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The Impact of British Colonization on India.
The East India Compay paves the way for colinization;
•An English company formed to trade with Maritime SE Asia
•Received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth in Dec. 1600
•The world’s first permanent joint stock company
•Initial focus: Trade, not the building of an empire in India
•1612: Received permission from Emperor Jahangir to trade with India
•Interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the Mughal Empire declined in power
•1757, the Battle of Plassey: A decisive victory for the Company over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies
•1764, the Battle of Buxar: A decisive victory for the company over Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh, and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II
•The company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions
•1857: The First Indian War of Independence aka The Indian Mutiny
•1858: The Government of India Act –The British Government took control of the administrative functions and armies of the company
1876: Queen Victoria proclaimed the Empress of India
•The economies of Britain and India became more intertwined.
•Railways, roads, canals, and bridges were rapidly built in India and telegraph links established. This development was paid for by the Indian taxpayer.
•The destruction of Indian industries – shipbuilding, textiles, steel, agriculture.
•The first steps were taken toward self-government in British India in the late 19th century with the appointment of Indian counsellors to advise the British viceroy.
•1909: Communal electorates introduced exacerbating the Indian tendency toward group identification through religion.
•1914 - : The participation of 1.4 million Indian and British soldiers of the British Indian Army would had a wide cultural fallout.
•1915: Gandhi returned to India. He brought an international reputation as a leading Indian nationalist, theorist and community organizer.
•April 1919: The Jalianwala Bagh Massacre.
•End 1919: 1.5 million Indians had served in the armed services in either combatant or non-combatant roles, and India had provided £146 million in revenue for the war through increased taxes.
•August 1, 1920: Indian National Congress calls for civil disobedience.
Spring 1930: The Salt Rebellion
•1930 – 1939: Increased though very limited self-government granted to Indians.
•1939 – 1944: India makes major contributions to the Allied effort in World War 2 against both Japan and Germany.
•1942: The British sent a high level Cripps' mission to secure Indian nationalists' co-operation in the war effort in exchange for postwar independence and dominion status. The mission failed.
•.1942: Gandhi then launched the "Quit India" movement in August 1942, demanding the immediate withdrawal of the British from India or face nationwide civil disobedience
•1941 – 1945: Bose breaks away from the Indian National Congress and forms alliances with Germany and Japan to fight against the British in a bid for independence. The effort fails.
•1946: Multiple mutinies in the Indian armed forces.
•1946: Britain announced its intention of transferring power no later than June 1948.The new viceroy, Louis Mountbatten, advanced the date for the transfer of power, allowing less than six months for a mutually agreed plan for independence.
•June 1947: The nationalist leaders agreed to a partition of the country along religious lines. Many millions of Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu refugees trekked across the newly drawn borders. Between 250,000 and 500,000 people died in the violence.
•August 1947: India and the newly formed country of Pakistan become independent countries.
•“A Man Made Holocaust”
•In 1942, when Japan seized Burma, an important rice exporter, the British bought up massive amounts of rice and hoarded it
•Damage to the local rice crop due to tidal waves and a fungal disease epidemic
•Panic purchase and hoarding not controlled by the administration
•Failure of governance, particularly in relation to the equitable distribution of the available food grains
•The then UK government was indifferent to the plight of the starving people of Bengal
•Churchill worsened the starvation in Bengal by ordering the diversion of food away from Indians to increase unneeded British stockpiles
•British colonial authorities, under Churchill’s leadership, actually turned down offers of food from Canada and the U.S.
•When conscience stricken British officials tried to draw Churchill’s attention to the situation, he wrote in the margins, “Why hasn't Gandhi died yet?”
There is no doubt that our grievances against the British Empire had a sound basis. As the painstaking statistical work of the Cambridge historian Angus Maddison has shown, India's share of world income collapsed from 22.6% in 1700, almost equal to Europe's share of 23.3% at that time, to as low as 3.8% in 1952. Indeed, at the beginning of the 20th century, "the brightest jewel in the British Crown" was the poorest country in the world in terms of per capita income.
    — Dr. Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India
John deRussy
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