British Imperialism in India Unit 3 – India Ms. Doyle
Portuguese Discovery • 1499- Vasco da Gama arrives back in Portugal from a voyage to Calicut, on the Malabar Coast of India. • His cargo of spices-pepper, nutmeg, and cloves-fascinate the people • The trade in spices was the most important reason for European interest in the East.
Trade • Europe and Asia were separated by deserts, mountains, and by the powerful Ottoman Empire, which was Muslim in religion and not on friendly terms with Christian Europe. • The journey was long and dangerous. Ships had to sail down the coast of Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope and into the Indian Ocean. • The trip lasted several years, if the ship made it at all.
Other products • Brought back beautiful fabrics and gems • Spices and pepper were still the most intriguing • The Europeans now saw how good food could taste
Portuguese Control • 1505- Portuguese ships sailed into the Indian Ocean and quickly overpowered Arab resistance • Alphonso de Albuquerque established the first European settlement at Goa on India’s west coast • Portugal controlled the spice trade, and Portuguese trading posts were established in India, in Malaya, and in the Spice Islands
Dutch Control • The Dutch, expert seamen, and perceptive merchants wasted no time challenging Portugal’s control • By 1600 there were several Dutch trading posts in India. • The Dutch eventually pushed the Portuguese out of the spice trade
British Control • In 1587, English merchants captured a Portuguese ship filled with spices • Merchants formed the British East India Company to trade in spices • First British settlement was called St. George and was established in 1639 • 1661- the British gained control of Bombay, which is now India’s second largest city and a great seaport. • 1690- a trading post was created at Calcutta, then only a small village, now a city of 12,000,000 people.
Competition • British were too busy fighting the Portuguese to establish many trading posts • 1612 and 1614, Portuguese navy was defeated and the Dutch became too involved in the islands of Indonesia to compete with the British in India. • England and Holland fought over America and the East. Portugal was stuck with much less influential position in the East.
British Resistance • 1746-1761, the British army defeated several Indian armies and the French who were gaining power • 1814-1818 fought against the Gurkhas in northern India • 1840- suppressed the Sikhs, who were fierce Indian warriors • After the Sikhs were defeated, all of India came under the power of the East India Company
British Change • Social reforms were made and cruel customs of Indian society were abolished. ~Suttee, the drowning of unwanted girl babies, slavery • Built new roads, harbors, and railways trade extended • Established a telegraph system, built schools and colleges, and established uniform law. • Thought of eventually giving India her independence • India was the “jewel in the Empire’s crown”. • Brought peace to parts of India which had suffered turmoil.
“The Indian Mutiny” • India welcomed the British as traders not rulers led to revolt in 1857 • Resulted in a mutiny among Indian soldiers who had joined the British army • N.India was in revolt for over a year and cruel and bloody battles were fought • Led by princes and rulers who had lost their kingdoms to the British and wanted to win them back • Attempts failed and the British were more strongly established in India than ever before