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British Reactions to the French Bugbear in India, 1763-83

British Reactions to the French Bugbear in India, 1763-83


British Reactions to the French Bugbear in India, 1763-83 SAGE Publications, Inc.1992DOI: 10.1177/026569149202200102 Sudipta Das The year 1763 marked a memorable turning-point in the history of the Anglo-French destiny in India. The Peace of Paris (1763) which ended the Seven Years War (1756-63) signalled Britain's maritime and colonial pre-eminence and once again vindicated Britain's command of the sea. The settlement was far-reaching, particularly for British interests in India. It marked a milestone on the road to British power and domination in the region and decisively established Britain's primacy over all the other European nations in commercial contact with India. By 1765, the British East India Company had emerged not only as the dominant European commercial power in India, but also as a territorial power of growing importance. The enormous revenues that the British drew from the profits of their Indian commerce and Indian possessions, coupled with their growing political influence in the region, reinforced the prevailing conviction that India was the single most important source of British power in the eighteenth century. According to William Digby, the British extracted from India approximately £18,000,000 each year between 1765 and 1815.1 'There are few kings in Europe', wrote the Comte
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