Peasant in transition : agrarian society in Western Sri Lanka under Dutch rule, 1740-1800

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Peasant in transition : agrarian society in Western Sri Lanka under Dutch rule, 1740-1800

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Peasant in transition : agrarian society in Western Sri Lanka under Dutch rule, 1740-1800
Author: Dewasiri, Nirmal Ranjith
Publisher: Department of History, Faculty of Arts, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2007-04-04
Keywords: Caste
Class
Colonialism
Dutch colonial rule
Land tenure
Peasant production
Rural life
Sri Lanka
Structural change
VOC
Abstract: This thesis investigates the structural changes in the agrarian society in Western parts of Sri Lanka as seen in the mid and late eighteenth century in the context of the encounter with the Dutch United East India Company (VOC) administration. It attempts to understand the developments in the period from the vantage point of the peasantry, particularly by looking at the ways in which the peasants were affected by the Dutch colonial intervention and how they adjusted themselves to the changing economic and political reality. One of the characteristic features of the VOC rule was the higher degree of exploitation of peasant compared with the situation under pre-colonial rulers, because economic interests of the former was much higher than the latter. This situation brought about a break down of the structural equilibrium of the system of production and taxation. It is mainly within this context of structural break down that this study try to understand the long lasting changes in the social and economic setting. It discusses the changes in the production system with special reference to land utilization and labour organisation, changing aspects of the land tenure system, emergence of new class differentiations and new dynamics of caste formation.
Description: Promotor: J.L. Blussé van Oud-Alblas, Co-promotor: L.J. Wagenaar
With Summary in Dutch
Faculty: Faculteit der Letteren
Citation: Dewasiri, N.R. , 2007, Doctoral Thesis, Leiden University
Sponsor: TANAP (Towards a New Age of Partnership) and CNWS (Research School of Asian African and Amerindian Studies)
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/11469
 

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