The British Empire in India AP World History Unit 4
East India Company • East India Company activity limited to coastal trading cities when the Mughal Empire was strong. • In the mid-1700s, the Mughal Empire broke apart. • East India Company leaders saw chance to take over Indian lands.
Keeping India in Chaos • Manipulated rulers of Indian states. • Suggested each needed British support to keep throne. • Played rulers against each other. • Chaos, chaos, chaos. • Company’s army took over much of India. • Claiming it had to restore order.
Changes in India • East India Company made changes to Indian society • Introduced new education system. • English language. • British also invited Christian missionaries to spread beliefs. • Some began to believe the British were trying to destroy their society.
Changes in India • Banning customs. • Introduced British laws banning certain customs, such as sati. • Practice of Hindu widows throwing selves on husbands’ funeral fires. • Straining relations. • Thought British wanted to eliminate Indian customs, especially Hinduism completely • This created an increasing strain on relations between Indians and British.
The Sepoy Mutiny • In 1857, strained relations exploded into rebellion. • Sepoys were Indian soldiers who fought in the British army.
The Sepoy Mutiny • Introduction of new type British rifle set off rebellion • To load the rifle, soldier had to bite off the end of an ammunition cartridge greased with pork and beef fat. • This offended Muslim and Hindu sepoys • Muslims did not eat pork. • Hindus did not eat beef.
Protest and Punishment during the Sepoy Mutiny • Sepoys in Meerut refused to use cartridges. • Thought that it was a plot to make them abandon Hinduism and Islam. • Sepoys punished for protesting. • In response, northern Indian sepoys rose up against British. • Eventually gained control of Delhi.
Violence of the Sepoy Mutiny • Violence of rebellion horrific. • Both sides committed atrocities. • Sepoys killed British officers, as well as women and children. • Captured mutineers were strapped to cannons and shot. • Villages were burned. • Fighting continued two years.
Results of the Sepoy Mutiny • British ended the rule of East India Company in 1858. • British government ruled India directly. • British moved away from some social regulations that angered many Indians. • Distrust still continued between British and Indians.
India as a British Colony • Considered the “jewel in the crown” of the British Empire. • Created political and financial rewards, as well as British national pride. • For Indians, British rule was a source of frustration and humiliation. • Frustration gave rise to powerful feelings of nationalism. • Westernization. • Many British thought they were superior. • Segregated neighborhoods and exclusive clubs. • Westernized Indians. • Prejudiced. • Thought Indians incapable of governing themselves.
The Raj and the ICS • Era of British rule in India often called British Raj. • Hindi word meaning “rule”. • Administration carried out by government agency. • Indian Civil Service (ICS). • Though ruling India, most ICS officials were British. • ICS employed very few Indians. • Many educated Indians frustrated at having no say in its own government.
Life under the British Raj • Building Projects • Built railroads, roads, and canals. • By 1910, India had the fourth largest railroad network in the world. • British invested in transportation to move troops. • Helped sell British products.
Life under the British Raj • Commerce • India was a very important market for British manufactured goods. • India was a source of raw materials. • Especially cotton, tea, indigo, and jute. • Taxes from Indian landowners paid for administration of India and the Indian army.
Life under the British Raj • Impact of British Commerce • British manufactured goods devastated India’s pre-existing textile industry. • Had been major exporter. • British closed factories to prevent competition. • By the mid-1800s, India primary exported raw materials, not manufactured goods.
The Rise of Indian Nationalism • Groups in India found British rule deeply disturbing. • Indian elites and middle classes lacked opportunities. • Indians had little power to influence decisions at higher levels of government.
India’s Nationalist Movement • Nationalist movement did not take off until Indians saw themselves as having same rights as Europeans • Idea first expressed by reformer Ram Mohun Roy in the 1820s • Felt British violating Indian’s rights. • Including free speech and religion
India’s Nationalist Movement • Roy wrote texts and opened schools to spread nationalist ideas. • Despite his efforts it took several decades for movement to activate. • In 1885, the Indian National Congress was formed. • This was the first nationalist group. • Founded by English-speaking Indians. • Initial requests from the Congress to the British were modest. • Example was a request for more positions for Indians in the ICS and better representation on government councils.
India as a British Colony • Bengal • Nationalism turned radical when British announced plans to partition Bengal. • Officials claimed breaking it into two provinces would make it easier to govern. • Nationalists thought partition attempt was being done in order to break up Bengal’s Hindu population.
India as a British Colony • Radicals in Congress • Called for boycotting British goods. • Lasted three years. • Participants vowed to wear only Indian made clothing. • Burned British clothing. • Some militants attacked British officials. • Were severely punished.
India as a British Colony • Consequences • British convinced to make concessions to Indian people. • In the 1906, the Muslim League was formed to protect the interests of Indian Muslims. • Indian National Congress and Muslim League begin to led the fight for independence.