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Indian Imperialism & Independence Study Guide

By simonechen Sep 27, 2012 1986 Words
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
- 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 India 1857-1947
- Cabinet minister in London directed policy, and a British governor-general in India carried out the gov’s orders (viceroy) - Divided India into 11 provinces with 250 districts
- Allowed some princes to remain free if remained loyal and promised states that were still free independence o But really won greater and greater control of these states - See above for economic and social structure

- Some Indians began demanding more modernization and a greater role in gov’ing themselves - Nationalism surfaced—hated a system that made them second-class in their own country - Ram Mohun Roy: “father of modern India”

o Religious, social, and educational reformer who challenged traditional Hindu culture - Nationalists were upper class, educated, urban
- British trained lawyers and members of civil service
- Cultural revival—Rabindranath Tagore: Nationalist poet who reshaped his region’s music/literature into “elegant prose and magical poetry” o As a humanist and anti-nationalist, denounced the Raj, promoted pride in national Indian consciousness, and advocated for independence o “It is my conviction that my countrymen will truly gain their India by fighting against the education that teaches them that a country is greater than the ideals of humanity” o Gitanjali: A collection of 103 English poems by Tagore Acts:

- Government of India Act of 1858: British gov took control of India from the East India Company - India Council Act of 1909: Legislative councils could discuss budget/introduce bills, but members couldn’t embarrass gov at all and Viceroy could disallow any proposal o Recognized separate elections for Muslims

- Government of India Act of 1919: Increased percent of eligible adult male voting popuation - Government of India Act of 1935: Meant to create a federation of 11 British provinces and 500+ Indian princely states

- Indian resistance intensified in 1939 when Britain sent Indian’s forces to WWII without consulting elected representatives (left Indian nationalists stunned and humiliated) o 1942, British tried to gain support of nationalists by promising gov changes after war, but didn’t include independence - Indians also struggled amongst themselves over religious differences - The Cripps Plan (failed): British gov would accept their constitution if: o Any state/province had right not to agree if desired

o Guaranteed rights of minorities
o Britain would defend India against Japan
o Britain hoped India would remain part of B. Commonwealth, but had right to declare independence - After WWI ended in 1918, Rowlett bills: people can be arrested/jailed without charge/trial o Led to protests ( General Dyer ordered troops to fire into a crowd ( Amritsar massacre o Dyer killed 100 in 10 minutes, and even though gov condemned him for his acts, British people raised a lot of money to help prove his innocence. Turning point for Gandhi!

Indian National Congress (Congress Party): formed in 1885, India’s national political party made up mostly of Hindus - At first looking for reform (espesh economic development), but soon were calling for self-government - Radical leader Balwantrao Tilak: called upon Indians to boycott British goods and not pay taxes o Spoke not only of Swadeshi (self-sufficiency), but also Swaraj (independence) - 1913: Mohandas Gandhi joins movement

o 1920: new leader of Congress
o Set up a nonviolent resistance movement, with goal of converting British to his views and strengthening the unity of all Indians o Beyond shifting the emphasis of Congress from constitutional means to swadeshi, also changed it from a small group of India’s elite into a mass organization o Effectively leads India to independence in 1947

Muslim League: formed in 1906 to protect Muslim interests (they were the minority) because felt that the mainly Hindu Congress Party looked out only for Hindu interests - Gandhi’s strategies were seen by many Muslims to be Hindu-based - Believed Congress Party was not only pro-Hindu, but anti-Muslim - Feared that a representative democracy wouldn’t work because Hindus would overwhelm Muslims - Leader: Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Although had hoped for cooperation between Hindus and Muslims, deeply disturbed by Gandhi’s tactics of appealing to the masses o Resigned from Congress Party when realized that a Hindu mass movement would not necessarily need Muslim support o Insisted that all Muslims resign from Congress Party

- League said they wouldn’t accept Indian independence if it meant rule by Hindu-dominated Congress Party

