Structural Change

Structural Change


“Colonialism in India introduced a wide array of changes in every sphere”. Explain this statement in about 300 words. Also give some example where you feel their need.


Introduction of charges in several spheres: (i) To facilitate the smooth functioning of its rule, colonialism introduced a wide array of changes in every sphere, be it legal or cultural or architectural. Colonialism was a only apart in the very scale and intensity of the changes that it brought about. Some of these changes were deliberate while some took place in an unintended fashion.

Example: We saw how western education was introduced to create Indians who would manage British colonialism. Instead it led to the growth of a nationalist and anticolonial consciousness.

(ii) This magnitude and depth of the structural changes that colonialism unleashed can be better grasped if we try and understand some basic features of capitalism.

(iii) Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and organised to accumulate profits within a market system.

(iv) Capitalism in the west emerged out of a complex process of European exploration of the rest of the world, its plunder of wealth and resources, an unprecedented growth of science and technology, its harnessing to industries and agriculture. What marked capitalism from the very beginning was its dynamism, its potential to grow, expand, innovate, use technology and labour in a way best assured to ensure greatest profit. What marked it too was its global nature.

(v) Western colonialism was inextricably connected to the growth of western capitalism. This had a lasting impact on the way capitalism developed in a colonised country like India. In the next section on industrialisation and urbanisation we see how colonialism led to very distinct patterns.

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