Process of Industrial Transition and Colonial Capitalism
This process of industrial transition in India during the British period can be broadly classified into two as given below:
During the 19th century, British investors started to pioneer industrial enterprises in India as they had experiences of running industries at home. British enterprises also received maximum state support. Although the Britishers initiated industrialisation process in the 19th century, they were primarily interested in making profit and not in accelerating the economic growth in India. At the end of 19th century, there were about 36 jute mills, 194 cotton mills and a good number of plantation industries. The production of coal had risen to over 6 million tonnes per annum.
During the first part of 20th century, Swadeshi movement stimulated the industrialisation process in India. The existing industries and new industries had maintained a slow but steady growth till the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.By this time more than 70 cotton mills and 30 jute mills were set up. Coal production was doubled. The foundation of iron and steel industry was laid. Railway network was extended.
During the period 1924-39, various major industries like iron and steel, cotton textiles, jute, matches, sugar, paper and pulp industry etc. were brought under protection scheme. This led to rapid expansion of protected industries in India. These protected industries captured the entire Indian market and eliminated foreign competition totally.
Thus in the early part, British rule tried to transform the Indian economy as the producer of industrial raw materials and tried to capture Indian market for their industrial finished goods and thus started exploiting Indian economy in a different way. Later on, British capitalists gradually developed various industries like, jute, tea, coffee, cotton and textiles, paper and paper pulp, sugar etc, in India for locational advantages and exploited Indian labourers extensively.