Bengal Famine of 1770

The Bengal Famine of 1770 (which had already begun in 1769 and continued until 1773) is one of the greatest catastrophes in modern times. As many as ten million people, a third of the entire population, died as a consequence. Drought, bad harvests and British economic and administrative policies all contributed to its catastrophic proportions. The crisis had ramifications far beyond India. When accounts of the famine reached Europe, they sparked debate about British rule over the Indian subcontinent.

Further Readings: 
  • Arnold, David. “Hunger in the Garden of Plenty: The Bengal Famine of 1770.” In Dreadful Visitations Confronting Natural Catastrophe in the Age of Enlightenment, edited by Alessa Johns, 81-112. New York: Routledge, 1999.
  • Damodaran, Vinita. "Famine in Bengal: A Comparison of the 1770 Famine in Bengal and the 1897 Famine in Chotanagpur." The Medieval History Journal 10, nos. 1–2 (Oct. 2007): 143-181. Available to downoad here doi:10.1177/097194580701000206.
  • Ó Gráda, Cormac. “Making Famine History.” Journal of Economic Literature 45 (March 2007): 5–38. View PDF