A History of Sri Lanka

Penguin UK, 2005/08/25 - 800 ページ
Sri Lanka is an ancient civilization, shaped and thrust into the modern globalizing world by its colonial experience. With its own unique problems, many of them historical legacies, it is a nation trying to maintain a democratic, pluralistic state structure while struggling to come to terms with separatist aspirations. This is a complex story, and there is perhaps no better person to present it in reasoned, scholarly terms than K.M. de Silva, Sri Lanka’s most distinguished and prolific historian. A History of Sri Lanka, first published in 1981, has established itself as the standard work on the subject. This fully revised edition, in light of the most recent research, brings the story right up to the early years of the twenty-first century. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of Sri Lanka’s development—from a classical Buddhist society and irrigation economy, to its emergence as a tropical colony producing some of the world’s most important cash crops, such as cinnamon, tea, rubber and coconut, and finally as an Asian democracy. It is a study of the political vicissitudes of Sri Lanka’s ancient civilization and the successive phases of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial rule. The unfortunate consequences of becoming a centre of ethnic tension and Sri Lanka’s long-standing relationship with India are also discussed. Exhaustively researched and analytical, this book is an invaluable reference source for students of ancient, colonial and post-colonial societies, ethnic conflict and democratic transitions, as well as for all those who simply want to get a feel of the rich and varied texture of Sri Lanka’s long history.

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About the Author
Dedication Maps Abbreviations
Colonizers and Settlers
The Anuradhapura Kingdom I
The Polonnaruva Kingdom
The Fragmentation of the Sri Lankan Polity
The Periphery Stakes a Claim
The Crisis of the Sixteenth Century
A Plantation Economy 18501910
Peasant Agriculture 18501910
The Consolidation of British Rule
Education and Social Change in the Late Nineteenth Century
Religion and the Rise of Nationalism c 18701900
Politics and Constitutional Reform in the Late Nineteenth Century
Political Change in the Early Twentieth Century
Elite Conflict and the Ceylon National Congress 192128

Portuguese Rule in the Maritime Regions c 160058
The Kandyan Kingdom at Bay 165887
The Struggle for Mastery over Sri Lanka c 16801766
Trade and Agriculture Under the
The VOC in Sri Lanka The Last Phase 176796
The Impact of Dutch Rule
Religion Literature and the Arts in the Kandyan Kingdom
The English East India Company in Sri Lanka 17961802
The Fall of the Kandyan Kingdom
Economic and Social Change in the Early Nineteenth Century 180232
Crown Colony Government 180232
An Era of Reform and Reconstruction 183350
Social and Economic Change in the Early Twentieth Century 1910
The Donoughmore Commission and Its Recommendations 192731
The Politics of the Transfer of Power The First Phase 193142
S Senanayake and the Passage to Dominion Status 194247
Social and Economic Change in the Donoughmore Era 193147
Literature and the Arts The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Linguistic Nationalism and a Socialist Experiment 19561977
A Change of Regime 197794
and After
Further Reading

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