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 spreading civilization; but spreading civilization meant creating a class of educated
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This note was uploaded on 12/14/2011 for the course HIST 2320 taught by Professor Siegenthaler during the Fall '07 term at Texas State.