India was the "jewel in the crown" of Victoria's Empire. British rule in India, referred to as the Raj by the men who built and sustained it, had begun with the penetration of the continent by the British East India Company in the 18th century. At that time, the subcontinent was governed by a decaying Islamic dynasty, the Mughals, whose power had declined to such a degree they had difficulty enforcing their rule beyond their capital of Delhi. Largely to secure their trade routes, the English traders used private armies to expand their political control, and by the time the British government took over from the East India Company in the 1860s and established a regular system of Imperial rule, the British had replaced the Mughals as overlords of the entire region. For Britain, the benefits of the Raj
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