By Denis Judd

The British event in India begun in earnest over 400 years in the past, in the course of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. for a few years the English interlopers and investors who made touch with the subcontinent have been seen by means of Indians as little greater than pirates and very likely challenging conquering barbarians. After a sequence of huge struggles opposed to the French and numerous neighborhood rulers throughout the eighteenth century, through the tip of the Napoleonic Wars Britain had received mastery of the subcontinent. this era, and the century and a part that undefined, observed strong cultures locked in a frequently bloody conflict over political keep an eye on, land, exchange, and a fashion of life.Denis Judd tells the attention-grabbing tale of the amazing British influence upon India. All points of this lengthy and arguable courting are mentioned, equivalent to the 1st tentative contacts among East and West, the root of the East India corporation in 1600, the Victorian Raj in all its pomp and splendour, Gandhi's innovative strategies tooverthrow the Raj and repair Indian to the Indians, and Lord Mountbatten's 'swift surgical procedure of Partition' in 1947, developing the 2 self reliant Commonwealth states of India and Pakistan. by contrast epic backdrop, and utilizing many revealing modern bills, Denis Judd explores the implications of British rule for either rulers and governed. have been the British reason on improvement or exploitation? have been they the "civilizing" strength they claimed? What have been Britain's maximum legacies: democracy and the rule of thumb of legislations, or cricket and an effective railway method? effortless solutions are kept away from during this immensely readable, vigorous, and authoritative publication.

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From these small beginnings grew the great bastion of British power in south-east India—Madras, one of the most important cities of British India. Shortly after the acquisition of Fort St George, events in England put the Company’s activities in India into a minor key, when the growing conflict between Charles I and Parliament erupted in 1642 into Civil War and Revolution. Although under Cromwell’s leadership the Commonwealth government in England pursued aggressive and vigorous colonial and commercial policies during the 1650s, they were chiefly aimed at expansion in the West Indies and North America—the much-vaunted ‘Western design’.

At length our gallant cavalry Scarce fifteen hundred men, The flower of Britain’s chivalry Prepare to charge again. That gallant chieftain Colonel White, These heroes bravely led; They sought the hottest of the fight, Their path was strewn with dead. ’Twas plainly marked for all to see Where charged our British cavalry.

3 While the British East India Company was asserting its control over indigenous people and pushing aside its European rivals, it also suffered a crisis of conscience over its standards of administration. The basic problem was how to control the widespread corruption of Company officials. When faced, as they were from the outset, with a system of chronic bribery and corruption in India, the servants of the Company had frequently used the same methods in their dealings with Indians. ’ These problems had been brought dramatically to the public’s attention during Warren Hastings’s Governorship of India, in 1773–85.

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