The Modern India

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September 7. Assignment 1 and 2.

In the years just prior to the mutiny it seems that many factors combined to create a climate of social and political unrest in India. The political expansion of the East India Company at the expense of native princes and of the Mughal court aroused Hindu and Muslim alike, the harsh land policies, as well as the rapid introduction of European civilization, threatened traditional India.

The technological changes and progresses that were made in the Revolt were quite extraordinary. When you start to look into it a notable aspect of the technological progress in India was its dependence on state support. The country was also lucky to have a very large pool of relatively cheap skilled labor and manufacturing processes were optimized to take full advantage of them. Perhaps the most important of the different factors was the relative prosperity that India enjoyed in relation to the rest of the world. A mild climate must have meant that the peasantry and working class could survive relatively cheaply. And the huge trade surplus the country enjoyed enabled the nobility and the middle classes to live lives of relative luxury and comfort. But in Europe, I think virtually all classes had an interest in bringing about revolutionary changes that could improve their lives. The long and harsh winters they suffered must have meant that even the peasantry and working class needed more items of personal consumption just to survive, let alone live comfortably. The demand for cheap manufactured goods for mass consumption was initially far greater in Europe than in the warmer parts of the globe. The short days in the long and harsh winters created a much more compelling need for breakthrough inventions. But need alone was an insufficient factor in securing technological breakthroughs. Europe also needed important social changes to create a climate where technological innovation could flourish. Europe seems to have slipped into a period of...
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