Through the dealings of the British East India Company, opium, traditionally used medicinally, became a non-medicinal business commodity during the late eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth centuries. At the time of growth and development of the opium monopoly in Bengal from 1773 to 1856, the economic condition of the poppy farmers (ryots) had deteriorated and tension had erupted between the local zamindars (landlords) and the colonial authorities. This conflict aided in the eventual uprising of 1857, also known as the Indian ‘Sepoy Mutiny’. In an attempt to further control the private cultivation of opium poppies and the free trade in opium, the government adopted the Opium Act of 1857 and the Opium Act of 1878.
- Opium Trade
- Opium Export
- Opium Poppy
- British Government
- Uttar Pradesh
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© 2000 M. Emdad-ul Haq
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Haq, M.Eu. (2000). The Colonial Drug Trade. In: Drugs in South Asia. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780333981436_2
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