By Ranajit Guha
A Rule of estate for Bengal is a vintage paintings at the heritage of colonial India. First released in 1963, and lengthy unavailable during this state, it truly is an important textual content within the parts of colonial and postcolonial reviews. during this publication, Ranajit Guha examines the British institution of the everlasting payment of Bengal—the first significant administrative intervention by means of the British within the area and an attempt to impose a western thought of personal estate at the Bengal geographical region. Guha’s research of the highbrow origins, objectives, and implementation of this coverage offers an in-depth view of the dynamics of colonialism and displays at the lasting impression of that dynamic following the formal termination of colonial rule.By proclaiming the everlasting cost in 1793, the British was hoping to advertise a filthy rich capitalist agriculture of the type that had constructed in England. The act renounced all the time the state’s correct to elevate the review already made upon landowners and hence sought to set up a method of estate that was once, within the British view, useful for the construction of a strong govt. Guha lines the origins of the everlasting cost to the anti-feudal rules of Phillip Francis and the critique of feudalism supplied via physiocratic proposal, the precursor of political economic system. The relevant query the publication asks is how the everlasting payment, based in anti-feudalism and grafted onto India via the main complex capitalist energy of the day turned instrumental within the improvement of a neo-feudal association of landed estate and within the absorption and replica of precapitalist parts in a colonial regime.Guha’s exam of the British try and mould Bengal to the contours of its personal society with out an figuring out of the traditions and responsibilities upon which the Indian agrarian approach was once dependent is a really pioneering paintings. the consequences of A Rule of estate for Bengal stay wealthy for the present discussions from the postcolonialist standpoint at the that means of modernity and enlightenment.
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Additional info for A Rule of Property for Bengal: An Essay on the Idea of Permanent Settlement
Allen developed his argument in response to William Holdsworth, who maintained that the doctrine of precedent had become established in England by the latter half of the eighteenth century: see W. S. Holdsworth, ‘Case Law’ (1934) 50 LQR 180–95; A. L. Goodhart, ‘Case Law – A Short Replication’ (1934) 50 LQR 196–200; Carleton Kemp Allen, ‘Case Law: An Unwarrantable Intervention’ (1935) 51 LQR 333–46; and W. S. Holdsworth, ‘Precedents in the Eighteenth Century’ (1935) 51 LQR 441–2. Mirehouse v. Rennell (1833) 1 Cl.
A precedent, in other words, might be followed because it is a ready-made answer to a problem that has already been litigated. The reason for following the precedent in this instance is instrumental: the precedent is a shortcut which saves today’s court the cost of considering the problem afresh. Using precedents as shortcuts has its hazards. A court might settle on an applicable precedent too readily, failing to see that the case in hand is significantly different from the earlier one or involves deeper issues of principle (the more we rely on precedents, Dr Johnson is supposed to have remarked, the less often we will take principles seriously),91 so raising the likelihood of later courts having 91 See Samuel Johnson to Sir Alexander Macdonald, 27 March 1772, cited in Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, 468 (‘the more precedents there are, the less occasion is there for law; that is to say, the less occasion is there for investigating principles’).
J. Compar. L. 355–64 at 357–8. Each of these two authors, in the preface to his book, thanks the other for reading and commenting on the typescript. Both books were published in the Clarendon Law Series, which Hart edited at that time. For Hart on Cross’s views on precedent, and for his account of their jointly-conducted seminars on criminal responsibility in the 1960s, see H. L. A. Hart, ‘Arthur Rupert Neale Cross, 1912–1980’ (1984) 70 Proc. Brit. Acad. 405–37 at 428–33. H. L. A. Hart, The Concept of Law, 2nd edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 159–60.
A Rule of Property for Bengal: An Essay on the Idea of Permanent Settlement by Ranajit Guha