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Activity Discussion History The Age of Industrialisation Reply To: The Age of Industrialisation

  • Dikshu

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    March 2, 2024 at 2:19 pm
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    The East India Company procured regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers through various methods, including both direct and indirect means. Here are some of the ways in which the company secured these supplies:

    Collaboration with local traders: The East India Company established relationships with Indian merchants and traders who acted as intermediaries between the company and the weavers. These local traders had extensive networks and knowledge of the textile industry, enabling the company to procure textiles in large quantities.

    Establishing factories and warehouses: The company set up its own factories and warehouses in different parts of India, particularly in regions known for textile production. These facilities served as centers for processing, storing, and exporting textiles. The company hired local artisans and weavers to work in these factories, ensuring a steady supply of textiles.

    Paternalistic policies: The East India Company implemented policies aimed at controlling and regulating the textile industry. They offered protection and patronage to skilled weavers, providing them with financial support, raw materials, and access to markets. By doing so, the company secured a steady supply of textiles while also exerting control over the industry.

    Land revenue system: The company introduced a revenue system that forced Indian peasants to cultivate cash crops like indigo and opium instead of food crops. This led to a decline in food production but created a demand for textiles as peasants sought to earn money to pay their taxes. Consequently, the company had access to a large pool of weavers who were dependent on the textile industry for their livelihood.

    Manipulation of market prices: The East India Company used its economic power to manipulate market prices, often by flooding the market with cheap textiles imported from Britain. This undermined the local textile industry and made Indian weavers increasingly dependent on the company for their survival. The company could then dictate terms and procure textiles at lower prices.

    It is important to note that the methods employed by the East India Company often resulted in the exploitation of Indian weavers and artisans, leading to a decline in their economic and social status. The company’s dominance in the textile trade significantly impacted the Indian textile industry, ultimately contributing to its decline in the long run.

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