Indian Imperialism & Independence Study Guide

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Indian Independence Movement Study Guide

Early Control 1600-1857
- In 1600’s British East India Company set up trading posts in Bombay, Madras, Calcutta - After 1707 East Indian company takes more control as Mughal empire weakens o Muslims from Central Asia who set up strong empire in India from 16th-18th century East India Company Dominates

- East India Company led by Sir Robert Clive defeats Indians at Battle of Plassey ( gains control over French and Indian forces in 1757 (part of 7 Year’s War) o India would not be a French colony

o Significance: company gains control of Bengal rules with little interferences from British gov - Creates own army with British officers and sepoys: Indian soldiers - By 1850, Britain controlled most of the subcontinent

Britain’s “Jewel in the Crown”
- India was a major supplier of raw materials and large potential market for British industries - Considered the most valuable of all of Britain’s colonies—the “jewel in the crown” - Britain set up restrictions preventing Indian economy from operating on own o India had to buy British goods

o Indian competition with British goods was prohibited - Railroad network built and used to transport raw products from the interior to the ports and manufactured goods back

Impact of Colonialism
Negative:
- Britain restricted Indian-owned industries such as the Indian textile industry - Plantation crops were cornerstone of economic relationship, so cash crops reduced self-sufficiency and caused famines in late 1800’s o Cash crops such as jute, tea, cotton, indigo, coffee, opium - Although adopted a hands-off policy regarding Indian religious/social customs, presence of missionaries and racist attitude threatened traditional life Positive:

- Laying of world’s 3rd largest railroad network
o Enabled India to develop a modern economy and brought unity - Modern road network, telephone/telegraph lines, dams, bridges, irrigations canals also modernized India - Sanitation and public health improved

- Schools founded ( literacy increased
- Abolished suttee
- British troops cleared away bandits and ended local warfare

THE SEPOY REBELLION (The Great Rebellion/First War of Independence) - Underlying causes:
o Thought they were trying to convert them to Christianity o Land control issues
o Racism
o Immediate cause: Lee-Enfield Rifle cartridges greased with beef and pork fat ( Hindus and Muslims outraged Indians Rebel
- 85 of 90 sepoys refused to accept cartridges
- British responded by jailing those who disobeyed
- The next day (1857) they rebelled
- Marched to Delhi, where joined by stationed Indian soldiers o Captured Delhi and the rebellion spread to north and central India - East India Company took more than a year to subdue rebellion o Battle of Cawnpore: key episode during Indian rebellion of 1857 when British, captured in Cawnpore, surrendered to rebel Indian forces in return for safe trip back to Allahabad ▪ But their evacuation turned into a massacre and most killed ▪ Those captured later executed when E. India Company rescue forces closed in on Cawnpore ▪ After recapture of Cawnpore, British, enraged, engaged in retaliatory atrocities Disunity between Indian Nationalists

- Indians couldn’t unite against British bc of weak leadership and serious splits between Hindus and Muslims o Muslims preferred return of Mughals, while Hindus didn’t want Mughals o Sikhs remained loyal to British (later majority of Britain’s army) o Some princes/maharajas did not take part

Turning Point
- As a result of the rebellion…
o British gov took direct command of India
o Increased racism
o Rise of nationalism
o Increased distrust between British and Indians

Raj: British rule in...
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