Sunday, January 20, 2013


It is instructive to see just how much some in the West desperately seek to find some good in colonialism, Niall Ferguson being a prime example.  One can hope it arises from a feeling of shame and guilt.   There is so much material to the contrary, that is hard to give a simple reply.  But perhaps this great benefit of British rule would make it clear.
In 1929, the people of India were taxed more than twice as heavily as the people of England.  The percentage of taxes in India as related to the gross product, was more than double that of any other country.  While most of the taxes extracted by the British went out of the country, much of the revenues extracted by Indian rulers went back to the people, with only about 5% being retained by the ruler in 1750.  The actual producers got 70% back, 10% went to religious, cultural and educational projects, 7.5% to economic services and the police, another 7.5% to the army and the political aristocracy.

(from one of the theses here, ultimate source: Romesh Chandra Dutt, The Economic History of India)