History of Modern India
Bipan Chandra
130 x 190 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

History of Modern India presents what is arguable the authoritative overview of the historical period known as British India.

It moves away from a largely political narrative to offer:

  • An explanation of conditions in eighteenth-century India that helped the British East India Company establish its rule.
  • Important insights into the primary aim of colonial rule: the economic exploitation of India through trade and investment.
  • A detailed account of the nationalist movement.

An introduction to significant freedom fighters.

For the first time, this reprint is accompanied by the free Orient BlackSwan Smart App. This app allows students to:

  • access question banks from previous years’ competitive examinations
  • solve nearly 100 multiple-choice questions from their phone.

One of the most eminent historians of modern Indian history, Bipan Chandra was Chairman of the National Book Trust. He was also Professor Emeritus, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and National Research Professor.


1. The Decline of the Mughal Empire
Causes of the Decline of the Mughal Empire

2. Indian States and Society in the Eighteenth Century
Decay of the Mughal Empire • Hyderabad and the Carnatic • Bengal • Awadh • Mysore • Kerala • Areas around Delhi • Bangash Pathans and Rohelas • The Sikhs • The Rise and Fall of the Maratha Power • Social and Economic Conditions of the People • Education • Social and Cultural Life

3. European Penetration and the British Conquest of India
A New Phase in Europe’s Eastern Trade • The Growth of the East India Company’s Trade and Influence, 1600–1714 • The Anglo-French Struggle in South India • British Occupation of Bengal • Dual System of Administration of Bengal • Wars Under Warren Hastings (1772–85) and Cornwallis (1786–93) • Expansion under Lord Wellesley (1798–1805) • Expansion under Lord Hastings (1813–22) • The Consolidation of British Power (1818–57)

4. The Structure of Government and the Economic Policies of the British Empire in India, 1757–1857
The Structure of Government • British Economic Policies in India (1757–1857) • Land Revenue Policy

5. Administrative Organisation and Social and Cultural Policy
Civil Services • Army • Police • Judicial Organisation • The Rule of Law • Equality before Law • Social and Cultural Policy • Humanitarian Measures • Spread of Modern Education

6. Social and Cultural Awakening in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century
Rammohun Roy • Derozio and Young Bengal • Debendranath Tagore and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar • Pioneers of Reform in Western India

7. The Revolt of 1857
General Causes • The Immediate Cause • The Beginning and Course of the Revolt • The Weaknesses of the Revolt and its Suppression

8. Administrative Changes after 1858
Administration • Changes in the Army • Public Services • Relations with the Princely States • Administrative Policies • Racial Antagonism • Foreign Policy

9. The Economic Impact of British Rule
Disruption of the Traditional Economy • Ruin of Old Zamindars and Rise of New Landlordism • Stagnation and Deterioration of Agriculture • Poverty and Famines

10. The Nationalist Movement: 1858–1905
Consequence of Foreign Domination • Administrative and Economic Unification of the Country • Racial Arrogance of the Rulers • Predecessors of the Indian National Congress • The Programme and Activities of the Early Nationalists • Economic Critique of Imperialism • Constitutional Reforms • Administrative and Other Reforms • Role of the Masses • Attitude of the Government • Evaluation of the Early National Movement

11. Religious and Social Reform after 1858
Religious Reform • Religious Reform in Maharashtra • Ramakrishna and Vivekananda • Swami Dayanand and the Arya Samaj • The Theosophical Society • Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Aligarh School • Muhammad Iqbal • Religious Reform among the Parsis • Religious Reform among the Sikhs • Emancipation of Women • Struggle Against Caste

12. The Nationalist Movement: 1905–18
Recognition of the True Nature of British Rule • Growth of Self-Respect and Self-Confidence • Growth of Education and Unemployment • International Influences • Existence of an Aggressive Nationalist School of Thought • A Trained Leadership • The Anti-Partition Movement • The Swadeshi and Boycott • The Role of Students, Women, Muslims and the Masses • All-India Aspect of the Movement • Growth of the Revolutionary Struggle • Growth of Revolutionary Nationalism • The Home Rule Leagues • Lucknow Session of the Congress (1916)

13. The Struggle for Swaraj: 1919–27
The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms • The Rowlatt Act • Gandhiji and His Ideas • Champaran Satyagraha (1917) • Ahmedabad Mill Strike • Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

14. The Struggle for Swaraj: 1927–47
Emergence of New Forces • Boycott of the Simon Commission • Poorna Swaraj • Nationalist Politics 1935–39 • The Peasants' and Workers' Movements • Congress and World Affairs • People’s Struggle in the Princely States • Growth of Communalism • Post-War Struggle

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