Imperialism and India


Throughout history, many nations have implemented imperialism to enforce
their will over others for money, protection and civilization. India was no
exception. Since its discovery, Europeans were trying get a piece of India\'s
action. In many cases England was the imperial, or mother country. Since India
was put under imperialism, a great deal of things changed, some for the good,
mostly though for the bad. Between 1640 and 1949, India was ruled by two
periods of imperialism, both of which effected India in a very profound and
permanent manner.
The first period of European control was between 1740 and 1858. During
this period the British East India Company controlled the Indian sub-continent
under the guise of economic imperialism, when in fact the manipulation of Indian
affairs was much more political than let on. When it was founded in 1600 by
Queen Elizabeth I, the East India Company\'s main purpose was "to break into the
Indonesian spice trade which was dominated by the Dutch." But after colonizing a
post a Madras in 1640, the company was re-chartered to include such rights as
coining money and act as government to British subjects at the East India
Company\'s posts. As well, the British government also gave the company the
right to make was or peaceful arrangements with powers who were non-Christian.
This control expanded with the founding of a port at Bombay in 1668, and the
founding of Calcutta in 1690. Then in 1756, a young employee named Robert Clive,
who had been named lieutenant-governor in 1755, was sent to take back Calcutta
from the Bengal nawab. He accomplished this in January of 1757. Then later
that year, Clive lead a group of 950 European and 2,000 Indian soldiers(sepoys)
against a group of 50,000 Indians lead by a degenerate nawab at Plassey. The
victory of the English forces over the local resistance brought Bengal under the
effective political control of the East India Company. Although a "puppet
nawab" was left in control of the area, Clive was granted the right to extract
land revenue from most of eastern India. Through out this whole period, the
company slowly found it\'s privledges being revoked, until in 1858, the Sepoy
Rebellion, or the Indian Revolution, finally brought an end to the rule of the
East India Company in India when it was revealed the cause of the rebellion was
the use of beef and pork fat to grease rifle cartridges, which are taboo to the
Muslims and Hindus. This Revolution brought the rule of the East India Company
to an end.
The second period of English imperialism started in August of 1858 when
the British monarchy assumed direct control of India from the East India
Company. This established a full colonial government, where British officials
run the countries affairs, in India. This is known as colonial imperialism.
This period was one of major change in Indian life and culture. While the East
India Company tried respect local customs and learn local languages, the
colonial government "tried to impose British culture on India. . . encouraged
the Indian people to abandon their traditions and learn to speak, dress and live
like Europeans." This came to a head in 1877, when Queen Victoria was recognized
as the Empress of India. The colonial government felt it was their duty to
civilize the people of India, feeling "I am a little bit better than you,
therefore my presence is necessary." This all began to end in 1885 with the
formation of the Indian National Congress, made up of middle-class Indians who
were known as the congress. This congress campaigned for free education for
both sexes, more Indian representation in government, and other reforms. But
then in the early 1900\'s, nationalists began to reject British rule and petition
for it\'s end in India by boycotting British goods and publishing books which
"restored peoples pride in India\'s ancient heritage." The nationalist leader,
Mohandas Gandhi, is perhaps best known for his method of passive resistance to
help the struggle of India. Then finally in 1949, the partitioning of the
British controlled lands into the independent countries of Pakistan and India
brought an end to English rule in the Indian subcontinent.
Throughout the rule of the British in India, the effect of the colonial
and economic imperialism impacted the sub-continent in the form of many economic
and social changes. On the economic side, many Indian goods were sold overseas
by the East India Company, but the government of England saw India as a large
base for British goods, as well as a source of raw materials. This lead to
British officials discouraging Indian industry, as