India was an ancient and proud civilization

India was an ancient and proud civilization -...

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India was an ancient and proud civilization; in the Middle Ages, it had been far more  powerful and civilized than Europeanpe. However, under the Mughal Dynasty in the 16th  and 17th centuries its power had waned, and the Western powers had passed it by  technologically, as the Industrial Revolution gave them an insurmountable edge in  economic and military matters. The British did not so much conquer India as occupy a  power vacuum, first under the auspices of the East India Company in the 17th century,  which used British troops to protect and expand its trading sphere, and then under the  British Crown after 1857. But the colonial empire that Britain (and France, and Germany,  and others) had asserted across the less-developed world contained the seeds of its  own downfall. In their loftier moments, the Europeanpean powers declared they were 
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