British imperialism in india
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British Imperialism in India. Topic three. Terms (textbook definition). Sepoy: An Indian solider serving under British command.

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British Imperialism in India

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British imperialism in india

British Imperialism in India

Topic three

Terms textbook definition

Terms (textbook definition)

  • Sepoy: An Indian solider serving under British command.

  • “Jewel in the crown” :The British colony of India; so called because of its importance in the British Empire, both as a supplier of raw materials and as a market for British trade goods.

  • Sepoy Mutiny: An 1857 rebellion of Hindu and Muslim soldiers against the British in India.

  • Raj: The British-controlled portions of India in the year 1757-1947.


Terms based on the reading

Terms: based on the reading

  • Sepoy: Indian soldiers who were hired to defend the British East India Company. Mountstuart Elphinstone, the governor of Bombay described the Sepoy as “a delicate and dangerous machine, which a little mismanagement may easily turn against us”.

  • “jewel in the crown”: Britain named India the jewel in the crown due to the fact it served two important roles. One was being the provider of raw materials to support and maintain their success as well as a major market for British-made products.

  • Sepoy Mutiny: While the economic problems in India began to worsen, the Indian’s sense of nationalism began to increase. In 1857, rumors spread that the new cartridges the sepoys were soon going to receive were sealed with beef and pork fat. In order to use these rifles the Hindu and Muslim sepoys would have to bite off the seal. Due to the fact both Hindus and Muslims did not believe in eating meet, 85 of the 90 sepoys refused to the rifles, causing a rebellion on may 10, 1857. They were successful in capturing the city of Delphi, in which their rebellion spread to the north and central part of India. There was fierce fighting that took place, however were unsuccessful in the end due to the split opinions of the Hindus and Muslims.



  • The interest in India the British had began in the 1600s , once the British East India company established trading posts in Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta.

  • Mughal Empire; power in India, was able to keep the European trading under control, however when their power was collapsing, the Europeans took advantage.

  • 1757-Robert Clive led BEIC troops in a victory over the Indian people at the Battle of Plassey, making the EIC the power in India.

  • CONTROL INDIRECTLY OR DIRECTLY; area controlled was so large areas included modern Bangladesh, most of southern India, and nearly all the territory along the Ganges River in the North.

  • Until the beginning of the 19th century, the BEIC governed India with little to no help of the British government.

  • Britain, after the Industrial Revolution was known as the world’s workshop, and India was used as the major supplier of raw materials for the workshop.

  • India’s population *300 million: not only providers of raw materials but potential market for British-made goods.

  • There were restrictions on the Indian economy to prevent them from operating on their own, as well as competition with British finished goods was prohibited.

  • After the establishment of a railroad system, India became even more valuable to the British.

  • The majority of raw materials exported from India were agricultural products produced on plantations. EX: tea, indigo, coffee, cotton, jute, and opium.




The British government held most of the political and economic power in India, restricting Indian-owned industries like the cotton textiles. The British emphasis on growing cash crops resulted in a loss of self-sufficiency for many citizens. This stress on cash crop production reduced food production, finally causing famines in the 1800s. Missionaries and the hands-off policy the British adopted began to threaten the Indian’s way of traditional life.


the laying of the world’s third largest railroad

network was a major British achievement.

Following the completion, India was capable of

establishing a modern successful economy,

bringing unity to regions of land. Telephone,

telegraph lines, dams, bridges, and irrigation

canals permitted India to further modernize

themselves. Sanitation and public health also

improved as well as the establishment of schools

and colleges (literacy increased). As well as

improvements in modernizing India, the British

troops cleared most of central India from Bandits

and ended local warfare among competing local


  • By 1850 most of the Indian subcontinent belonged to the British. (Many believed their intention for controlling the land was to converts its citizens to Christianity).

  • Sepoy mutiny was a turning point in Indian history.

  • Result of the Mutiny was in 1858, when the British government took complete control of India.



  • India was divided into 11 provinces and about 250 districts. A cabinet minister in London directed policies, while a British-governor, later named a viceroy, carried out the orders.

  • Sepoy Mutiny fueled the racist attitude of the English, and increased the distrust between the British and Indians.

  • Both Hindus and Muslims “are being ruined under the tyranny and oppression of the… treacherous English”.

  • Often referred to as the “ Father of Modern India”, Ram Mohun Roy was a modern thinker and a well- educated Indian who began campaigns to move India away from their traditional practices and ideas and modernize India.

  • He believed there should be an end to widow suicide because it was a murderous act. He also saw that child marriage and the rigid cast separation as religious tactics that needed to be changed to bring India into a more modern mind. He believed that if these changes were not made, they would continue to be ruled by outside forces. He also created a social reform movement that helped change in India.

  • Indians resisted the system that made them second-class citizens in their own country.

  • Those who managed to get middle-level jobs were paid less than the Europeans.

  • Indian Nationalism led to the founding of two nationalist groups, the Indian national congress in 1885 and the Muslim League in1906. Nationalist idea also inflamed in 1905 in the partition of Bengal.

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