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Unearthing the Past to Forge the Future: Colin Mackenzie, the Early Colonial State, and the Comprehensive Survey of India

Author, trans:
Wolffhardt, Tobias
Jane Rafferty

ISBN:
978 1 78533 689 8
Format:
Hardback
Pages:
356
List price(s):
100.00 GBP

Publication date:
1 November 2017

Short description: 

During the 1800s, the East India Company consolidated its rule in India. In desperate need of knowledge about this territory and its population, the company appointed Colin Mackenzie as the first Surveyor General of India. Unearthing the Past to Forge the Future explores the life and career of Mackenzie, and his massive survey of India.

Full description: 

For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British East India Company consolidated its rule over India, evolving from a trading venture to a colonial administrative force. Yet its territorial gains far outpaced its understanding of the region and the people who lived there, and its desperate efforts to gain knowledge of the area led to the 1815 appointment of army officer Colin Mackenzie as the first Surveyor General of India. This volume carefully reconstructs the life and career of Mackenzie, showing how the massive survey of India that he undertook became one of the most spectacular and wide-ranging knowledge production initiatives in British colonial history.

Table of contents: 

List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Note on the Text and Sources Introduction Chapter 1. Scottish Experiences Chapter 2. Building an East Indian Career Chapter 3. On the Route: From Military Imperatives to the Tasks of Government Chapter 4, Mackenzie's Survey Chapter 5. Mapping History, Producing Territory Chapter 6. Knowledge for the Future Chapter 7. The Past in the Present Chapter 8. The Surveyor General Epilogue Bibliography Index

Biography: 

Tobias Wolffhardt is a Research Fellow at the Bundeswehr University Munich. For his research on Colin Mackenzie he was awarded the German Historical Institute London's Wolfgang J. Mommsen Prize in 2010

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