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The Making of Colonial Lucknow, 1856-1877

The Making of Colonial Lucknow, 1856-1877

Veena Talwar Oldenburg
Copyright Date: 1984
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    The Making of Colonial Lucknow, 1856-1877
    Book Description:

    Examining the history of Lucknow, Veena Talwar Oldenburg shows how the results of its transformation after the Mutiny of 1857 continue to pervade the city even today.

    Originally published in 1984.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5630-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. iii-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xxii)
    (pp. xxiii-2)
  7. CHAPTER ONE The City as Battlefield
    (pp. 3-26)

    The urban panorama of mid-nineteenth-century upper India had as its centerpiece the gracious, feudal court-city, Lucknow, the capital of the nawabs of Oudh. It was, at that point in history, the largest and most prosperous existing precolonial city in the subcontinent. In contrast, Delhi, Lahore, and Agra, the once great Mughal capitals, were greatly diminished centers of a progressively enfeebled Mughal authority, not quite equal to half the population or the commerce of Lucknow. As the capital of Oudh it commanded the richest hinterland, since Oudh was the wealthiest and most coveted province of Mughal India. Only the three colonial...

  8. CHAPTER TWO The City Must Be Safe
    (pp. 27-61)

    The mutiny dramatically changed the British view of Lucknow: the long-coveted nawabi capital was now a sinister and dangerous city with all the characteristics that had made rebellion easy and defense almost impossible. Eric Hobsbawm’s model for an “ideal city for riot and insurrection” incorporates almost exactly the physiognomy of the city where the British had found themselves besieged:

    Suppose, then, we construct the ideal city for riot and insurrection. . . . It ought to be densely populated and not too large in area. Essentially it should still be possible to traverse it on foot. . . . It...

  9. CHAPTER THREE The City Must Be Orderly
    (pp. 62-95)

    After the mutiny the strategic requirements for rebuilding a colonial city were met relatively simply, given the tenacity and will of the military men who took on the responsibility. It had needed little more than an examination of a city map and imposing upon it roads and esplanades, bungalows and barracks by knocking down all that interfered with the execution of the plan. Once the physical undertaking was completed—as it was in the first five years of intense activity by the public works department—the prospect of another battle in the city seemed to be permanently dispelled.

    The postannexation...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR The City Must Be Clean
    (pp. 96-144)

    The drive to make the city clean also had its origin in the experience of war. The high mortality rate of European troops during the mutiny retold the horror story of the Crimean War: more men died of disease than in combat.² These revelations made the cleanliness of the city as imperative as its strategic security.

    The problem of eliminating disease from the urban environment had no simple solution, however. The diseases that imperiled European lives were numerous and recurrent, ranging from small, everyday treacheries on the gastrointestinal tract, to sweeping epidemics of cholera, typhoid, smallpox, and the plague. Knowledge...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE The City Must Pay
    (pp. 145-180)

    Shortly after the siege was won and the whiff of grapeshot still in the air, there was a frantic bid to generate local funds to implement the “improvements” the city needed to make it possible for less than five thousand European soldiers and civilians to live without constant danger to their lives. Since the government in Calcutta was clearly not going to use the ample land revenue of Oudh for civic improvements the townspeople would have to get accustomed to paying a variety of taxes to finance the benefits planned for it.

    The citizens of Lucknow had had no experience...

  12. CHAPTER SIX The City Must Be Loyal
    (pp. 181-260)

    In looking at the process of change in an indigenous city being transformed to serve more congenially the needs of the colonial rulers, I examined in previous chapters the spatial and morphological change prompted by strategic and defense requirements, and the growth of municipal institutions that controlled and regulated matters of health and sanitation and the collection of taxes. By these means and in time the city would become, in the estimation of its new policy makers, safer, cleaner, and more habitable.

    Yet this was not enough to ensure stability. The very nature of colonial rule was precarious; only a...

  13. CHAPTER SEVEN Epilogue
    (pp. 261-266)

    In January 1877 the amalgamation of the province of Oudh with its larger neighbor, the North-West Provinces, was presented to the people of Oudh as a fait accompli. It came as suddenly and irrevocably as the annexation had come twenty-one years earlier. The move had been fitfully debated as a possibility since 1868 when the British found their hold on this region secure once again. The measure was prompted by the need to trim the budget in view of the extraordinary defense expenditure and the increasing demands of the military establishment on the imperial treasury after 1857. The real blow...

    (pp. 267-280)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 281-287)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 288-288)