Economic Background of Dambadeniya, Yapahuva, Kurunegala, Gampola and Kotte that led to Social Changes in the Medieval Period of Sri Lanka

N. A. Wimalasena


The economic factor can be regarded as the decision of social development in human society and with that development of the economic situation; various structures of society similarly are described. Several scholars have analyzed through their various research that commercial activities and the development of commerce are major facts that society will organize systematically in the world. The economic factor which was a reason for the origin and development of the socio-political organization of ancient Sri Lanka can be studied under two major divisions. Those are an economy based on agricultural activities and an economy based on trading activities. R. A. L. H. Gunawardhana has suggested that periods of prolific activity in building irrigation works in Sri Lanka coincided with the most flourishing periods of trade. The explanation for this is that commercial gain provided the resources for hydraulic engineering. He points out that there was only one new major irrigation project undertaken between the seventh and the ninth centuries, in sharp contrast to the intense irrigation activity in the period immediately proceeding. H. J. Benda has clearly shown from his primary studies that an economy based on agriculture and commerce has affected the changes in society and political organization. Therefore, from this research, the growth of commercial activities will be discussed based on those views and how commercial activities affected society. Commerce is a factor that is based on buying of items, transaction, selling and consumption. A commercial market is a place where the meeting of merchants and consumers takes place. The research will be mainly based on primary sources and wherever necessary material will also be obtained from limited secondary sources published on the political system of the island.



internal trade, International trade, Social change, Commercial commodities, Trading groups, Muslim Merchant community.

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