By Sushil Chaudhury
Effect of alternate at the economic system of Bengal in 18th century.
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Extra resources for From Prosperity to Decline: Eighteenth Century Bengal
Asia)' 1740/41-1744/45 4 PRE-MODERN SOUTH ASIAN COMMERCIAL ORGANIZATION A·ND COMPANIES , •' It has been estabhshed, thanks to the researches of severa~ pisto~fans of tradt;. in, the last few decades,. that the European companies trading in, ~outh Asia)n the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had to adjust themselves tq the prevalent coipmercial system and tradition in the given areas of their tr~de. Seldom were the cases when the Companies could effect notable changes in the traditional system of commerce in the South Asian com;itries they traded with.
That Alivardi was able to heal the impact of the Maratha invasions and introduce a period of peace. and prosperity is evident froJn Karam Ali's description how the capital city, Murshidabad, extended and flourished during the last years the nawab. 35 The next nawab, Sirajuddaullah, reigned for only sixteen months and his fall after the battle of Plassey in 1757 ended the independent nizainat of Bengal, ushering in the beginning of the British domination of,the province. ' A rather disquieting feature of the history of Bengal in the first half of the eighteenth century was the collection of abwabs.
Which rlceived a further boost in the eighties because of the high demand for the commodity in Europe. However, it was the big boom in the export o'f Bengal textfl~s from around the early 1680s that revolutionized the pattern of the Asiatic trade of the European companies. from then onward, Bengal became the inost dominant partner of the European trade from Asia which was mostly carried on by the two major Companies, the Dutch and the English East India Companies. Thus, from ab9ut the early 168Qs till the middle of 1 For details, S.