This book brings home the story of how three clustered villages grew into a primate city, in which a garrison town, a port city and the capital of an empire merged into one entity—Calcutta. This and its companion volume Birth of a Colonial City examine the geopolitical factors that were significant in securing Calcutta's position in the light of growing influence of the East India Company and subsequently the British Empire.
A definitive history of Calcutta in its nascent years, this book discusses the challenges of city-planning, the de-industrialization at the hands of British imperialists, the catastrophic fall of the Union Bank, the advent of British capital, and the rise of the Bengali business enterprise in the colonial era. It also underlines how Calcutta facilitated the development of a political consciousness and the pivotal political and cultural role it played when the movement for independence took hold in the country.
This volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of modern South Asian history, British Studies, city and area studies.
Table of Contents
Preface. Acknowledgements. Note on the text. Introduction. 1. Calcutta Grows into a Global City 2. The Global City in Making: The Nineteenth Century 3. Urbanization as a Pattern: The Nineteenth Century Trend Reviewed 4. The City Assumes Power: Looking at The City from The Perspective of Power 5. Calcutta becomes a City of Palaces: Looking at the City from the Perspective of Morphology 6. The City in Decline: Its History, Heritage and Identity 7. The Economic Milieu in which the City Grew 8. De-Industrialization, De-Urbanization and the Advent of British Capital 9. The Money Culture of Calcutta: An Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Profile 10. The Fiscal Face of Calcutta in the Phase of its Early Growth 11. Did Calcutta grow Industrially? 12. Bengali Business Enterprise in Calcutta in the Early Colonial Era 13. Confronting Radical Changes: Calcutta in the Swadeshi Years. Bibliography. Index
Ranjit Sen was Professor at the Department of History, University of Calcutta.