Effects of British Colonial Rule in India

4318 WordsApr 5, 201218 Pages
Abtract The colonization of India and the immense transfer of wealth that moved from the latter to Britain were vital to the success of the British Empire. In fact, the Viceroy of British India in 1894 called India “the pivot of our Empire …” I examine the effects of the Industrial Revolution on the subcontinent. Besides highlighting the fact that without cheap labor and raw materials from India, the modernization of Britain during this era would have been highly unlikely, I will show how colonial policy led to the privation and death of millions of natives. I conclude that while India undoubtedly benefited from British colonial rule, the negatives for the subject population far outweighed the positives. . Colonialism, by definition,…show more content…
Second, British India, which included today’s India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, was a region so large that there were areas in which Britain exercised direct control over the subject population and others where it exerted indirect control. It is exceedingly difficult, therefore, to extrapolate from one experience to another. Although it is impossible to determine how India would have developed had England never established a dominating presence there, I find the results of British colonialism to have been a mixed bag for India: the negatives, however, far outweighed the positives. Liberal and democratic aspects of British colonialism in India played a significant role in leading to a democratic South Asia following Indian independence in 1947. Yet, the British -- first through the East India Company and then through direct government control -- held almost all of the political and economic power in India during the Empire’s expansion and apogee, guaranteeing the Indian economy could not evolve and/or function independent of the ruling power’s control; ensuring raw materials extracted from Indian soil would go towards British manufacturing industries mostly without profiting the vast majority of Indians; and leading to lives of privation for millions of indigenous subjects. Although there have been arguments made that, in political and
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