Imperialism began in India in the 1600s with the introduction of the East India Trade Company who placed trading posts at Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta. (British Imperialism in India, 2014). Prior to the arrival of EITC, the Mughal Empire was a larger and more powerful kingdom than any other country in Europe. The center of the Mughal Empire was in poorly populated northern region, the soil and river system in this area was perfect for farming, transporting and communicating. (A Case Study of British Imperialism in India, 2014). For some time, the EITC and Mughal were able to work cohesively together, but by 1707 the Mughal Empire had begun to crumble, and in 1757 Robert Clive, in alliance with the French, led troops to a victory over Indian forces at the Battle of Plassey. This made way for the EITC to become the primary power in India. (British Imperialism in India, 2014).
The East India Trade Company grew quickly, with little interference from the British government, having its own army called sepoys comprised of both Indian and British soldiers. India was considered the jewel in the crown due in part to the skills of its people and its vast producing land. Cotton cloth and raw silk winding were in high demand for the company to export, as well as sugar, indigo dye and opium. (Marshall, 2014). The EITC used religious force and economic power to take and maintain control of India. Demanding that Indian textile not be in competition with British goods and cash crops for the farmers.
This in turn forced the indigenous people to experience economical loss and inability to feed themselves. Britain had taken a stand-off approach with Indian religion, but many felt that Indian customs were compromised with the increase in missionaries and racist attitude towards India’s way of life. By 1857, there was ever increasing unhappiness, leading to a mutiny among the Sepoy. The Sepoy army were instructed to use rifle cartridges that were greased with pig or cow fat. Because the ends of the cartridges needed to be bitten off before using, this was offensive to the Sepoy army, whose population was either Hindu or Muslim. Muslim belief is that pigs are unclean and Hindu whose belief is that cows are sacred. (Anderson, 2007). The Sepoy mutiny gave way to a new British government in India called Raj, who ruled Indian until 1947. (British Imperialism in India, 2014).
Part B Violent Revolution: American Revolution
The American Revolution was brought about by unhappy colonist who were against British taxes and sought independence from British rule. After winning the French and Indian War, King George II began to impose taxes on goods such as sugar and molasses that were brought in to the colonies with the Sugar Act of 1764. The Stamp Act (1765), required an official stamp on most transactions of colonial businesses. The colonist, unhappy with the taxes, and feeling that the British Parliament was corrupt, began to speak out against the taxes, labeling the taxes as illegal because the people of the colonies were not represented in the British Parliament. “No taxation without representation” was the cry of the colonies, to which the Parliament replied with a new tax, the Townshend Act (1777), applied taxes to all imported glass, lead, paint, paper and tea. (American Revolution, 2014).
The colonist, unhappy with the taxes, began to speak out against the taxes, labeling the taxes as illegal, because the colonies were not represented in the British Parliament. Refusal to pay the Kings taxes lead the colonist to form a club called the Sons of Liberty. Members of the club broke into tax collectors homes, beat them and burned tax bills.
In 1770, a battle between the colonists and British soldiers took place in Boston, Massachusetts, known as the Boston Massacre, killing 5 colonists and injuring many more. Two British soldiers were found guilty of murder and punished only by having their thumbs burned. (The American Revolution , 2014). On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson was approved, showing England that America would become a free, independent county of British rule. (The American Revolution , 2014).
Non Violent Revolution: Indian Independence Movement
The cause of The Indian Independence Movement grew out of a nation in search of a way to free itself from British power and control. The goal of The Indian National Congress was to gain and maintain independence from the British forces. The Indian National Congress formed and held its first meeting in 1885, one of those in attendance was Mahatma Gandhi, who would become the leader of the group. At first, the NIC professed loyalty to the British, but with World War 1 breaking out in 1914 and lasting until 1920, the NIC gradually became an opponent the British government. As the tolerance or the British decreased, the Indians strength increased. Indians began to realize that the British were not such a force to be reckoned with. (Indian Independence Movement, 2014).
Battles between the colonies and the British were full of conventional warfare and guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla warfare consists of spontaneous, individual acts of sabotage. Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox” used guerilla warfare against the British, using bands of troops in caring size to prevent the British from gathering supplies, and harassing the small outposts and forts. (Joes, 1996).
The INC, under the leadership of Gandhi conducted major campaigns to draw attention to Indians human and civil rights. Civil disobedience in the form of a non-violent protests and marches were formed. The Civil Disobedience Campaign of 1919-1922 was a boycott of British cloth, The Salt Satyagraha, a non-violent protest against the tax applied to salt. Gandhi was arrested by the British, who thought it would stop the movement, however it only increased in participants and forced the British government to discuss the possibility of Indian independence. (The Indian Independence Struggle , 2014).
A Case Study of British Imperialism in India. (2014, July 13). Retrieved from Modern World History: http://webs.bcp.org/sites/vcleary/ModernWorldHistoryTextbook/Imperialism/section_4/earlyindia.html American Revolution. (2014, July 16). Retrieved from Encyclopeida.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/American_Revolution.aspx#2 Anderson, C. (2007). Indian Uprising of 1857-8 : Prisons, Prisoners, and Rebellion. In C. Anderson, Indian Uprising of 1857-8 : Prisons, Prisoners, and Rebellion (p.
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