This volume analyses the importance of property rights on land which were transformed by the British in the form of colonial land revenue system in Andhra region of Madras Presidency. It initiates a discussion of the traditional production systems like irrigation, agricultural methods, etc., which were replaced by the colonial ones. It further shows how the small peasantry suffered under the new system. This book also deals with the relations between the colonial state, rich peasants, zamindars and peasants under the ryotwary and zamindary settlements, which were introduced at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It further examines how the peasantry lost their rights on lands and how it went under the control of merchants and rich peasant moneylenders. Consequently, de-peasantization, wage labour, and general agrarian impoverishment followed.
The colonial legal system favoured zamindars, landlords and rich peasants against small peasants, who could not go to colonial courts due to heavy legal costs. The volume analyses in minute detail various Acts, which affected the property rights of peasants on their lands.
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