This work attempts an excercise on a theory of economic evolution of pre-modern or pre-colonial polities of the Indian subcontinent. The author argues that the historical development in the Indian economy of the early period consists essentially of more changes in the mode of appropriation of surplus rather than those in the modes of generation of surplus. In contrast the west European societies were characterized by a dynamism in the mode of surplus generation and corresponding changes in appropriation of surplus and its use. The study also explains the rise of predatory political power of European merchants in India.
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