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Circulation of silver coins in the transition from Maratha to British rule

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Duration: 0:20:32 | Added: 14 Jan 2022
Part of the International conference on Maharashtra in September 2021 - Michihiro Ogawa, University of Tokyo, Japan

Circulation of Silver Coins in the Period of the Transition from the Maratha rule to the British rule

In the eighteenth century-Maharashtra, a number of gold, silver, copper coins were circulated. Among them, a silver coin (rupee) was the most powerful. Various sorts of rupees, whose value was different from one another, circulated. The kind of the current rupees varied according to area and according to purpose, such as the payment of taxes. Even in one pargana (sub-district), various kinds of rupees circulated. This complex situation partly explains how silver, which gathered into India in the global trade, was used within India. Goldsmiths and money-changers called shroff played the role of exchange of various rupees in this situation. The commission which was entitled as batta was charged on their role. The government officers like kamavisdars at the pargana level also paid batta for their official works. By use of documents on this kind of payment, which are kept in Pune Archives, this paper considers how various sorts of rupees were used for different purposes at the local lever under the Maratha rule.

Reports on the preliminary surveys of the new land revenue settlement (Ryotwari Settlement), which started in the late 1820s, tell various rupees continued to circulate under the British rule. Native peons and staffs in the Bombay Presidency demanded not the Bombay rupees, which were newly issued at the Bombay rupees, but current rupees at the local level such as Ankushi rupees for their salary. Even after it was enacted in 1844 that the coinage of India was standardized into the Company Rupee in the whole territory of the British India, some sorts of rupees still circulated and money-changers actively worked in this situation. This paper studies the complex situation of monetary use under the Maratha rule and its gradual change under the British rule focusing on its local circulation at the local level.

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