Imperialism in India PPT

Before Colonization:
The Mughal Empire
In the Mughal Empire (1526-1757),
Muslims were favored over the
majority Hindus.
Decline of the Mughals began with
religious conflict between Muslims
and Hindus and resulted in
infighting and a divided empire.
Muslims were the majority
in the Northwest (modern
Pakistan) and Northeast
(modern Bangladesh).
Many cities and some
villages were mixed.
End of Mughal Rule
 1600s, the British East India Company (BEIC)
established trading posts at Bombay (Mumbai),
Madras (Chennai), and Calcutta.
 At first, India’s ruling Mughal Empire kept European
traders under control, but already weakened by civil
war and misrule few, Indians wished to defend it.
 By 1707, however, the Mughal Empire was collapsing.
Dozens of small states, each headed by a ruler or
maharajah, broke away from Mughal control.
British East India
 This private profit-seeking corporation was
allowed by the British government to rule India by
itself through Company Rule in which the British
government allowed it to act as representatives of
the British and make laws as it saw fit in the areas
of India it controlled.
 Gained control after a decisive victory at the Battle
of Plassey in 1757
 Worked with compliant Indian leaders to get rich
trading India’s cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, tea
and opium.
Company Rule
India’s resources were needed to meet the
worldwide demand for cheap, washable,
lightweight fabrics for clothing and
furnishings. This made India’s riches an
irresistible target.
Seeking only profit and control, (but mostly
profit) the BEIC forced many Indians to grow
in-demand non-food crops including the
opium sent to China. Sharing none of the
profits, many parts of India under the BEIC’s
control faced intermittent starvation with too
few farms producing food.
The British Empire, however, grew incredibly
The Sepoys
 The East India Company even had its
own army, led by British officers and
staffed by native Indians called
 Made up of Hindu Kshatriyas,
Muslims and Sikhs (a north-central
Indian religious minority), enough
willing and loyal recruits were found
to allow the British to control all the
parts of India they desired.
How could a few boatloads…?
citizens in their
own country
impoverished by
the profitseeking BEIC,
Indians failed to
unite to kick out
the British for
the following
 Political leaders were benefiting from British trade and support,
and saw benefits to modernization,
 The British possessed far superior weaponry,
 Enough Indians were willing to be hired as sepoy soldiers to
defend the British,
 With Mughal decline preceding the arrival of the British, India
was divided into small, rival kingdoms,
 Rivalries between Muslims and Hindus (with Hindus resenting
centuries of Mulsim rule) prevented uniting to face the common
 The Caste System made uniting for a common cause difficult,
Agent of Change: The Sepoy
In the 1850s, the colonized Indians made
their first large-scale rebellion against
the colonizers, led by many sepoys who
turned against their British
The immediate spark to the violence was
resentment against being insensitively
forced to use grease from the sacred cow
for Hindus, and from “unclean” pigs for
The underlying cause, of course, was
anger at being treated as second-class
citizens in their own homeland and the
British taking India’s wealth.
Agent of Change:
The Sepoy Mutiny
Some areas stayed loyal to
Britain, but the fighting
Was fierce with revenge
killings and atrocities
women and
by both sides.
Agent of Change: The Sepoy Mutiny
The British managed to keep order, but the
Sepoy Mutiny showed that Company Rule could
not protect British investments in India, so the
British government took over control of its
Indian colonies in 1858, beginning a near
century of Direct Rule.
For this to work, thousands of British people
flocked to India to increase their presence and
to build the railroads, telegraph lines and other
infrastructure needed for long-term rule over
hundreds of millions of Indians.
Instead of driving the British out, the Sepoy
Mutiny caused a massive increase of the
British presence in India.
(Some) Indians Brought on
Needing a compliant workforce for
such a large colony, the British began
to educate wealthy and high-caste
Indians to get them to adopt both the
English language and British
The results were many Indians aiding
in colonial rule, and the creation of
favored Indian elites who could “act
like gentlemen”.
Beginnings of Indian Nationalism
 The new Indian middle classes slowly grew tired of the
injustice of British rule,
 The new nationalists wrote in both English and their
regional languages and turned to aspects of Indian
tradition, especially Hinduism, as a rallying ground for
national pride (although Muslims and the lower castes were
generally excluded).
 1885 – a large group of these new Indian nationalists
founded the Indian National Congress (INC) to pressure
colonial leaders for more rights and greater self-rule and
Positive Effects of Colonial Rule
 Railroads (the third-largest network in the world at the time)
enabled India to develop a modern economy and connected regions,
 A modern road network, telephone and telegraph lines, dams,
bridges, and irrigation canals were created,
 Sanitation and public health improved.
 Schools and colleges were founded, and literacy increased.
 British troops cleared central India of bandits
 End to local warfare among competing local rulers.
Negative Impact for India
 British held most of the political and economic power,
 Profitable industries such as cotton, salt, construction, tea, etc.
were firmly controlled by the British.
 conversion to cash crops reduced food production, causing
famines in the late 1800s,
 Loss of cultural practices and language,
 Divisions between “Anglicized” elites and traditional Indians,
 Humiliation of being “inferior” in one’s own home.
What did the British get?
 Control over raw materials, especially cotton, to ports for shipment to
 To bring manufactured goods from England for sale in an expanding
Indian market,
 Insanely rich,
 Spread of British language, customs, and religion,
 Theft of many artworks and cultural treasures – sculpture, paintings
and other Indian artifacts - which can be seen in many British
museums today,
 The chance for any Englishman with half a brain to come to India,
make a name for himself, get rich, and have a position of power and
What was negative for the British?
 Paid for infrastructure (roads, telephone, railroads, etc.) and
 Paid for education,
 Money spent on military and government in India,
 Needed a large military presence to maintain control,
 Created the class of educated Indians (the INC) who would
force the British to leave India in 1947—less than a century after
the beginning of Direct Rule.

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