The British in India The British in India Initially, when the British attempted to assume control over India, they were met with the outrage of a people wronged. The citizens of India saw the British for what they were, white men with a superiority complex. Every attempt the British made to expand territorial control was met with enthusiastic rebellion. The British succeeded in taking over the Indian government, but the people of India made sure they didnt have an easy time doing it. When Vasco da Gamma landed in Calicut in 1498 it was with the sole intention to establish trading within India.
In 1600, Queen Elizabeth 1 chartered the East India Company for the purpose of trading with India and east Asia. By the 1700s the company had expanded its trade and political power throughout India. In addition, it began collection taxes in some areas; Indian rulers were not complacent, so the company used force on them. The political takeover that swept through India began in Bengal with the Battle of the Plassey. Within the next hundred years, the gradual inundation of the subcontinent was completed. As power was established by the British, so did the resentment. Until the British interfered with their lives, the people of India were almost entirely self-sufficient.
People who were once independent were forced into bondage. Britain exploited the citizens of India by means of cotton. The Indians raised the cotton and shipped it to Britain. In Britain, the aforementioned cotton was turned into textiles and shipped back to India to be sold at an inflated price. The previously self-sufficient people were forced to buy expensive clothes because they no longer had the time to make their own.
In addition to this injustice, upon arriving in India the British saw the need for indigo farms. When they hired locals they forced them to sign exclusive contracts. They were not allowed to quit, and they paid rent with the indigo sold. As the British monopoly on cotton continued, the majority of the people bought their clothing from Britain; this prevented the indigo farmers from having any kind of product market. There was no demand, but they were forced to continue supplying. People were starving, and it was all Britain’s fault.
The largest obstruction of Indian culture made by the British was the abolishment of the caste system. By discontinuing their social structure, the (the British) were able to view all citizens as equal (slaves). When observing the British takeover of India analytically, the method executed was strategically brilliant. India as a colony was incredibly successful for Britain, they made money, while the resources that were drained never affected them. However, looked at with the American assumption of fairness and morals, the seize of India was fairly barbaric.
With that in mind, the 246 years in which India was under the political stronghold of Britain may be interpreted in a variety of ways, many of which are endorsements of Britains ability to dominate and control while a minority. The other opinion, the ethical opinion, exposes Britain as a country so hungry for power, they were willing to compromise the freedom of choice for 350 million people in exchange for money that they really didnt need.