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British Empire In India Company To Crown Rule History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016


According to (Henry Bernstein) colonialism is defined “as the practice which focused on the domination and it involves the subjugation of the one people to other”.

The word colony is derived from the Latin word colonus which means farmer. The concept of colonialism is not a modern one. There are many examples of colonialism from the world history in which one society expanded by having adjacent territory and going to settle its people into the new established conquered territory. Further due to change in technological development in sixteenth century there is change in the navigation and there are possibilities to connect the more parts of the world.

Then the modern European colonial project came into existence when it is possible to move a large number of people from one place to another across the oceans and for the maintenance of political dominion instead of geographical expansion. This process of European settlement and their political control over the other parts of world included America, Australia, Africa, and Asia is named as the colonialism.


The existence of European colonialism was for a long period in the south Asia and South East Asia. At the time of half millennium, the main European powers had decided to obtain the colonialism in different are in order to get the benefits from them in their economic expansion and other things which are useful for them. Their other purpose to obtain the colonies is that they wanted to develop the capitalism which in move further creates a world market for them. According to (Chandra, 1992) there are two main phases of colonialism one is from 1450-1800 and other is from 1800-1945. In the earlier phase the colonies were only for the place to trade with it. But in the former phase the colonies were used for the industrial revolution at time of the great need of raw material and in order to get the raw material colonialism is used. So this phase is commonly known as the phase of exploitation than that of phase of expansion.

This European colonialism is mainly existed in south Asia and south East Asia parts. In the south Asia part, India was ruled by the British colonials. As India was looked as the most safe and secure part of the British Empire’s (Richard, 1999). The whole empire was free of any rebellions or any protests apart from the Indian revolt of 1857. The economical changes during that period of time results in the creation of new class i.e. middle class of western style ( Richard 1999 ) according to him there is great deal involves in the socio economic changes arise at the time of Lord Cornwallis which then replaced by the Hastings.


In year 1960 Queen of England Elizabeth I had got a contract to establish a company in India for the purpose of start the trade with India regarding the sell or buy of products. This company as named as East India Company. At that time in India the Emperor Jahangir and Sir Thomas Reo as the representative of the East India Company came to meet the Emperor to get the permission to construct the company in the India for trade only. Fortunately he got the permission from the emperor to do so i.e. British were allowed to construct the company in the India for trade purpose. This was the first step of British Empire to enter into India through the means of trade purpose. They set their company offices n the Bombay, Calcutta and Madras which are the big cities of India (Lal et al 1999).


Further in 1970 the Mughal Empire was very weak and little remained. The reason of diminishing of Mughal Empire was that the Hindus were against the Mughal and they continue to fight with each other. On the other hand East India Company was well aware of this situation and they slowly and gradually continue to expand their trade and side by side increased their political power. The company grew big and they started to collect the taxes from the Indians even the forced to pay tax those who are not willingly to pay the taxes. In next step the company arranged their own army. The army of East India Company was consisting of Indian soldiers which were leaded by British Officers. Then in 1857 Robert Clive with a big army of 1000 soldiers and 2000 sepoys had taken the victory over the governor of Bengal who had big army with French’s. The empire was ruled by some princes and due to the weak power they were soon over taken by the East India Company. In this way British ruled over the India by using the name of east India Company. This Empire was last for 100 years and for that time period India was a British territory (Johnson, 2003).


The British started rule over the India and they started to exploit the Indians. The people of India starting go hungry and poor for the reason is that they had to pay taxes and land reforms. In land reform the company took the land from the people forcibly. Other main thing is that the company started to do interference with the customs and religion of the Indians and started to hate them. Indian hates anyone who interferes in their culture and religion. The British made this mistake. The reason behind is that many British officers were not aware of the customs and religious beliefs regarding their culture. The main reason of revolt is that cartridge started to use for the guns which were greased with the fat of pigs and cows. (J. Lawrence 1994) and the way to open these cartridges was by biting with the mouth. The soldiers were denied to do so as it was against their religious beliefs. The Hindus worship the cows and were not allowed to eat the cows and same with the Muslims they are not allowed to eat the pork. This was shown the great lack of understanding of the religion and culture of the Indians by the British officers. The soldiers became to revolt against the British in the 1857 in Meerut, and this revolt was spread all over the India. This revolt was not enough strong and due to lack of good leadership and weapons they were defeated by the British army in 1859. This was the significant moment for the Indians though they defeated but their fight against the British was started. This showed the first step against the British Empire that the people were started to make their own actions. (Lal, et al 1999 p.130, 131).


Generally an Empire means “different countries or state held together and the strongest nation ruled over the group” (T.O. Lloyds, p. 282). At that time the most powerful and expansive Empire was of British. In the history it is famous that in the British Empire “Sun never sets”.

During the British Empire in India there were many developments made. The British Empire in India contributes a lot to the education system. They brought the western system of education (P.J. Marshall ) soon the system was developed and there were number of primary, secondary and tertiary centers of educations an India. Even in 1901 the literacy rate is also increased and there is increase in the number of enrolment of the students in the education centers.


There is no doubt that the British Empire had great impact over the India. It has both positive and negative effect as everything has. The first thing is that the education system. Even now days there are many peoples in India who can’t read but the young generation get good education and the base of good education was formed during the British rule. The English language was taught in the school levels. Even some of the Indians were go to England for acquire the higher education at the time of British Empire. The next important thing is that there was improving in the laws and orders in the India. During the time of British Empire they organize the police to control the robber’s bands. Moreover there was great improvement in the medical and health care in the India. The formation of new industries and the most important i.e. transport like the rail system was developed by them. Instead of this they have many negative impacts too like the wealth of India was used for the Britain only. Due the manufacturing goods brought up by the British added the deterioration of the Indian industries. The culture of India was affected by them. Those Indians who were educated did not get the opportunities to go ahead for progress. At that time the British people took the high ranked jobs only. They made a major mistake to declared the English language as the unify language and they tried to go with the principles of Europeans and wanted the Indians to follow them this made the Indians angry and results in the loss of British Empire from India.


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