The British in India Imperialism: Conquest and rule of a foreign land to benefit home country
The World in 1600 Why would Britain emerge as the great Imperial power, more than the Spanish, French, Holland, Portugal, Germans?
The British East India Company: 1600 - 1857 This company could claim there was no Independent India, just doing business. But Indian nationalism will not go away. Pope’s decrees to keep India under Catholic Spain and Portugal ignored after 1588.
Elizabeth I granted license to new company in 1600. Monopoly, no other Brit competition. British East India Company Agents 1-E
Coins of the British East India Co. 1719 coin 1804 coin At first BEIC tried to get concessions from Great Moghul Jahangir but he sees no reason, his every wish is law.. So Britain has quiet trade. Involuntary transformation 1757-1818, no plan.
Coffee House in British India Moghuls decadent, elaborate luxury, absolute power but could not keep peace over large area land. Intrigue, disputes, open warfare.
Sepoy soldiers Marathas were best hope for India wide government but filled with bandits, plunderers, not popular. Extremes of wealth and power. Why would joining the Sepoys be an attractive profession for an Indian? 1-F
Sir Robert Clive • Highlights of this key player in the history of the Raj: • Competition with French and Joseph Dupleix over the Carnatic coast (near Madras) • French and English were at war in Europe, one must leave India! • Seige of Arcot 1751 • Marathas join in • Calcutta another bigger crisis! New Nawab tries to expel growing BEIC. 1-G
Black Hole of Calcutta 1756 Airless dungeon 146 English men and women imprisoned one night Only 20 came out alive The rest died of suffocation, thirst and shock. England enraged at Siraj who was portrayed as the torturer
Battle of Plassey: 1757 Robert Clive had cleverly signed alliances with rivals of Siraj At Plassey, a small village near Calcutta 3000 British faced 55,000 of Siraj’s army Siraj advised to flee and did, bulk of army followed His rival Mir Jaffir kills Suraj. Jaffir crowned as Nawab of Bengal, got much $ Clive and other BEIC employees got very rich 1-H
English goods allowed to travel duty-free throughout Bengal while Indian merchants were taxed and restricted. • Brits collect enormous bribes by dispensing political favors • Viewed as plunder in England, national disgrace • Clive takes over Bengal, does many good things. Read Jensen! Why wasBritainso successfulin Indiaby the endof the 18c?? 1-I
Sir Warren Hastings • Knew India well • Personal integrity • But asked to do two contradictory tasks: • a)Provide “good government to Bengal” • b) Yet also enrich company and Brit Government! • What were the two crisis’ that Hasting faced? • American Revolution • Bombay and Madras uprisings • Acquitted but public trial showed rule of law r. 1772 - 1785
Lord Cornwallis • Aristocrat • Surrendered to Washington • Integrity and competence • Civil service was to fight corruption ”steel frame” • Three branches of gov’t: • Revenue collecting • Commercial • Judicial • Supreme court could rule over governor himself! • Independent role! • Soft on Tipu Sultan ruler of Mysore r. 1786 - 1793
Richard Wellesley 1798 – 1805 • Defeated and killed Tipu Sultan of Mysore • Age of expansion begins • Subsidiary alliances • “Sacred Trust” of British rule
India and Bengal from 1828 – 1835 Reputation for ruthless financial efficiency & disregard for Indian culture led to story that he had once planned to demolish the Taj Mahal and sell off the marble! He tried to reform the Hindu society by abolition of the cruel rite of Sati and the suppression of the infanticide. Lord Bentinck He was Governor General of r. 1828 - 1835 1-K
British Opium Warehouse in Patna, India Selling Patna Opium in China
Lord Dalhousie 1847-1856 BAD GUY the destroyer of the East India Company's financial and military position through reckless policies. He laid the foundations of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 Made Raj into a money-losing colonial administration. GOOD GUY * far-sighted! Consolidated East India Co., * laid the foundations of its later administration * sound policy enabled his successors to stem the tide of rebellion. r. 1848 - 1856 1-L
The Raj: "Jewel in the Crown" of the British Empire
1876: Queen Victoria Becomes “Empress of India” 2-D
Queen Victoria in India PAX BRITANNICA
British Colonial Life During the Raj