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Imperialism in India

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British economic interest in India began in the 1600s when Britain set up trading posts in Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta. By 1707, the Mughal Empire was collapsing. Several small states broke away from the Mughal control. In 1757, Robert Clive led the East India troops in a victory over Indian forces at the Battle of Plassey. From this time until 1858, East India Company was the leading power in India. Over time, the area controlled by East India Company grew. Eventually, East India Company governed modern Bangladesh, most of southern India, and almost all the territory along the Ganges River. After the Industrial Revolution, Britain was known as the “world’s workshop,” and India was the major supplier of its raw material. Britain had a firm hold on India; their policies called for India to produce raw materials for British manufacturing and to buy British goods. Any Indian competition with British goods was prohibited. Imperialism between Britain and India had a positive economic outcome for the British during the 1600s, as well some bad impacts on Indian people; leaving their governmental power in the hands of Britain. Britain had much political and economic power over India. As Dadabhai Naoroji stated, “1Europeans [the British] occupy almost all the higher places in every department of 2government… All they [the Europeans] do is live off of India while they are here. 4When they go, they carry all they have gained.”(Doc 3). Naoroji, who was a political leader, was left with no power as the British took over the government. Naoroji and several other Indian political leaders of this time were left powerless. Naoroji was also a cotton trader. He was angered with the British for using India for the goods they produced. The Briti... ... middle of paper ... ... Indian intellectual Dadabhai Naoroji’s quote best describes the situation when he says, “1To sum up the whole, the British rule has been – morally, a great blessing; politically peace 2and order on one hand…on the other, materially, impoverishment…” (Doc 2). British rule created an overall better lifestyle for the mental wellbeing of the Indian people, but materialistically when it came down to producing goods, Imperialism also created chaos. Imperialism throughout India can be viewed as a mixed blessing. British Imperialism in India brought about many changes in India; both positive and negative. It was however, as a whole, an important turning point in India’s history. Imperialism had its positive economic outcomes for the British during the 1600s, but also had its negative effects on India’s people; leaving their governmental power in the hands of Britain.
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