- WWII ended ( Britain in debt ( began to rethink cost of maintaining colonies Stage was set for British to hand over power, but problem: Would Hindus or Muslims receive the power? Partition and Bloodshed - Muslims resisted attempts to include them in a Hindu-dominated Indian gov ( riots - British officials convinced that to ensure a safe and secure region, would need a partition: the division of India into separate Hindu and Muslim nations - British House of Commons passed act in 1947 that granted two nations, India and Pakistan, independence in a month o Pakistan (explicit Muslim identity) and India (large Hindu majority) - Independent native princes, the civil service (police, railways, military), and millions of citizens had to decide where to go - Some people found themselves on wrong side of line ( mass migrations ( chaos - As 10 mil people scrambled to relocate in only a month, violence among religious groups erupted o One side would kill Sikhs (other religious group) if joined other group’s side o In Punjab, large Sikh pop. Lands/worship places straddled new partition line. They felt more comf in India than Pakistan, as did Hindus. ~ equal number of Muslims ( Pakistan - Devising a border meant cutting in half two of India’s most powerful provinces, Punjab and Bengal (but whatever line Radcliffe had devised would’ve caused millions to feel aggrieved) o If division hadn’t been so hasty, many of the one million killed could’ve been saved - Tension between Jinnah (founded Pakistan) and Nehru (India’s first prime minister) The Battle for Kashmir

- Muslims and Hindus then fought over control of small region of Kashmir shortly after gained their independence (in north next to Pakistan) o Muslim majority, but Hindu princely leader who had to decide which country to join - Kashmir’s own political partition: mostly Muslim Kashmir Valley under Indian control, but still claimed by Pakistan Pakistan

- Problem of geography: Bengali-speaking East and Punjabi West with 1,000 miles of Indian territory in between o East had larger pop, but power and influence lay in the West - India helped free E. Pakistan from N. Pakistan’s control ( Bangladesh born - Problems with India: rivalries ( both acquired nuclear arms o In India, tension ( strain on Indian tradition of secularism in public life and religious tolerance

- India became world’s largest democracy when granted freedom on Aug 15, 1947 - Jawaharlal Nehru: independent nation’s first prime minister Nehru Leads India
- One of Gandhi’s most devoted followers, won popularity among all groups in India when emphasized democracy, unity, and economic modernization - Moved India forward
o Led other newly independent nations in forming alliance of countries that were neutral in Cold War o Called for reorganization of the states by language
o Pushed for industrialization and sponsored social reforms o Tried to elevate status of lower castes
o Helped women gain rights promised by the constitution
Troubled Times
- Death in 1964 left Congress Party left nobody strong enough to deal with the many political factions that had emerged with India’s independence - Indira Gandhi: Nehru’s daughter, chosen for prime minister o Although ruled capably, faced challenge of growing threat from Sikh extremists (wanted an independent state) o From the Golden Temple at Amritsar, Sikh nationalists ventured out to attack symbols of Indian authorities o June 1984, Indian army overran Golden Temple ( killed Sikhs and destroyed sacred property ( Sikhs gunned Gandhi down ( another murderous frenzy ( death of 1000’s of Sikhs

- Began as East Pakistan and West Pakistan
- Culture, language, history, geography, economics, ethnic differences (only united by Islamic faith) Civil War
- Although East had larger population, often ignored by West, home to the central gov - When giant cyclone struck East and killed thousands, international aid poured into Pakistan o West did not quickly transfer aid to East ( demonstrations broke out in East, protesters calling for an end to all ties with West Pakistan - 1971, East declared itself an independent nation called Bangladesh - Civil war Bangladesh vs. Pakistan ( Indian forces stepped in, siding with Bangladesh ( Pakistan surrendered ( Pakistan lost 1/7 of area and ½ of population to B A Pattern of Instability

- Jinnah, 1st governor-general of Pakistan, died shortly after independence ( nation w/o strong leader ( series of military coups - Benazir Bhutto elected prime minister, but removed later after months of disorder

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