From Subjects to Citizens: Reactions to Colonial Rule and the Changing Political Culture of Calcutta in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
AbstractSince the Battle of Plassey (1757) and the subsequent reconstruction of Calcutta, the city continually grew in size and splendour. 'It is difficult to describe', wrote the Samachar Darpan in Apri11819, 'how Calcutta has developed in the last sixty-two years. Today's Calcutta makes it difficult to imagine how it looked before. The city where one could hardly find houses worth even six thousand rupees, now can boast of buildings worth more than three crores, not to speak of other forms of wealth.' 1 This development and extension of Calcutta were as much due to its being a port city as to its becoming the administrative centre of an expanding British empire in India. It prospered as a colonial metropolis, simultaneously with the decline of the older centres of trade and administration, such as Dacca, Murshidabad or Hugli.