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Imperialism And India

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Imperialism and India

Throughout history, many nations have implemented imperialism to enforce their will over others for money, protection and civilization. India was no exception. Since its discovery, Europeans were trying get a piece of India's action. In many cases England was the imperial, or mother country. Since India was put under imperialism, a great deal of things changed, some for the good, mostly though for the bad. Between 1640 and 1949, India was ruled by two periods of imperialism, both of which effected India in a very profound and permanent manner.
The first period of European control was between 1740 and 1858. During this period the British East India Company controlled the Indian sub-continent under the guise of economic imperialism, when in fact the manipulation of Indian affairs was much more political than let on. When it was founded in 1600 by
Queen Elizabeth I, the East India Company's main purpose was "to break into the
Indonesian spice trade which was dominated by the Dutch." But after colonizing a post a Madras in 1640, the company was re-chartered to include such rights as coining money and act as government to British subjects at the East India
Company's posts. As well, the British government also gave the company the right to make was or peaceful arrangements with powers who were non-Christian.
This control expanded with the founding of a port at Bombay in 1668, and the founding of Calcutta in 1690. Then in 1756, a young employee named Robert Clive, who had been named lieutenant-governor in 1755, was sent to take back Calcutta from the Bengal nawab. He accomplished this in January of 1757. Then later that year, Clive lead a group of 950 European and 2,000 Indian soldiers(sepoys) against a group of 50,000 Indians lead by a degenerate nawab at Plassey. The victory of the English forces over the local resistance brought Bengal under the effective political control of the East India Company. Although a "puppet nawab" was left in control of the area, Clive was granted the right to extract land revenue from most of eastern India. Through out this whole period, the company slowly found it's privledges being revoked, until in 1858, the Sepoy
Rebellion, or the Indian Revolution, finally brought an end to the rule of the
East India Company in India when it ...

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...health of Indians, created such a tremendous population explosion that famine resulted in some regions. As well, the creation of British educated professionals and business people created a new upper-class in India changing the rule of class in India forever. All of these changes, while under the guise of helping the natives, only served to help the colonists and leave the Indians feeling inferior, as though Indians are only "hewers of wood, and drawers of water" All of these changes in Indian culture and economy forever changed the destiny of the Land of India. While many changes may have been good in retrospect, they were only meant to help the colonizing British. Overall, the colonization of India had nothing but a negative effect on its people and culture. Perhaps one day people will realize that imposing one culture on another is not only wrong, but it is destructive to the natural course of a countries history.

Bibliography

"India" Groiler Electronic Encyclopedia, 1994

"India" article found on Internet, 1996

"India, a history of," Groiler New Book of Knowledge, 1979

In class speech by Mr. Seqera, 1996
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