An Economic History of India
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This chapter acts as an introduction to the history of India. The purpose is to provide a backdrop upon which to discuss any economic failings contemporary India may have which resulted from it’s past. Under the British Empire, India was Britain’s colony, governed by the British Crown from 1858 to 1947, but before then by the East India Company which had been granted its charter in 1600 by Queen Elizabeth I if England. The East India Company was able to play a game of divide and conquer with the Princelings and Maharaja’s of the kingdoms of the Indian sub-continent. The enduring legacy of Britain’s colonial rule over India was the lack of dynamism of its institutions, uneven distribution of land as well as a lack of entrepreneurship at the microeconomic level. These factors constrain the effectiveness of India’s economic reforms after 1991.
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