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Nepal Under The Ranas (Set of 2 Volumes)

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About the Book The history of Nepal as a modern state dates from the conquest of the Kathmandu Valley in 1768 by Prithvi Narayan Shah, ruler of the small Himalayan hill state of Gorkha. He and his successors continued to expand the area under their control, Subjugating independent tribes and principalities until the Kingdom reached its present size in 1816. However all of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s successors inherited the throne as minors and even when they came of age they proved incapable of g...
About the Book

The history of Nepal as a modern state dates from the conquest of the Kathmandu Valley in 1768 by Prithvi Narayan Shah, ruler of the small Himalayan hill state of Gorkha. He and his successors continued to expand the area under their control, Subjugating independent tribes and principalities until the Kingdom reached its present size in 1816. However all of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s successors inherited the throne as minors and even when they came of age they proved incapable of governing effectively. Consequently, real power was usually vested in the hands of a chief minister who enjoyed the backing of the army. In 1846, a young and ambitious minor aristocrat named Jang Bahadur Rana was appointed prime minister. He quickly usurped the power and authority of the crown and made the prime minister ship hereditary within his family. This situation, analogous to that of the emperor and the Shogun in contemporary Japan, was to last for 104 years until, in 1951, the regime was toppled and the power of the monarchy restored.

This is the story of Nepal during that period; the story of Nepal under the rule of the Rana family.

The purpose of this book is to examine the nature of Rana rule, the devices whereby the Rana family kept itself in power, and the strategies that is employed to preserve the independence of Nepal against the encroachment of the British imperial power in India.

The book is chronological in structure, the framework for each chapter being the events that occurred during a specific prime ministership. Woven into the story is a series of studies of economic, political, social, military, administrative, legal and cultural issues. The composite effect is a rounded picture of Nepal at that time. The book concludes with a final analysis and assessment of the regime. A set of appendices provides a wealth of historical data in support of the text and is a useful resource for the student and enquiring reader.

The book has a double impact: firstly, through the wealth of photographs, most of which have never been published before, and secondly, through the text: a comprehensive, balanced and intellectually sound treatment of Nepal during the Rana period – in effect, a definitive history of modern Nepal.

About the Author

Adrian Sever was born in Australia and is a graduate in History from Murdoch University in Perth. His abiding interest in Nepal began when he paid the first of numerous extended visits in 1964. Since then he has taken a postgraduate degree in Asian Studies at the Australian National University and served in the Australian diplomatic service in Cambodia, China and North Korea, and as Deputy Permanent Australian Representative to UNESCO. In 1984 he became the first resident Australian diplomat in Nepal when he established the Australian Embassy in Kathmandu and stayed on to serve as Charg’e d’ affaires for two years. He is the author of four other books and numerous articles on the history and culture of various Asian countries.

Introduction

The history of Nepal as a modern state dates from the conquest of the Kathmandu Valley in 1768 by Prithvi Nrayan Shah, ruler of the small Himalayan hill state of Gorkha. He and his successors continued to expand the area under their control, subjugating independent tribes and principalities until the kingdom reached its present size in 1816. However all of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s successors inherited the throne as minors and even when they came of age they proved incapable of governing effectively. Consequently, real power was usually vested in the hands of a chief minister who enjoyed the backing of the army. In 1846, a young and ambitious minor aristocrat named Jang Bahadur Rana was appointed prime minister. He quickly usurped the power and authority of the king and made the prime ministership hereditary within his family. This situation, analogous to that of the emperor and the shogun in contemporary Japan, was to last for 104 years until, in 1951, the regime was toppled and the power of the monarchy restored. This is the story of Nepal during that period; the story of Nepal under the rule of the Rana family

The purpose of this book is to examine the nature of Rana rule, the devices whereby the Rana family kept itself in power, and the strategies that it employed to preserve the independence of Nepal against the encroachment of the British imperial power in India.

