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The British Take Over India
Transcript of The British Take Over India
Chapter 24 - Section 4
Sepoy rebels caught by British officers
British officers fighting off Sepoy rebels
British East India Company's coat of arms
Railroad networks built in India improved transportation for British sales.
Ram mohun roy.
Retrieved January 15, 2014, from
The Biography Channel Website.
Retrieved January 15. 2014, from
Raja ram mohan roy.
(n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2014, from
Mughal rulers governed powerful empires in India for over 200 years.
The Mughal empire eventually collapsed from not having any strong rulers.
Britain had commercial and political interests in India.
East India Company and Rebellion
The British East India company won trading rights of the Muhgal empire in the early 1600s.
The British had control over three-fifths of India by the mid-1800s.
Exploiting Indian Diversity
Exploiting India's diversity was how the British were able to conquer India.
India was home to many people, and as power weakened, India became more fragmented.
Many Indians were unable to unite against newcomers.
The British encouraged competition and disunity among rivalries, and used their weapons to overpower local rulers.
Implementing British Policies
The British were focused mainly on money.
Despite their control, they did work to improve the community.
Indians were introduced to Western education and legal procedures by the British in the early 1800s.
Missionaries tried to convert Indians to Christianity.
Because the British were urging for social change, they worked to end slavery and the caste system and to improve the position of women.
The British made a law that banned sati, a Hindu custom that is practiced mainly in the upper classes.
Sati was the act os a widow joining her husband in death by throwing herself on his funeral fire.
In the 1850s, many were very unhappy with the decisions the British made.
They forced sepoys, Indian soldiers, to serve anywhere, whether it be in India or overseas.
Traveling overseas is an offense to the Hindu religion.
The British issued new rifles to sepoys in 1857.
To load the rifles, one was supposed to bite off the tips of the cartridges which were greased with animal fat.
The animal fat could have been from cows, which are sacred to Hindus, or pigs, an animal that was forbidden from Muslims.
If one refused to follow orders, they were punished by being sent to jail.
Rebellion and Aftermath
Many sepoys were angry and decided to rise against the British officers.
This rebellion spread across north and central India.
The sepoys not only massacred the British officers, but they also hurt British men, women, and children.
Seeking revenge, the British decided to fight back and ended up winning.
The Sepoy Rebellion left a bitter legacy of fear, hatred, and mistrust, and it also brought many changes in the British policy.
Impact of British Colonial Rule
After 1858,a system of colonial rule, the British Raj, was set up by Parliament.
The purpose of these policies were to incorporate India into the British economy.
The British officials were in hopes of modernizing India.
Even though there were some benefits to British colonial rule, many downfalls came along with them such as an unequal partnership, population growth, and famine.
Different Views on Culture
Some Indians followed the Western model of progress for India.
Other Indians believed that the answer to change depended on your own Hindu or Muslim religion.
Some individuals, like Ram Mohun Roy, combined these two views and saw them as one.
Roy wanted and saw the value of Western education, and he also wanted to change Indian culture.
Some traditions that Roy abolished were child marriage, sati, and purdah.
Purdah is the isolation of women in separate quarters.
Roy also set up educational societies that helped bring the pride back to Indian culture.
Indian Nationalism Grows
While the British ruled, classes of Western-educated Indians emerged.
Many Indians dreamed of ending imperialism, and their hopes were strong as they were schooled in Western ideals such as democracy and equality.
The Indian National Congress anticipated self-rule, but also supported Western-style modernization.
Muslims and Hindus started off working together for self-rule, but eventually grew to resent each other.
Muslims worried that a government run by Hindus would oppress Muslims, which led to the talking of a separate Muslim state.
British officials introduced Western education and legal procedures.
Ram Mohun Roy combined two different views on culture.
British East India Company controlled three-fifths of India
East India Company made several unpopular moves
British issued new rifles to the sepoys
British East India Company won trading rights on the fringe of the Mughal empire
Mughal empire collapses from lack of strong rulers
Parliament set up a system of colonial rule in India called the British Raj
Suez Canal opened, British trade with India soared
National leaders organized the Indian National Congress, which became known as the Congress Party
Terrible famines swept India,
Western-educated Indians were spearheading a nationalist movement
Muslims formed the Muslim League to pursue their own goals