British East India Company The British control of India began with the economic trading company called the British East India Company. This company was granted the sole right to control the resources and markets in India on behalf of the British government. Soon the British had taken over the government, adopting a policy of divide and conquer.
Indirect Rule The British would pay off the various local rulers (India has never had a united, centralized government) for support in exchange for special trading favors in their area. The British East India Company also paid for an army of Indian soldiers called Sepoys to enforce their policies.
Hindu vs. Muslim The British also worked to keep the two religious groups, Hindu and Muslim, at odds. They diplomatically kept the two groups isolated so that they could not unite against the British.
Sepoy Mutiny In 1857, a rumor spread through the Sepoys that the bullets used in the rifles were being greased with the fat of pigs or cows, thus offending both of the religious groups that made up the natives in the Army. The rebellious army marauded through India killing hundreds of the British families living there (Sepoy Mutiny). The British sent in the regular army and were able to put down the rebellion. From this point on the British kept the regular army in India for fear of another uprising. (Direct Rule) With the army they were able to maintain control until Gandhi led the revolt and gained independence in1948, after World War II.
Jewel in the Crown India becomes the Jewel in the Crown to the British Economy. The raw materials were shipped from India to England and then finished products were shipped to sell. The Suez Canal became vital to the British as their pathway to their economic crown jewel.
Assignment Time Divide your paper into six boxes. In boxes 1-5, draw something to represent the 5 topics just discussed : – British East India Company – Indirect Rule – Muslim v. Hindu – Sepoy Mutiny – Jewel in the Crown In the 6 th box, answer this question: Do you think British presence helped or hurt India? Give details to support your answer.
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