Short Essay on Indian Society in the 18th Century

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Each village of India produced almost all its bare necessities of life. The techniques of agriculture also had not significantly changed for hundred of years. Local crafts and agricultural works were carried out with help of old tools.

Indian merchants traded with other countries and made vast profits. Technological improvements were not introduced. However, before this could happen, India fell a prey to British conquest.

The social system of Hindus was predominantly based on the caste system which had arisen in ancient times. The caste system was one of the most important causes of social disunity. A large part of the population was considered by the people of higher castes as ‘untouchable’. The life of the Hindus was regulated by the Dharam Shastras which prescribed different rights and duties for different castes. There were several social evil customs in the Hindu society. The status of women in the society was very bad.

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The Muslims were also divided by caste, ethnic and sectarian differences. They were socially and economically backward. The Mughal Empire had declined after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707.

India was divided into a number of small and big states fighting with one other. In this situation the European trading companies, started interfering in the political affairs of the country. Taking advantage of the political, economic and social weaknesses of the Indian society; the Britishers captured the power in India.

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