Three categories of primary source have been used in writing this book:

- Unpublished British Indian Government records in the National Archives of India in Delhi and the India Office Library and Records in London. These include the papers of the Bengal Secret Consultations, Foreign Department Proceedings, Foreign Political Consultations, Foreign Secret Consultations and the India Political and Secret Files.

- Published British, British Indian and Indian government records, including government reports and memoranda, parliamentary papers and speeches, provincial administrative reports and treaty series.

- Published works of 19th century British observers. The kingdom of Nepal was completely closed to foreigners until the fall of the Rana regime in1951. Prior to this date, the only westerners to enter the country were the British Residents and the occasional official guest. As Nepalese historiography during this period had not developed beyond the simple compilation of genealogical lists and rudimentary dynastic chronicles (vamsavalis) of dubious historical accuracy, interspersed as they were with religious and legendary tales, the official reports and the impartial accounts and observations of contemporary British travellers such as William Kirkpatrick, Francis Hamilton., George Ramsey, Daniel Wright, Brian Hodgson and Henry Oldfield are an invaluable source of information on most aspects of 18th and 19th century Nepal.

I have referenced the work of the pre- eminent economic historian of Nepal, Mahesh Chandra Regmi, who has collected and translated into English a vast number of government reports, regulations, instructions and directives, dating back almost to the formation of the kingdom of Nepal in the 1770s. They have never been published but are available on subscription in two compilations known as the Regmi Research Collection and the Regmi Research Series. The range of subject matter is vast and the two compilations from an invaluable data base for the non-Nepali speaking researcher. I have also researched the work of other contemporary scholars of Nepalese society and history, notably Krishna Kant Adhikari, Hem Narayan Agrawal, Satish Kumar, Tri Ratna Manandhar, Kanchanmnoy Mojumdar, Dinesh Raj Pant, D.S. Regmi, Rishikesh Shaha and John Whelpton.

I benefited greatly in writing this book from correspondence with Dr. John Whelpton, a leading non – Nepali scholar of nineteenth century Nepalese politics, and from correspondence and discussions with Rishikesh Shaha and Dinesh Raj Pant. I would particularly like to thank Dr. Whelpton for his patient and constructive advice and guidance. Given the present state of Nepalese historiography, Appendix 3 (Rana- Shah Matrimonial Connections) was particularly difficult to compile. My thanks are due to Greg Hickman, who kindly made available his exhaustive research on the genealogies of the Rana and Shah families and provided some of the more elusive data. I am also indebted to the staff of the India Office Library in London, the keshar Library in Kathmandu and the National Library of Australia in Canberra for their kind assistance with my research.

Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank Jharendra Shumsher Rana and Rani Manju Rana for making available to me their collection of historic photos of the Rana family, most of which have never been published before. It was, in fact, our shared wish to see these photographs published that motivated me to write the text that would bring them to the world for the first time.

