27.4 British Imperialism in India As the Mughal Empire declined, Britain seizes Indian territory and soon it controls almost the whole subcontinent.
Questions to Write FIRST! • Looking at the map (India Under British Rule: 1805-1886), what were the first areas the British came to control? Why was that so? • Who were the sepoys? • What economic policies did the British have in India? • What positive things did the British do for India? • Other than India, what other colonies did the British hold in Asia and Southeast Asia? • Name two underlying causes, and the one immediate cause of the Sepoy Mutiny. • What was MangalPandey’s role in the Mutiny? • What atrocities were committed by the sepoys against the British in the mutiny? (video) • What was the purpose of the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League? • What kinds of reforms did Ram Mohun Roy want to make? What Indian cultural practices did he oppose?
East India Company Dominates Flag of the British East India Company (right); A painting showing a sowar (sepoy), 6th Madras Light Cavalry of British India. Circa 1845 (below) • British East India Company rules India until the 1850s. • Company has its own army led by British officers • Army is staffed by sepoys—Indian soldiers.
Britain’s Jewel in the Crown” • India is Britain’s most valuable colony, or “jewel in the crown.” • Forced to produce raw materials for British manufacturing • Also forced to buy British goods
British Transport Trade Goods • Railroads move cash crops and goods faster • Trade in specific crops is tied to international events
Impact of Colonialism • British hold much of political and economic power • Cash crops result in loss of self-sufficiency and cause famine • Indian life disrupted by missionaries and racist attitudes • British modernize India’s economy, improve public health
Sepoy Mutiny: Underlying and Immediate Causes • Underlying Causes • Religious Frictions: Some British officers actively attempted to convert the sepoys to Christianity although the British East India Company discouraged it. The sepoys resented imposing Christianity and Christian laws in India. • Doctrine of the Lapse: The Company automatically seized land from a feudal leader who died without leaving an heir. • Unfair justice system toward Indians. British officers accused of crimes against Indians were granted multiple appeals and advantages when being tried. • High Caste Sepoys: The Bengal Army of sepoys were recruited from a higher caste of Indians. Therefore, if the high caste sepoys were considered to be "polluted", they would have to expend considerable sums of money on ritual purification before being accepted back into society. • Immediate Cause • The Enfield Rifle: It required the solder to bite the cartridge and hold the ball in his mouth when loading the rifle. The belief that the cartridge was lubricated with animal fat (either pork or beef) offended both Muslims and Hindus.
The old gun: an India pattern smoothbore Brown Bess Musket. Notice this is a flintlock musket. 1853 Enfield Rifle-Musket. Notice this gun uses a percussion cap rather than a flint lock.
Sepoy Mutiny • Sepoys refuse to use cartridges of new rifles for religious reasons. • Many Sepoys are jailed; others start the Sepoy Mutiny against the British • Many Indians, especially Sikhs, remain loyal to the British • British put down the rebellion and take direct command of India.
Bollywood Film—MangalPandey: The Rising • MangalPandey: The Risingis an Indian movie based on the life of MangalPandey, an Indian soldier who is known for his role in the Indian Mutiny of 1857. • In March of 1857 Pandey gave a speech to his fellow sepoys encouraging them to mutiny. He then attacked a British officer. He was executed for these actions the following month. In his defense he claimed he did not know what he was doing, admitting he was under the influence of cannabis and opium.
The British Raj • Raj—refers to British rule after India came under the British crown. • Uprising increases distrust between British and Indians.
Nationalism Surfaces in India • Calls for Reforms • In 1800s, Ram Mohun Roy leads modernization movement • Many Indians adopt western ways and call for social reforms • Indians resent being second-class citizens in their own country.
Nationalism Surfaces in India • Nationalist Groups Form • Indian National Congress and Muslim League form • Nationalists angered by partition of Bengal and the pressure forces Britain to divide it differently