The Beginnings of Revolt
Code of 1837
Conflict in South Africa
Indian Culture clashing with Europeans
Division Among the Indians
Economic Expansion and Rule by the Crown
Gandhi's Childhood and Youth
Introduction to Gandhi
The Impact of the West
The Mahatma and Modern India
Mohandasí Stay in England
Mohandas Returns to India
The Rani of Jhansi
The Salt Tax
Suttee & Social Reform
Trouble in India
World War II: Indiaís Savior
East India Company was formed by British traders to trade with India. They set up godowns to store the goods they traded in. The protection of these godowns served as a good excuse to build forts and maintain armies at such centers.
During this time disorganized kingdoms were fighting amongst themselves. The British took the golden opportunity to benefit from these internal quarrels and helped one king against another. In this bargain the British gained more power and wealth. The British trained Indian soldiers and employed them in their army. This army was far better trained and disciplined than the armies with small Indian kings who were just struggling to survive. Gradually the British succeeded in capturing very large parts of India. They made treaties with kings who accepted the authority of the British. They were kings only in name. The British very cleverly managed to collect huge wealth from the people and the kings.
Likewise, even the weavers of fine cottons and silks were compelled to see their cloth only to British traders at prices decided by them. Anybody found selling his cloth to a trader other than the British was severely punished. Also, no duty was charged on British goods coming to India. On the other hand, Indian exports to Britain were subjected to high imported duty.
The India cottage industry also suffered at the hands of the British traders. India had a large handloom industry. But the British by now had started a very big cotton textile mills in England. They needed a lot of cotton for these mills, so cotton was purchased here at a very low price and sent to England and in return huge quantities of cloth was sold in India. The result was that the big weaver class in India became unemployed. People had to buy costlier British cloth. Such were the ways of the British to amass wealth in India to be sent back to England. Thus the Indian farmers, weavers, traders, kings, Nawabs, craftsmen were all unhappy and this discontent led to the mightiest revolts in 1857 which was also joined by Sanyasis, Fakirs, disbanded soldiers and British soldiers too.
The British conquered India with the help of Indian soldiers, but did not treat them properly. They were denied higher positions in spite of their abilities. The Indians were also traded as slaves to other British colonies. The company was indifferent to education and so the old system of education suffered under the British rule. After this revolt the Companyís place was taken by the British government directly which too was very harsh with Indians.
In 1857, power was transferred from the East India Company to the British Crown and India became a British colony. India fought a total of 111 wars and with Indian money and troops, British-India finally saw peace.
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, the British did of course benefit India. They built railways throughout India in order to make everything readily accessible. They established Law Courts, civil services and transport systems. They also established factories, schools and universities to introduce western ideas and to incorporate the idea of democracy. Missionaries came to India and spread Christianity. This was all done in the name of Britainís economy.