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British Colonization And Effet

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Autor:  monika  23 January 2010
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The effects of British Imperialism were disastrous for India", to what extent do you agree with the statement. Refer to the 1858-1914 period in your answer.

Imperialism dates back to antiquity. In the ancient world the idea of imperialism was to create great empires in an attempted to dominate all others by creating a unified system of control. The empire of Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire are such examples.
Then came early modern European imperialism (1492-1780), the discovery of new lands such as America brought new opportunities, and imperialism took the form of overseas colonial expansion. Many countries took part in this expansion, rather than one state attempting to unify the world. The countries established political control over territories in Asia and South East Asia and in the New World and parts of Africa and Oceania. Each country attempted to control the trade of its colonies, in order to monopolize the benefits of that trade. India is a clear example of this, the British established the East India Trading Company, its trade focused on bringing tea, silks and spices from the East. By the 19th century, the British saw India as the "Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire.
Then the power of India was handed over to the British government and in 1876 queen Victoria was proclaimed "Empress of India". This period is referred to as the British Raj, the period of British colonial rule where they ruled most of the Indian subcontinent. It lasted from 1858 until 1947. This is also referred to as the "new imperialism" when European governments scrambled frantically for territory. White people came, therefore, to rule millions in India. The causes of the new imperialism are still debated. Competition for trade, superior military force, European power politics, and a racist belief in European superiority were among the most important.
The economic, political and psychological effects of imperialism on India are equally difficult to determine. Imperialism has proven both destructive and creative: for better or worse, it has destroyed traditional institutions and ways of thinking and has replaced them with the habits and mentality of the Western world. We shall explore in more depth the positive and negative effect of Imperialism in India.

When the British invested into India, they made big contributions the railroad system is an example. British rule modernized India in many respects. The spread of railroads from 1853 contributed to the expansion of business. Companies built rail lines that linked growing regions in the interior with ports on the coast. Its rail system was the third largest in the world and helped make the economy more modern. When the British colonized India they built 40,000 miles of railroad (twice the length of the railway system in England at that time) and 70,000 miles of paved roadway. As a result the British made it much easier to travel across India. The British made other improvements, they built telephone and telegraph lines, dams, bridges, and canals. Another good affect that the British had on India was the jump in agriculture, through large-scale irrigation works. About 30 million acres were put into cultivation. Industrialization had also begun. Great Britain also has to create a bigger military and station them to protect the colony form other forces. This helped India after the independence to keep order and establish the first democracy from a colonized country.
But every good aspect always has a negative side to it. In 1810, India was exporting more textiles to England than England was exporting to India. By 1830, the trade flow was reversed (Cf documents below). The British had put up prohibitive tariff barriers to shut out Indian finished goods and were dumping their commodities in India. Within a matter of years, the great textile centres of Dacca and Madras were turned into ghost towns. The Indians were sent back to the land to raise the cotton used in British textile factories.

By 1850, India's debt had grown to 53 million pounds. From 1850 to 1900, its per capita income dropped by almost two-thirds. British imperialism did two things: first, it ended India's development, then it forcibly underdeveloped that country. India's huge population made it an attractive market for British industry. In the 1880s, for example, about 20% of Britain's total exports went to India. By 1910 these exports were worth


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