Contents

Volume 1
Introductionvii
1The Setting1
The Cradle of Nepal3
The Conquests of Prithvi Narayan Shah6
The Gorkhali State11
Village Nepal16
Land Revenue Assessment and Collection18
Labour and Tax Obligations21
Gorkhali Foreign Policy22
The Making of "Greater Nepal"24
The Waning Monarchy26
The Monarchy : An Assessment and Analysis32
War with the British34
The Fall of Bhim Sen Thapa36
The Monarchy in Crisis39
2The Rise of Jang Bahadur.47
On the Periphery of Power49
Edging Towards Chaos: Tentions and Disarray in the Darbar50
The Political Education of Jang Bahadur54
The Kot Massacre59
The Consolidation of Power63
3Jang Bahadur (1846-1856)71
Problems with British India74
Jang Bahadur's Visit to Europe78
Jnag Bahadur's Visit: An Assessment82
The Badri Narsingh Plot82
The Legal System Reviewed and Codified87
Enhancing the Status of the Konwar Family94
War and Tibet96
4Bam Bahadur (1856-1857)103
The Maharajaship of Kaski and Lamjung105
Suppressing the Influence of the Monarchy107
Jang Bhadur's Dilemma108
The Rana Hierarchy108
The Non-Rana Hierarchy110
The Apparatus of Government115
The People of Nepal119
The Arts of Nepal129
Bam Bahadur's Performance as Prime Minister135
5Jang Bahadur (1857-1877)141
Strengthening the Shah-Rana Matrimonial Alliance144
Nepal and the 1857 Uprising in Northern India145
Power and Patronage: the Prime Ministership in Action146
Internal stability.149
Expanding the Rana-Shah Matrimonial Alliance157
Famine157
The tibetan Problem161
Jang Bhadur's Proposed Visit to Great Britian163
The Visit of the Prince of Wales164
The Ram Lakhan Thapa Uprising165
The Death of Jnag Bahadur166
Jnag Bhadur: An Assessment167
6Ranaudip Singh (1877-1885)171
The Conspiracies Begin173
Relations with the British: Gurkha Recruitment178
The 1882 Bomb Conspiracy179
Trade and Commerce185
The Return of Confiscated Land to the Brahmins190
Problems with Tibet192
Ahouse Divided195
Relations with the British: Honours and Titles198
Coup d'etat198
7Bir Shumsher (1885-1901)205
The Jang Ranas in Exile211
The Conspiracies Begin214
Ranabir Jang216
Relations with the British220
Bir Shumsher: A Profile224
Nepalese Complementary Missions to China227
The Sijapati Episode231
Place Polities232
District Administration235
8Dev Shumsher245
The Benevolent Autocrat248
Slavery249
Searching for the Popular Will253
Education254
The Conspiracies Begin254
The Law Courtys258
The Fall of Bhim Sen Thapa262
Volume 2
9Chandra Shumsher (1901-1929)267
Relations with the British271
The ABC of Rana Family Politics275
King George V's Hunting Trip in the Tarai277
The Machinery of Government279
Nepal and the First World War286
District Administation292
The Prince of Wale'Hunting Trip in the Tarai300
The Anglo- Nepal Treaty of Friendship.1923301
The abolition of Slavery306
The Dawn of Political Consciousness308
The Modernisation of Nepal315
10Bhim Shumsher (1929-1932)323
Rana Places326
A Beleaguered Prime Minister329
The Civil Service333
Dessention in the Ranks337
Foresty338
11Juddha Shumsher (1932-1945)345
The Great Earthquake of 1934349
Purge354
The Symbols of Independence359
The Law Courts365
The Anti- Rana Movements369
The Emergence of a Commercial and Industrial Infrastructure377
The Literature of Nepal382
Nepal and the Second World War384
Juddha Shumsher and the Third Stage of Man385
12Padma Shumsher395
Servant of the Nation398
Education400
The Rise of Political Opposition402
The Rise of Popular Unrest403
Nepal Broadens Its World View405
Contitutional Reform407
The 1948 Constitution409
The Constitution: An Assessment411
Resignation411
13Mohan Shumsher (1948- 1951)415
Unity in Diversity : The Growth of Oppositional Politics419
The Crucial Variable : Relations with India421
The King Plays His Hand426
The Collapse of Power429
Rana Nepal : An Analysis and Assessment435
The Setting437
The Rise of the House of Rana439
Nepal under the Ranas440
Appendices451
1Genealogy of the Rana family453
2Genealogy of the Shah dynasty454
3Rana-shah Matrimonial Connection455
4Kings, Regents and Prime Ministers of Nepal.1743-1951456
5Rna Administration463
AOrganisational Structure- Early Period463
BOrganisational Structure- Later Period464
CDistrict Administration- Early period465
DDistrict Administration- Later period466
EStaffing467
6The Rolls of Succession469
7The Anglo- Nepalese Treaties480
8A Who's Whi of Revolutionary Nepalese Politics487
9Principal Events490
10Biographical Notes503
Glossary523
Bibliography541
Index553
Sample Pages

Volume I


















Volume II










Item Code: NAL712 Author: Adrian Sever Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2014 Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation ISBN: 9789350501375 Language: English Size: 9.5 inch x 7.5 inch Pages: 589 (Throughout Color and B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 2.1 kg
Price: $105.00
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