How Did The British Establish Hegemony In India?

1023 words - 5 pages

{draw:rect} {draw:rect} {draw:rect} {draw:rect} {draw:g} {draw:g} {draw:frame} If you were an Indian living in the 1700’s and heard that an entity by the name of the East India Trading Company was coming to your country would you be suspicious? Of course not, and neither was anybody who lived in India at the time. Little did they know that that very company would go on to rule their country for over a hundred years. So what transformed them from traders to rulers? What changed them from businessmen to sovereigns? How did the British come to rule India? Once they realized that India was there to be colonized, they exploited the fact that India was not one united nation, but rather many ...view middle of the document...

By the time that the Indians realized that the British were in India to colonize, it was too late to stop them. By that point, the English already had forts and alliances that were too far down the process to stop. The Indian population was thus lulled into a false sense of prosperity when actually they were losing their independence to imperialism. Along with the fact that Indians had complete trust in the British, the EIC was slowly making alliances with Indian stats and passing acts that would benefit them in the long run, especially using the great Indian divide to their benefit. Case in point, the Subsidiary Alliance. A prime example of Indian naiveté, the Subsidiary Alliance was an agreement signed by rulers of Indian states that asked the British for protection, in return for a price paid by them. In truth however, the British would actually send a resident (ruler) to that region along with troops. Though officially the British were not the rulers, they thus had complete power. Meanwhile, the Indian rulers continue to pay the British for what they think is protection, but what in truth was colonization. As they became the single most authoritative legislation in the country, they would pass laws and demands such as the Regulating Act of 1773 or Pitt’s India Act of 1784, both decreased the power of Indian governments and increased the clout of the British. On top of that, the British leverage a divided India to conquer the country. The British took advantage of the fact that too large a portion of the Indian population was only interested in personal gain. For instance, they would pit an angry nephew against his grandfather in some way that would be of help to the British regime. They utilized the divides between many Indian states to make regulations and alliances that benefited the British Raj. Finally, when all else failed, the British would physically go to war, sometimes to gain land, but...

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