Imperialism in India


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Imperialism in India


British imperialism on India had many positive and negative affects on both the mother country, Britain and the colony, India. Many people would argue which effects were more prominent in these countries and some would agree that they were equal. But in both cases there were actually both.

In India the British colonization had more positive affects than negative. For Instance, When the British colonized India they built 40,000 miles of railroad and 70,000 miles of paved roadway. As a result the British made it much easier to travel across India. Another good affect that the British had on India was the jump in agriculture, through large scale irrigation works. About 30 million acres were put into cultivation. Industrialization had also begun. Because of all these reasons almost no famine existed in British colonial India. The English also built many institutions in India and setup a productive government. "They have framed wise laws and have established courts of justice"(The Economic History Of India Under Early British Rule). In addition to all these positive affects, Britain also linked India to the modern world through modern science and modern thought.

However, where the is good there has to be bad. British colonization of India had it's drawbacks. As the great Mohandas Gahndi once said " You English committed one supreme crime against my people. For a hundred years you have done everything for us. You have given us no responsibility for our own government." At first glance this may seem like a positive effect but Ghandi did not intend it to be. Because even though it was a good thing that England setup a government in India they turned it into a burden because they did not let any natives into the important positions. They "mommied" the Indians if you will. Another negative effect England had on India was the breaking up of traditional industries. Prior to Britain colonizing India there were many more divers skilled labors. Such as shipbuilding, metalwork, glassblowing, and paper making. With the break up there was a noticeable rise in the unemployment India.

India was not the only country affected by the annex to the British empire though. This annexation affected Great Britain as well. Although the effects were not as devastating they still caused some change. But overall Britain definitely benefited from the colony of India. They got more raw materials and they also got more land.

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On the battlefront India was made into a naval colony as well, this benefited the "Mistress of the Seas" because more sailors were at there disposal. These hired Indians were called sepoys. As well as providing the materials necessary for industrialization India provided Britain with the markets to trade the goods. Major cites like Calcutta became major trading cites to Asia and the rest of the world.

India had it's disadvantages to Britain also. As the case with any new continent there is more responsibility. Especially in this case because Britain took control of every aspect of the Indian government. Putting English officials in all of the higher offices of each department. Great Britain also has to create a bigger military and station them to protect the colony form other forces. Without protecting your colony you are leaving it wide open for other imperialistic forces to take control of. So if you protect your colony you are ensuring that it is yours. The last negative effect on the mother country is mutiny. Mutiny creates a lot o stress in the government because the certain country does not want to lose the colony. If your people do not want you to be ruler then your chances of having a productive colony are thinned. An awesome example of this is the United States. Thus, if you give them some of what they want they will be more willing to let you rule.

In the end no side purely benefits from imperialism. However it may help both sides profoundly it still will never be 100% beneficial. In the case of India and Britain the colonialazation had it's pros and cons. But if one side benefited more then the other it is definitely Britain. They got raw materials, extended military, a gateway to Asia, and another colony "under the British belt".


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