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The British Rule in India, Africa

“British involvement in India during the 18th century can be divided into two phases, one ending and the other beginning at mid-century. In the first half of the century, the British were a trading presence at certain points along the coast; from the 1750s they began to wage war on land in eastern and south-eastern India and to reap the reward of successful warfare, which was the exercise of political power, notably over the rich province of Bengal. ” (Richard W. Bulliet et al) Consequently, the British used the power they had consolidated over the region to win over the remaining states.

British Rule in India was characterized by the belief that the Indians did not have the necessary skills to govern themselves that British took it upon itself to offer this help. The British raj (reign) was meant therefore meant to bring various administrative and social reforms but as the same time strive to support all the Indian allies. This support would come in the form of respect of Indian religious and social customs, which would lead to great inconsistencies in British Policies towards India.

British rule therefore ended benefiting the Indian elites with a few instances of job creation in various sectors. On the other hand the poor ended being oppressed leading to the collapse of the traditional Indian textile industry, raising the level of discontentment. The discontentment would eventually lead to the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 which was a shocker to the British who crashed the rebellion in 1858. (Richard W. Bulliet et al) After the rebellion the colonialists started ruling India from London thereby erasing the influence of the Mughal and Company Rule.

The new setup now emphasized more on tradition and reforms which entailed supporting and maintaining the Indian Princes but at the same time controlling the masses through the Indian Civil Service. The failure of Sepoy Rebellion also prompted some Indians to explore ways of uniting and promoting a Pan-Indian nationalism. British India also at this time became a major supplier of laborers to many other British colonies like Cuba. British rule in Africa on the other hand was characterized by use of force. Land would be occupied and exploited by force using the British troops who would capture tribal leaders and force them to surrender.

The settlers would normally target fertile agricultural lands (in Kenya they would occupy the rich agricultural highlands) which they would occupy then use the locals as laborers who they would pay very low wages. The low wages would be then be taxed leaving the locals with very little to cater for themselves and there families, coupled with the fact that most men were preoccupied with working for them they would not have enough time to farm for there own subsistence. This would lead to famine and death in the long run.

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