British Imperialism In India

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In 1922, Britain had control over nearly one quarter of all the land on Earth. After the Industrial Revolution, Europe realized that they could gain mass amounts of resources from other countries. In 1757, the British East India company took control of India, and used their resources for factories back in Britain. India was regarded as their most profitable and useful colony. In 1857, the Sepoy Rebellion took place, and Britain came in and officially took complete political, economic, and social control. As one could imagine, this had major negative impacts on the politics, economy, and the people of India. Although some people, such as Dr. Kartar Lalvani, claim Britain had a mostly positive effect in India, this is wrong. India lost control…show more content…
Lalvani claims that “endangered species were protected and national parks were opened.” These statements totally avoid the environmental issues that arose. The British chopped down forests at a time, which consequently lowered the water table and rose soil salinity in the regions they chopped the trees from (Document 7). The Indians being forced to grow cash crops en masse in large clusters stripped the nutrients from the soil, leaving it barren and infertile (Document 7). These three effects significantly decreased soil fertility, leaving the ground less usable and unable to grow many other crops, especially food crops. This led to starvation among the poor. “Both nations benefited from the trade lines that were firmly established in the 17th century” (Lalvani). Britain decided to tax Indian-made goods, making it harder to import and export for the Indian hand-weavers (Document 6). The hand-weavers were ran out of business by British textile factories, whose cloth and fabric was cheaper and easier to export (Document 5). Cotton was still grown, but only used for British textile factories (Document 5). Indians were also violently assaulted, sometimes having their fingers cut off (Document 5). Hand-weavers lost their primary source of cash, exports. This led them to become beggars, hardly earning enough money to scrape by. The city of Dhaka, once a weaving city of 200,000, was reduced to nearly one-fourth of their population, becoming a slum, overgrown with wildlife and populated with wild animals. (Document 5). Britain opened national parks, and protected the rhinoceros, but still decimated India’s farmland and environment. The trade lines didn’t improve India’s economic situation, it degraded it, leaving significant portions of the population unemployed and living on the

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