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A Jewel in the Crown? Indian Wealth in Domestic Britain in the Late Eighteenth Century

Tillman W. Nechtman
Eighteenth-Century Studies
Vol. 41, No. 1 (Fall, 2007), pp. 71-86
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30053749
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Jewel in the Crown? Indian Wealth in Domestic Britain in the Late Eighteenth Century
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Abstract

In the late eighteenth century, Britons labeled East India Company employees Nabobs and sharply criticized their newfound Indian wealth, arguing that it was reshaping Britain's political and economic institutions. This article seeks to understand how these debates resonated with the British public. It will argue that domestic Britons felt the return of nabobs and their nabobish fortunes in mundane economic ways, namely the increasing prices they paid when they went to buy daily commodities. It will also argue that Britons used another commodity-Indian diamonds-as a concrete demonstration of the connection between nabobs, their wealth, and the rising prices of consumer goods and of the fact that Indian money was tangibly foreign.

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