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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In the two centuries during which India became a part of the British colonial empire (ca. 1757–1947), the world economy experienced an unprecedented transformation. Britain, followed by Western Europe and European settler regions in North America, industrialized. International transactions in goods, labor, and capital grew in scale and diversified in destination as never before. Knowledge of institutions and technologies traveled far and wide. And much of the land located in tropical and equatorial Asia and Africa became colonies of major European nations. The Indian subcontinent was an important player in this transformation process. The region traded heavily with Europe. Indian workers populated tropical plantations in the Caribbean, the Pacific, and Southeast Asia. Indian entrepreneurs bought machines and hired foremen abroad in order to start modern factories. Foreign investment funded the railways and manufacturing industry in India. Many useful and valuable technological skills were transmitted from Europe to India, as were ideas and practices about property rights and contract law.

Keywords: world economy, British colonial empire, industrialization, capital growth, transactions, manufacturing industry, plantation

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