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Law and Long-Term Economic ChangeA Eurasian Perspective$
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Debin Ma and Jan Luiten van Zanden

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804772730

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804772730.001.0001

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Law and Economic Change in India, 1600–1900

Law and Economic Change in India, 1600–1900

(p.115) Chapter Six Law and Economic Change in India, 1600–1900
Law and Long-Term Economic Change
Tirthankar Roy
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines a legal regime operating in a political regime in sharp contrast to that of politically centralized China. The precolonial India legal system is essentially community bound with some signal characteristics. In the sphere of canon law, the state did not make laws but upheld them with the hierarchy of state courts reflecting the political order rather than the contents of law or the nature of offense. In civil matters outside the sphere of canon law, communities both made and administered laws, but with weak, informal, or highly differentiated procedures and rules. This chapter looks at two influential interpretations of this process. The transmission theory claims that India basically inherited a common law system. On the other hand, the translation theory required the codification of the indigenous laws.

Keywords:   precolonial India, political regime, colonial law, transmission theory, translation theory

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