British Colonization

Decent Essays

The main notable development that the British Empire brought to India during their colonisation was the railways, otherwise known as “Railroads of the Raj”. First proposed in 1846 by Thomas Williamson, the revenue commissioner of Bombay, who stated that “Commercially, it would be best for the cotton of Berar” while also allowing an “immediate direction of the military stations” (Williamson, 1846). Through this it is clear that the main objective for the railways was for development commercially and for quicker and faster links to and for the military. In 1850 the production began and by “1900 there was over 24,000 miles of railway tracks that had been laid” (Kerr 1997). The development of the railways gave the impression that it was going to largely benefit India, and mainly India’s economy, by increasing trade and transportation, almost bringing India into an age of an Industrial Revolution, just as the railways had done for Britain in the 1800’s. However, this particular introduction made by the British to India proved detrimental to their economy. “The railway project was enormous and was funded entirely by British private investment capitals” (Satya 2008). These private companies operated their railway lines with a “guaranteed 5% return on their investment which was assured by the Indian revenues of the empire” (Satya 2008). This was one of the biggest reasons why the railways caused a decline in India’s economy. This guarantee system promised that even if the companies

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