Land Tenure systems Under British rule


The three major Land Tenure systems Under British rule are discussed below

  1. Zamindari System:
  • This system of was introduced by Lord Cornwallis in 1793 in Bengal ,Bihar
  • Made zamindars into landlords and proprietors of land
  • Zamindars will have to pay fixed rental to the government
  • Status of cultivators were changed to mere rent paying tenants
  • Though fixed rent was to be paid to government, zamindars exploited the tenants by arbitrarily increasing the rent
  • Led to increasing hold of zamindar as political allies and suppression of peasants

2.Ryotwari System:

  • Introduced by Munro and Reed in 1820 in Madras presidency and later in Bombay by Elphistone
  • Cultivators had to pay land revenue and were recognized as owner of land.The state collected revenue directly from the peasant
  • Though peasant were recognized as owners,the land revenue fixed was exorbitant
  • The government increased the land revenue at will through poor peasants into the hands of exploitative money lenders

3.Mahalwari  Settlement:

  • Introduced in Punjab ,Uttar Pradesh and parts of central India.
  • Settlement was made with villages or Mahals.
  • Led to emerhgence of exploitative Mahaldars who collected revenue at their whims and to favour relatives
  • System is similar to Zamindari system ,however Mahaldars emerged as powerful classes who exploited peasants.


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