British imperialism in india
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British Imperialism in India. 633-641. Historical Background Information:. During the 18 th century the Mughal Empire weakened, leaving India open to takeover by both European powers and Indian states. In 1739, Delhi was sacked by Iranian armies.

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Historical background information
Historical Background Information:

  • During the 18th century the Mughal Empire weakened, leaving India open to takeover by both European powers and Indian states. In 1739, Delhi was sacked by Iranian armies.

  • Through the East India Company, Great Britain established trading posts and gained control of Bengal, eventually taking over almost the entire Indian subcontinent. The British ruled some areas directly, while in other areas they allowed local princes to maintain their position as long as they agreed to submit to the political control of the British. After earning political influence in India, the British carefully applied policies that they hoped would westernize India without being so radical that they stimulated revolts.

  • The Indian elite prospered under British rule. Indian princes were given greater power in the name of “tradition.” However, not everyone benefitted from Britain’s imperialism. Women, members of the lower castes, and untouchables were all oppressed as Britain’s control over India grew. The unhappiness of Hindu and Muslim sepoys, peasants, and some elites would lead to the Sepoy Rebellion.

  • The Sepoy Rebellion caused Britain to greatly reform the way that they were controlling India. The removed any Mughal or East India Company rulers that remained, new officials were appointed to oversee Indian policies, and Queen Victoria guaranteed that Indians would be allowed to freely practice their religion. She also stated that local princes could continue their reign as long as they remained loyal to Britain. British officials lived a gaudy lifestyle to reinforce their power.

  • Britain used a powerful bureaucracy to maintain control in India. This included the Indian Civil Service, a group of intelligent men at the head of the administrative and judicial systems. In 1870, the ICS included only one Indian, but after reforms were made this number was increased to 57 by 1887. Despite these attempts to include Indians in the government, racism was undeniable. British people considered themselves to be superior beings to natives of the areas that they colonized.

  • Indian trade flourished as trade with Britain grew. A main import was cotton textiles, which could be produced efficiently and cheaply in industrialized Britain. This left Indian hand loom weavers to find work elsewhere, and many women turned to prostitution. The Indian people were suffering greatly from poverty.

Historical background information1
Historical Background Information:

  • British raj exposed Indians to modern technologies such as steamboats, canals, telegraphs, and one of the best railroad systems in the world.

  • Easier transportation and crowded cities lead to the rapid spread of cholera through India and Britain. Sewage and water purification systems put in place by the British in Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay decreased cholera deaths in these areas, but small villages continued to suffer. Four out of every thousand Indians died of cholera.

This image shows the microscopic bacteria cholera, a disease transmitted through water contaminated by human feces. Cholera spread quickly through India and Europe as cities grew more crowded and transportation became easier due to the building of railroads. Improvements in sanitation in the late 19th century and 20th century helped decrease the number of cholera deaths in British India.

British imperialism in india

What were the responses to imperialism within the region or country? Who were the individuals or groups that aided resistance within the country or region? When and how did your country or region gain independence?

  • British raj was generally beneficial, as trade and agricultural production increased and new jobs were formed. However, there were some problems. India’s textile industry was failing because of competition with Britain’s industrial mills. Many people were unhappy and often revolted. The British feared that the sepoys, who they had trained with the most advanced military strategies and were well armed, would be able to organize a rebellion powerful enough to overthrow their rule. Sepoys were becoming unhappy because of problems that occurred due to Britain’s lack of understanding for Muslim and Hindu culture. Hindu sepoys rebelled in 1857, soon joined by Muslim sepoys and others including peasants and some elites. Although the British were able to crush the rebellion by 1858, it was the beginning of the Indian struggle for independence.

  • After the failed Sepoy Rebellion, some Indians believed that the only way to overcome British rule was to increase nationalism, even across social and ethnic divisions. Rammohun Roy founded the BrahmoSamaj, a group of people who wished to combine European values with Hindu traditions. They worked to legally ban practices that were abusive towards women. Roy also helped spread education, founding the Hindu College in 1816. This was followed by the establishment of other schools including three universities, elementary and secondary schools, and Bethune College, a college for Indian women. Nationalism grew among members of the middle class as they became educated and angered at British rules and prejudices. They formed the Indian National Congress in an attempt to gain influence in the ICS. The Indian National Congress fought for unity among Indian citizens of different religious and social groups and wanted to reduce military spending so that the money could be used to fight poverty. However, because they focused on the needs of the Indian elite, they lacked support from the general population of India and therefore could not challenge Britain’s power.

Analyze the effects of imperialism from historical and modern day perspectives
Analyze the effects of imperialism from historical and modern day perspectives:

Before Britain took control of India, the large subcontinent was suffering because of the decline of the Mughal Empire. Britain provided a stable, organized government and exposed India to advanced technologies, new forms of transportation, western education, increased trade, and a strengthened military. India’s exposure to the modern European world set the stage for India to become a great country as Indians’ nationalism increased. Also, many British policies and reforms forced the many different social and religious groups in India to live among each other.

However, British rule was not completely positive. Many citizens of India were oppressed, specifically women and members of the lower classes. Poverty was also widespread in India, and many poor Indians living in villages suffered from the cholera epidemic. Although British rule helped India enter into the modern world, it weakened the nation by ignoring the needs of poor citizens.

Maps of india
Maps of India: modern day perspectives:

Map of indian railways

This map displays railroads, roads, and other methods of transportation that the British put in place in India to help build their empire. The map was part of an atlas of colonial India compiled by British administrative officials in 1889.

Map of Indian Railways