By Barbara N. Ramusack

Barbara Ramusack describes the pre-colonial origins of the Indian princes, usually portrayed as synonymous with oriental luxurious, and the way they tailored their public actions and private life to outlive as political leaders and cultural icons. Their collaboration enabled the British to control India with particularly restricted manpower from the overdue 1790s to 1947. The publication is meant for college students of colonial background and viewers to the princely states.

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Extra info for The New Cambridge History of India, Volume 3, Part 6: The Indian Princes and their States

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In 1648 Ratan Singh received a jagir in Malwa, a mansab rank of 3000, the emblem of the Mahi Maratib (Order of Fish), and settled in Ratlam village as his capital. Kolff challenges the intense weight assigned to kinship and descent as the basis for Rajput identity. 10 The alliances between Mughal overlords and Rajput rulers waxed and waned according to material circumstances. Andr´e Wink has labelled this strategy fitna, a combination of conciliation and competition which a centralised empire viewed as rebellion, in the 8 9 10 Manohar Malgonkar, The Puars of Dewas Senior (Bombay, 1963); E.

Nicholas B. Dirks, The Hollow Crown: Ethnohistory of a Little Kingdom in South India (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 128–38, 285–90. 27 Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press, 2008 the indian princes and their states states in India. Rather they served as new arbitrators of regional conflicts and new sources of legitimation to aspiring rulers who could also be supportive clients. A few Afghans nevertheless founded states that would remain internally autonomous until 1948. 43 A larger one was Bhopal in central India.

Under Maharaja Rama Varma (r. 1758–98) it became the focus of unwanted attention from Mysore. In 1795 the Travancore ruler expediently concluded a treaty of subsidiary alliance with the Company to secure additional protection from Tipu Sultan’s aggrandising embrace. 61 Cochin, a much smaller state of about 1500 square miles, shared with Travancore a legendary descent from the Chera Empire and the matrilineal system of family organisation and inheritance. It was, however, less successful than its southern neighbour in resisting external and internal challengers.

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