Maharashtra State BoardHSC Arts 11th
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Trade and Commerce

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notes

Trade and Commerce:

Agriculture was the main occupation of the majority of people during the Sultanate period. Agricultural production and its revenue were the main sources of revenue. Along with it, the textile industry also flourished on large scale. Delhi, Agra, Lahore, Multan, Banaras, Patna, Khambayat, Burhanpur, Devgiri were the main centers of the textile industry during this period. The manufacturing of paper began during this period. Paper was made out of rags and tree barks. Paper manufacturing was carried out in the regions of Kashmir, Siyalkot, Delhi, Gaya, Bihar, Bengal, and Gujarat. During the Sultanate rule, there was an increase in the internal trade of India. The local markets operated through weekly markets (Bazaar) and market places (Mandi /Mandai). There was a rise of new trade centers (Peth) due to continuously expanding transactions of trading.

Amir Khusrow was a well-known poet and scholar who composed poetry in the Persian language. He spent his life in the court of Sultan Balban in Delhi. While describing the muslin of Dhaka, he says, “the Muslin is so fine that even if a hundred yards are tied around the head, one could still see the hair.” He says further, “Hundred yards of muslin can pass through the hole of a needle, but the same needle cannot make a hole in the cloth.” This shows the fines of the craftsmanship of those days. the names of the Khalifa and the Sultan were inscribed on the coins. Details regarding the year of issue, place of minting, etc. were inscribed on it in the Arabic script. ‘Tola’ came to be considered as a standard unit for the weight of the coin.

Some of the Sultans carried out some experiments in the economic sector. Alauddin Khalji attempted to bring the markets under royal control. The prices of grains, vegetables, fruits, day to day commodities as well as slaves, horses were standardised by the central administration. The traders were obliged to sell their goods at a standard price. During famines, the government provided essential commodities at regulated prices in the market. The farmers and traders were asked to set aside the grains for house consumption and to sell the rest to the government at a low price. In this process, the farmers were the ones who suffered the most.

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  • Amir Khusrow was a well-known poet and scholar who composed poetry in the Persian language. He spent his life in the court of Sultan Balban in Delhi. While describing the muslin of Dhaka, he says, “the Muslin is so fine that even if a hundred yards are tied around the head, one could still see the hair.” He says further, “Hundred yards of muslin can pass through the hole of a needle, but the same needle cannot make a hole in the cloth.” This shows the fines of the craftsmanship of those days.
  • Some of the Sultans carried out some experiments in the economic sector. Alauddin Khalji attempted to bring the markets under royal control. The prices of grains, vegetables, fruits, day to day commodities as well as slaves, horses were standardised by the central administration. The traders were obliged to sell their goods at a standard price. During famines, the government provided essential commodities at regulated prices in the market. The farmers and traders were asked to set aside the grains for house consumption and to sell the rest to the government at a low price. In this process, the farmers were the ones who suffered the most.
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