Land Revenue System of British India – History study Material & Notes

Land Revenue System of British India – History study Material & Notes

  • sition of cultivator became more secure, but the rigid system of revenue collection forced ryots into the hands of moneylender.
  • Since the government itself became a big zamindar, it had right to enhance revenue at will. The cultivator was left at the mercy of the collecting officers.

Mahalwari System

In 1833, the Mahalwari System was introduced under Wlliam Bentinck . This was basically a modified form of the zamindari system/settlement introduced in the Ganga valley, Punjab, North-west Frontier Province, parts of Central India.

  • Under this system, a basic unit of revenue settlement was ‘Mahal’ or ‘Village’.
  • The village land belonged jointly to the village community, they were responsible for payment of revenue.
  • Entire land of ‘Mahal’ was measured at the time of fixing the revenue.
  • There were also known as Bhaichare, or Mahals, which were basically groups of villages.

Demerits of Mahalwari System 

  • In Actual practise rights were made to certain leading groups of big families
  • Economic and Social inequalities increased
  • Peasants were over Burdened
  • there was no progress in field of productivity

Impact of Mahalwari System:

  • Since the government revised the revenue periodically, the peasants had not much benefit of elimination of middlemen between the government and the village.
  • This brought about some improvement in irrigation facilities, though major benefits of the system were largely enjoyed by the government.

Impact of Land Revenue System: Land Tenure System

  1. These land settlements introduced a market economy and removed customary rights.
  2. With cash payments of revenue, there was increased money-lending activity.
  3. The Land tenure system sharpened social differentiation.
  4. While rich had access to the courts to defend their properties, the poor didn’t have any resources.
  5. The peasants were forced to grow commercial crops which led them to buy food grains at higher prices and sell the cash crops at low prices.
  6. The land revenue system of British in India shook the stability of Indian villages where majority of the people depended on agriculture and related activities. They became miserable if crop failed in any given year.
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