How did the American Civil War affect the lives of ryots in India?
The American civil war broke out in 1861 it had major impacts all over the world, it also affected the lives of ryots in India in following ways. –
• At that time, Britain were heavily dependent on America for supply of raw cotton. They were always in search for alternative sources of cotton to reduce this dependency on America. They found that India could be useful in this matter, and when the war broke out the amount of cotton imported from America drastically reduced.
• They started encouraging cotton production in India and established cotton supply association for this purpose and made frantic attempts to increase cotton export to Britain.
• They started giving advances to local sahukars who in turn gave it to moneylenders to acquire more cotton. This had major impact on lives of peasants as they suddenly had access to limitless credits.
• Most rich peasants benefitted from this but expansion of cotton production also meant heavier debt. When the war ended and exports of Indian cotton declined, the moneylenders started demanding repayment of huge debts.