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RUNNING HEAD: THE BRITISH: A CURSE OR A BLESSING The British: A Curse or a Blessing? Submitted By: Fatima Hussain Ibad Aslam Murad Ahmed Niazi Pakistan Studies Term Project Spring 2021 Submitted to: Ms. Mahnoor Asif 1 st May, 2021
The British: A curse or a Blessing? Contents Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 3 East India Company; Gateway to India ....................................................................................... 3 British Raj .................................................................................................................................... 4 Literature Review ............................................................................................................................ 5 The Blessings of the British ......................................................................................................... 5 The Curse of the British ............................................................................................................. 10 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 14 Bibliography .................................................................................................................................. 14 Appendix ........................................................................................................................................ 18 2
The British: A curse or a Blessing? Introduction East India Company; Gateway to India The entrance of the British began back in the 14 th century when they initially came in 1608 for the purpose of trade, as Vasco da Gama who was the first European person to step on the Indian soil, had opened up a sea route towards the East. Their main interest lied in gaining the monopoly in the spice trade prevailing over the Portuguese, Dutch and French traders. Sir Thomas Roe was able to impress the Mughal king Jahangir, by his charismatic personality and later got the Farman (royal order) to officially set up to establish a factory in Surat. Gradually they started opening more factories to increase their operations, multiple trading posts and communities all across Calcutta, Bombay and Madras with Silk, Indigo Dye, Cotton, Tea, and Opium as major items of trade. While they were serving mainly as traders they observed that the entire region of Subcontinent scattered in the reality under provincial kingdoms, hence their next move was to concentrate all the resources. So by 1750’s, they began meddling in the politics. The Company saw the ascent of its fortunes, and its evolution from being traders to a ruling enterprise, when Robert Clive, a military official overcame Siraj-ud-daulah, who was the Nawab of Bengal, at the Battle of Plessey in 1757 (McNamara, 2020). Richard Wellesley, who filled in as lead governor general in India from 1798 to 1805 played a key role in broadening the company’s operations in India. He requested invasion of Mysore in 1799. Furthermore, the company had numerous military triumphs and began acquiring more territories in the first decade of the 19 th century. Later Lord Dalhousie introduced the "doctrine of lapse” policy to take control of more pieces of land which stated that if an Indian ruler passes away leaving behind no heirs or is incompetent than the territory would automatically be seized by the British (McNamara, 2020). In the 1830s and 1840s, the level of chaos rose between the East India Company and the Indians. Notwithstanding acquisitions of land by the British causing far reaching disdain, there were numerous issues fixated on religious issues. The local population didn’t like the increasing numbers of Christian teachers entering into India, as they feared a mass conversion in anticipation. Adding fuel to the fire, rumors among the sepoys i.e. the native soldiers hired by the company spread that the cartridge used for the Enfield rifle’s grease contained pig fat and cow meat which was unacceptable to both the Hindus and the 3
The British: A curse or a Blessing?

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