British Rule in India


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Learn the history of colonization in India

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british rule in india 1757 to 1947


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british defeat of the french and moguls by 1650 the british had established a number of forts along the indian coastline for the purposes of trade one of these forts was fort william which later became known as calcutta rivals to the british were the french in a battle in southern india in 1761 the british restricted further french influence in india thus becoming the european influence on the sub-continent of india this was sealed in the 1763 treaty of paris which ended british war against the french in europe in the americas as well as in india and the french left india for good another force that stood in the way of british domination of the sub-continent were the mogul rulers of india the 1757 battle of plessy not terribly far from fort william proved to be a british victory over the moguls even though the british were greatly outnumbered the moguls gave the british permission to collect taxes thus recognizing them as having authority in india.


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people of india as the british gained more power on the sub-continent the mogul s power decreased the battle of plessy sealed the doomed fate of mogul rule the people of india really had no control over india they were predominantly hindu with a government run by the muslim moguls for the last 200 years now the british were controlling their land quite frankly they were people used to having foreign rulers but not necessarily happy about it.


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british east india company initially the british east india company was a trading company set up to ensure profitable trade in india for example the british sold indian cotton to traders in the pacific in return for spices the british east india company had a lot of power because it managed much money and had weapons and soldiers for the purpose of protecting trade.


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the sepoy mutiny/first war of independence 1857 the sepoys were indian soldiers hired by the british east india company to help protect british trade over 90 percent of the british army in india were actually indian one of these individuals led a revolt against his officer over the rumor that the bullets used for their weapons had been greased with cow and pig fat this was sacrilege to the hindu soldier who holds the cow in high esteem and to the muslim who finds the pig repulsive the mutineers lost after atrocities had been committed on both sides the british east india company looked bad so bad that the british parliament enacted the government of india act in 1876 what this law did was take the control of india away from the british east india company and give control of india to queen victoria one person referred to india as a jewel in her crown


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the attack of mutineers july 30 1857 the sepoy mutiny one of their leaders waving his sword shouted come on my braves illustration from london printing company limited http


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the viceroy british colonial rule legally began with the government of india act of 1876 a british governor for india a viceroy was sent to rule india in the name of the british monarch he was generally known in india as the governorgeneral of india the last viceroy of british controlled india was louis mountbatten he also became the first governor-general of independent india.


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advantages of british rule in india british rule of india had some benefits the british brought order and stability to the indian sub-continent the british attempted to run a fair efficient and effective government the british established schools for the upper class/caste of indian society many of these children were trained to become lawyers and work for the government the british installed railroad lines many of which are still used in india today along with the railroad lines came telegraph lines which improved communications additional infrastructure of the british included buildings roads and postal service.


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disadvantages of british rule in india even though the british invested a lot in the sub-continent of india there were also some economic and societal costs that plagued the people of india manufacturing changed even more as a result of british rule the textile industry in india changed to a factory system much like it had already done in europe years prior so family cottage manufacturers of cotton cloth were no longer profitable also the british paid indian farmers more to grow cotton which made much money for britain instead of food a result of this was starvation that plagued india for years between 1800 and 1900 it is believed that 30 million people in india starved also a tax system was set up so that local officials called zamindars were given the incentive to collect as much as they could so naturally many people were overburdened with taxes to meet the demands of the zamindars overall there was also a british disrespect for hindu and muslim customs and cultures of the masses living under their rule in india.


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nationalism in india the new foreign rulers of india the british end up losing their colony for many reasons one of which was the growth of nationalism the roots of nationalism that were taking hold in other places around the globe were also forming on the indian sub-continent the indian nationalistic movements paved the way to independence or self-rule of the people living on the subcontinent of india key figures such as mohandas k gandhi jawaharlal nehru and muhammad ali-jinnah were leaders in the struggle for indian independence.


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sources first indian war of independence 2006 kamat s potpourri retrieved july 15 2006 from http louis mountbatten 2006 wikipedia online retrieved july 15 2006 from http spielvogel jackson j 2003 world history new york glencoe mcgraw-hill.



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