chapter  6
8 Pages

The transition to colonialism

Resistance and collaboration
WithSugata Bose, Ayesha Jalal

The strongest organized resistance to British expansion came from the great warrior states of Mysore, the Marathas and the Sikhs. The battle at Buxar saw the company breaking the back of the last organized armed resistance to their control over eastern India. Control over Indian revenues through conquest was one way to stop the flow of precious metals but that alone cannot explain the transition to colonialism. To facilitate the transition to colonial rule, foreign capital promised initially to shore up indigenous merchant capitalists against the common threat posed by the so-called 'neo-Sultanist' states. A close analysis of the transition to colonialism in India reveals the resistance offered by many of the regional successor states of the Mughal empire, as well as the interlocking relations between the English East India Company and indigenous merchant capitalists. The mid-eighteenth century saw the onset of a process of steady dismantling of the Mughal successor state system and its replacement by British domination.