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Impact of the 19th Century Imperialism on India

By masarwa Jun 19, 2010 842 Words
Impact of the 19th century imperialism on India

The Impact of the 19th century imperialism on India resulted from industrialized nations seeking control of foreign territories for economic, military, political and philosophical aims; the conditions that motivated and fueled the great expansion for industrialized nations were mostly based on economic motives. Imperialism in India had many positive and negative effects on both Britain and the colony, India.

With an increase of imperialism and colonialism, foreign powers took an interest in India and considered it as an abundant country. Britain came to India in the search of natural resources which they found but the British colonization had positive effects and negative affects during the imperialism of India. Britain took over India by means of entering as “East India Company”. The British colonized India by building railways throughout India in order to make everything readily accessible and made it much easier to travel across India. They entered in the subcontinent and analyzed the weaknesses of mughal emperors; they were clever enough to take over the land of rich resources in the course of several years. They continued to expand their territories and seek for rich and fruitful areas, and used lands for the procurement of raw materials at low prices, selling refined finished good products at very high prices. Britain exploited this land for their own trade benefits and for the exploitation of raw materials like opium, raw silk, and sugar tea, indigo (a dye), coffee, and raw cotton. The British introduced modern technology with the intention to sell manufactured goods like textiles and machines for profit. In the process of trying to make a profit and exploiting India and the British benefited from India. The British introduced social reforms, advocated education, and promoted technology. Britain profited greatly from India, calling it the "Brightest Jewel of the British Empire." The Indian masses, however, continued to live close to starvation, and the British had little respect for the native Indian culture. They established Law Courts, civil services and transport systems. They also established factories, schools and universities to introduce western ideas and incorporate the idea of democracy. Missionaries came to India and spread Christianity. This was all done in the name of Britain’s economy. About 30 million acres were put into cultivation and industrialization; there were no existing problems of food shortages in British colonial India. The English also built many institutions in India and setup a productive government. "They have framed wise laws and have established courts of justice, "The Economic History of India under Early British Rule”. Prior to British colonization, India was multi-lingual with 15 major languages and had around 720 dialects, but English served as a common ground for Indians.

There were also many negative effects that impacted India. Imperialism destroyed India economically and politically. Britain caused the traditional industries to crash and India became dependent due to imperialism. Brittan destroyed India's handicraft and small scale industries, the imperialistic powers treated India as a place to extend the Britain’s power. Racism grew between the British towards the Indians causing economic hardship, increased poverty, and British officials were paid out of the India treasury. Impact of imperialism was negative, because in the end it caused distress to the people. They suffered political as well as economic subjugation, over and above the social disparities of their own system. Britain was upset by the Indian desire for self rule and nationalism, loss of self sufficiency, and reduced food production which led to famines. Imperialism drained India's wealth, the riches and wealth of India went on the benefit of Britain and its empires, rather than its people. No real political freedom for the native population since India was ruled by the British, who made all the laws, all the decisions, and provided all the officials, local rulers and states, lost their power. The Mughal Emperor, the Maharathas, and the Sikhs (as well as many smaller rulers) had their lands conquered, confiscated, losing all their riches and power taken away because the British wanted their lands. Imperialism gradually destroyed India. The Indian masses, however, continued to live close to starvation and the British had little respect for the native Indian culture restricted Indian companies from competing, planting of cash crops caused famine.

During the 19th century, Imperialism in India has had many positive and negative effects. Although many problems existed in India, Great Britain helped educate the Indian people bringing new technologies and ideas. Imperialism attributed to many positive effects in allowing India to build industrial expansions, telephone, telegraph, dams, bridges, and canals. They also improved sanitation, public health, built schools for many Indians to learn to read and write in different languages. It brought many new things such as technology and medicine to bring India to the modern era. Also, India is an important country who helps supply the world with agricultural products, and is known worldwide for its excellence in the medical field. Imperialism helped India dramatically; Today, India is considered a very strong, stable and successful nation.

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