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Discuss the land settlement system introduced …

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Discuss the land settlement system introduced under British rule
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Anupama Debnath 1 month ago

The land settlement system introduced by the British in India was a significant aspect of their colonial administration, aimed at maximizing revenue collection to support the British Empire. There were three primary systems implemented across different regions: Zamindari System (Permanent Settlement): Introduced by Lord Cornwallis in 17931.Zamindars, or landlords, were recognized as the owners of the land1.They were responsible for collecting rents from the peasants and paying a fixed revenue to the British1.The system was mainly prevalent in Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, and parts of Madras and Bombay Presidencies1. Ryotwari System: Devised by Captain Alexander Read and Thomas Munro in the late 18th century and implemented in the Madras Presidency by Munro when he was governor (1819–26)1.The system recognized individual cultivators (ryots) as the landowners2.They paid taxes directly to the British government, which were often high and led to peasant impoverishment2. Mahalwari System: Implemented in the early 19th century in the North-Western Provinces, parts of Central India, and Punjab1.The revenue was settled village by village, with villages being treated as a unit (mahal)1.The responsibility for payment was collective, with village leaders or headmen distributing the tax burden among the cultivators1. These systems had profound impacts on the social and economic fabric of India. The Zamindari system led to a class of powerful landlords and a peasantry burdened with high rents. The Ryotwari system, while recognizing the ryots as owners, often resulted in heavy taxation that could lead to loss of land. The Mahalwari system, though less harsh than the Zamindari system, still placed a significant tax burden on the rural agrarian community. The British land revenue systems were primarily designed to benefit the colonial administration, often at the expense of the Indian peasantry, leading to widespread discontent and resistance, which played a role in the eventual independence movement.
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