts had far-reaching economic consequences. Artisans lost
their hereditary occupation and fell back on agriculture, in the
absence of any alternative source of employment. They became
landless agricultural laborers. The increased pressure of population on
land led to progressive sub-division and fragmentation of holdings
and high land rents.