History-2000-Set II

Q1. Explain one significant feature of the Pitts India Act.(2marks)
Ans.The Pitts India Act was passed by the British Prime Minister ,William Pitt.in 1784 AD in order to remove the shortcomings of the Regulating act of 1773 and to improve the administration of the East India company. Through Pitts Act ,the powers of the governor-general were enhanced considerably .Also , the commercial arrangements of the company was in the hands of the directors . They could now dismiss British officials posted in India.

Q 2. Critically analyze the impact of the British policy of the Free trade in India in early 19th century.(5marks)
Ans.The commercial policy of Britain was largely influenced by its imperialistic regime in India. During the second half of the 18th century and early 19th century Britain underwent profound social and economic transformation due to the Industrial Revolution and the British industry developed and expanded rapidly on the basis of modern machines,factory system and capitalism .Britain had had also captured and monopolized many foreign markets.by means of colonialism. It now had a strong industrial class whose interests were exporting its manufactured goods to vast markets provided in form of the colonies.
Thus ,the government of Britain , in 19th century followed a policy of ‘free trade’ or unrestricted entry of British goods . The Indian handicrafts were now exposed to the fierce and unequal competition of machine made products of Britain and face extinction. India had to admit British goods free or at minimum tariff rates . The Indian handmade goods were unable to compete with much cheaper machine made foreign products.
The Indian products, which could still compete, with British products were subjected to heavy duty. The duties on some imports going as high as 400 percent which led to falling of Indian export market.
In short, the British commercial policy was guide by the needs of the British industry with the main aim of transforming India into a consumer of British manufactures and a supplier of raw material.

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