Chapter : 2. The Age of Industrialisation

The Peculiarities of Industrial Growth

The Peculiarities of Industrial Growth
(i) European Managing Agencies, which dominated industrial production in India, were interested in certain kinds of products. They established tea and coffee plantations, acquiring land at cheap rates from the colonial government; and they invested in mining, indigo and jute.
(ii) When Indian businessmen began setting up industries in the late nineteenth century, they avoided competing with Manchester goods in the Indian market.
(iii) By the first decade of the twentieth century a series of changes affected the pattern of industrialisation. Industrial groups organised themselves to protect their collective interests, pressurising the government to increase tariff protection and grant other concessions.
(iv) Till the First World War, industrial growth was slow. The war created a dramatically new situation. With British mills busy with war production to meet the needs of the army, Manchester imports into India declined. Suddenly, Indian mills had a vast home market to supply. As the war prolonged, Indian factories were called upon to supply war needs. New factories were set up and old ones ran multiple shifts. Many new workers were employed and everyone was made to work longer hours. Over the war years industrial production boomed.
(iv) After the war, within the colonies, local industrialists gradually consolidated their position, substituting foreign manufactures and capturing the home market.

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