Rethinking the origins of British India: state formation and military-fiscal undertakings in an eighteenth century world region
The paper discusses the rise of the East India Company in the contested political world of eighteenth century India, with reference to the manner in which economic power was deployed to enhance military power. It is shown that there was only one model of successful ‘military-fiscalism’ in this time, represented by the Company. The Company’s strategies, however, cannot be understood as a transplantation of European practices into India. Local factors, such as opportunism and access to the natural resources of the eastern Gangetic were important. However, institutional choices mattered, and owed in part to the Europeans’ outsider status.
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