• European Managing Agencies , were interested in different kinds of products such as tea and coffee.
  • They established tea and coffee plantations, acquiring land at cheap rates from the colonial government.
  • They invested in mining, indigo, and jute . These pr oducts were primarily for export trade and not for sale in India.
  • By the late 19th century, Indian Businessmen began setting up industries. 
  • The yarn produced in Indian spinning mills was used by handloom weavers in India or exported to China.
  • As the Swadeshi movement gathered momentum, nationalists mobilized people to boycott foreign cloth.
  • The First World War created a dramatically new situation. With British mills busy with war production to meet the needs of the army, Manchester imports into India declined.
  • As the war prolonged, Indian factories were called upon to supply war needs: jute bags, cloth for army uniforms, tents and leather boots, horse and mule saddles, and a host of other items.
  • After the war, Manchester could never recapture its old position in the Indian market.

5.1 Small-scale Industries Predominate

  • Small-scale production continued to predominate over the rest of the country.
  • Only a small proportion of the total industrial labour force worked in registered factories . The rest worked in small workshops and household units.
  • In the 20th century, handicraft production and handloom cloth production expanded because of technological changes as they started adopting new technologies that helped them to improve their production without excessively pushing up costs. 
  • By the second decade of the 20th century, weavers started using looms with a fly shuttle .
  • Certain groups of weavers were in a better position than others to survive the competition with mill industries. 
  • Some weavers produced coarse cloth while others wove finer varieties. 
  • Weavers and other craftspeople who continued to expand production through the 20th century did not necessarily prosper. They worked long hours.
  • They were not simply remnants of past times in the age of factories. Their life and labour were integral to the process of industrialization.  
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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.