Understanding Pre-Independence India

Understanding Pre-Independence India

Understanding Pre-Independence India

India is a land of rich cultural heritage. From the beginning of the ancient era to the end of the largest empire in India- the Mughal empire, India maintained its heritage. It was a thriving nation that attracted many foreign invaders, attempts of some of whom were successful. 

Nonetheless, it continued to maintain its glory till the advent of the British empire in India. History is a vast topic to be studied so an attempt is made here to make the task easy so that students can get homework help or assignment help

Both ancient and medieval India was rich culturally, economically, socially, and the like. The kings worked hard for their subjects and the treasury of the nation kept on filling. Some of the best architecture was found here. We excelled in arts, science, medicine, and the like but British rule drained India of all its wealth. 

The British came here, merely as a trading entity with the East India Company establishing its first factory in Surat, after taking the permission of the then Mughal emperor Jahangir. Although Jahangir could not clearly see through the intentions of these foreign entities, yet he kept a strict eye on them. 

The Britishers were kept under strict eye by Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb as well. But the later Mughals failed to do the task effectively. The death of Aurangzeb had shaken the large, expanded Mughal empire. There was a continuous fight for power among the later Mughals.

 In fact, other regional kingdoms were also on the rise therefore it became difficult to establish one single control that could have made the empire work effectively. The British saw this as an opportunity and tried to increase their control in the disintegrating regions. This began with them fortifying their factories giving a façade of more protection for the same. The increasing number of soldiers became the strength of the British and slowly and gradually they began taking control of regions. 

The British empire, since then, did not see a decline. They kept on expanding and expanding. Their increased expansion led to the deterioration of the social and economic condition of British India.

 The British came to India in order to make it their colony. Their ultimate aim was to extract out of the country everything that was possible and benefit economically. Their policies were made keeping this made in India. Thus, the hold of the British became stronger over the country and led to the following impact on the Indian subcontinent:

  • Social Impacts: India, earlier, was a culturally strong nation. Several religions lived in peace with each other. In fact, it was a clear example of unity in diversity. The British tried to break this unity in order to establish their strong hold. 
  • The British also tried to interfere with the various religious practices of the Indians. For example: Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage, women education and the like. Although British interference was not welcomed by the Indians, this interference was a progressive one. 
  • Several British Viceroys collaborated with the Indian leaders to remove these practices that led to the degradation of Indian society. A negative impact of such interference was the forceful conversion of people into Christianity.  
  • Economic: This was a sector most impacted by British rule. British policies were framed in such a way so as to extract everything out of the Indians.
  •  They were now growing less of food crops and more of cash crops so that the British could export them to England. Indigo cultivation was forced upon farmers that destroyed their farmland completely for years. Therefore, farmers were severely exploited.
  •  Tribal people too, had to give up their right on forest produce and thus were deprived of their main source of income. The Indian handicraft industry too suffered a backlash.
  •  The British exported the goods which were sold at very less price in England while they imported goods that were sold here at very high price. Therefore, a continuous drain of wealth persisted in India.
  • Political: The Indian empire, as the British found it, was a disintegrated one. There were several regional kingdoms that were in power and continuously fought with each other to rise above the others. The British tried to manipulate the kings even more and divide it more. 
  • Their attempts were to divide on the basis of the policy of divide and rule. This culminated in the war of 1857 wherein the saturation point of Indian tolerance was reached. The British tried to use several other ways to consolidate empires like they used the policy of Doctrine of Lapse and the like.
  •  This was because they were winning over without even fighting wars. Policy of annexation was used to take hold of Awadh. The Indian political environment kept on becoming tense. While some were trying to unite in front of the foreign power, others joined hands with them.
  •  Slowly and gradually demand for independence prevailed in the political environment and the leaders kept on preparing for it. 

All such conditions of pre-Independence India led to the demand for Independence from British rule. The war of 1857 laid the foundations for the same and late in the 20th century the Indian National Congress leaders took the forefront of the fight with Gandhiji heading the nation towards Independence. 

Several atrocities were committed on the Indians, by the British, a response to which was the Non-Cooperation movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi.

This was just a brief outline of the British impact on India. This does not even comprise 5% of the exact situation then but is sufficient enough to intimate the students about the British atrocities and provide them homework help. An in-detail study must be further done to understand the exact situation then and get effective assignment help.  

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