British Imperialism in India Essay

1746 Words Oct 23rd, 1999 7 Pages
"All the leadership had spent their early years in England. They were influenced by British thought, British ideas, that is why our leaders were always telling the British "How can you do these things? They're against your own basic values.". We had no hatred, in fact it was the other way round - it was their values that made us revolt."
<br>-Aruna Asaf Ali, a leader of the Indian National Congress.
<br>(Masani, quoted in Wood, 32, 1989)
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<br>There is no doubt that British imperialism had a large impact on India. India, having previously been an group of independent and semi-independent princedoms and territories, underwent great change under British administration. Originally intended to consolidate their hold on India by establishing
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This in turn led to further resentment of British imperialism, and claims that military regulations were an attempt by the British to destroy the traditional caste system. (Richards, 301, 1994). In believing so vehemently that the British system was superior to the far inferior Hindu traditions, the British officers were essentially contravening the ideals of freedom that were an important element of the Western European political principles that they so wanted to instill in the Indian peoples.
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<br>Following the Mutiny of 1857, Indian nationalism gained much more momentum than had previously existed in the first part of the century. This movement consisted mostly of British-educated intellectuals, and ironically was made possible by the British encouragement of higher education, originally intended to create a middle management that could carry out simple administration jobs. Most of the Indian nationalists - most notably Gandhi - were educated in Western Europe and were well-read in Western notions of freedoms, civil liberties and autonomy. The Indian National Congress was the largest and most obvious nationalist group, formed so that "educated Indians…could express dissatisfaction with the British colonial administration and suggest reforms." (Cowie,
<br>36, 1994) This Congress, however, had no power in terms of action and it can be seen as an attempt by the British to appease Indian nationalists who wanted progress. The seeming uselessness of the Indian National
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