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Indian History

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Discuss the rise of imperialism in India, with special reference to the establishment of
British colonial rule in the subcontinent. Why did the British succeed while other empires failed?
• Imperialism is when a country dominates another country politically, economically, culturally, etc. o And for the British this was the bigger picture that they had in mind for India.
• The British succeeded in India because: o Disunity among Indian princely states. India was more a collection of militaristic princely states. The British successfully used this to play off one state against another. Clive succeeded at Plassey, because Mir Jaffar was willing to betray his master Siraj-Ud-Daulah in lie of being the Nawab. Mir Jaffar himself, was betrayed by Mir Qasim later on. o Superiority over other colonial powers. The other colonial powers in India competing for the share of resources were France, Portugal, Denmark, and Holland. Of the 4, Denmark and Holland could never really be serious competitors to the British. The battle of Amboyna happened in 1623 and this left the Dutch in South East Asia while the British had South Asia. o Portugal focused primarily on the Western coast, Goa, parts of Kerala, Karnataka, and this left the British with vast swathes of unoccupied territory. o France as the major contender to Britian in the race for colonialism. The British Army was more well equipped, more professional, more disciplined compared to the French army, suffering from indiscipline and corruption. o Doctrine of Lapse. One of the most effective tactics, the British used to take over most of India. Instead of waging an all out war against some of the princely states, they signed a treaty with them, where in if the ruling king died without a heir, the East India company could take over that area. And that is how Satara became one of the first states to end up under British rule. And that was also the main reason for the conflict in Jhansi. o Subsidiary alliance was also an effective instrument. According to this alliance, the kingdom which signs the treaty will have to maintain the following rules:
• The British agreed to maintain a permanent and fixed subsidiary force within the territory of their ally.
• In return, they didn't take money but took over a part of the territory of the ally.
• The Indian rulers felt a false sense of security but in reality they were losing their independence. On the other hand the British maintained large forces at the expenses of the Indian rulers and also increase their area of influence. Some states brought under control through this policy are Hyderabad, Tanjore, Awadh, etc.
• At the end of it all, the British had the advantage of better manpower, were militarily more powerful and stronger, and add to it they had some very canny strategists too. The disunity among Indian princely states and their constant warring with each other, just added to the advantage.

Discuss the significance of the Sepoy Rebellion in Indian history. Be sure to cover the events that lead to it, the rebellion itself, and the changes implemented after the rebellion ended. What is the connection between the Sepoy Rebellion and Indian Nationalism?

• The Sepoy Mutiny was a violent and very bloody uprising against British rule in India in 1857. It is also known by other names: the Indian Mutiny, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, or the Indian Revolt of 1857.
• In Britain and in the West, it was almost always portrayed as a series of unreasonable and bloodthirsty uprisings spurred by falsehoods about religious insensitivity.
• In India, it has been viewed quite differently, and events of 1857 have been considered the first outbreak of an independence movement against British rule.
Background of the Sepoy Mutiny
• By the 1850s the East India Company controlled much of India. The East India Company had eventually transformed into a diplomatic and military operation that had colonization and imperialistic goals in mind. Large numbers of native soldiers, known as sepoys, were employed by the company to maintain order and defend trading centers. The sepoys were generally under the command of British officers. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, sepoys tended to take great pride in their military prowess, and they exhibited enormous loyalty to their British officers.
• In the 1830’s a number of Indians began to suspect that the British intended to convert the Indian population to Christianity. Increasing numbers of Christian missionaries began arriving in India, and this led to resentment. There was also a general feeling that English officers were losing touch with the Indian troops under them.
• The Opium Wars of 1839-42 cause strain on Sepoys and their families for opium was grown in mass quantities, often replacing food & other commodities. When opium trade stops in 1830, sepoys lose a lot of money and their land is destroyed.
• The Anglo-Afghan War of 1838-42, in which the British wanted to Enter into the Great Game against Russia for control over Central Asia resulted in a loss of Sepoy troops in vast quantities could have angered the troops as well as Afghan had triumphed over all. The East India Company annexed Indian states such as Punjab during the Anglo-Sikh Wars (1845-46 and 1848-49).
• Under a British policy called the "doctrine of lapse," (1848-1856) the East India Company would take control of Indian states where a local ruler had died without an heir. Or they would deem the maharajah insane. The system was subject to abuse, and the company used it to annex territories in a questionable manner.
• The introduction of a new cartridge for the Enfield rifle provoked much of the trouble for the British. The cartridges were wrapped in paper, which had been coated in grease, which made the cartridges easier to load in rifle barrels. Rumors began to spread that the grease used to make the cartridges was derived from pigs and cows, which would be highly offensive to Muslims and Hindus.
The Sepoy Rebellion
• The capture of Delhi turned the mutiny into a widespread revolt. But the leaders were not united, because they sought to revive former Hindu and Muslim regimes, which traditionally had been opposed to each other. The British had some advantages. They did receive reinforcements from Britain, and they had a base in Punjab. The Sikhs were neutral because they had just attacked them. The British recaptured Delhi in the fall of 1857, further campaigns followed the next year and by the spring of 1858 the British were again in full control of India.
After Sepoy Rebellion
• After the rebellion there were administrative changes as the EIC was being taken over as the Government of India. There were also legislative changes as the Indian Penal Code was introduced in 1861 as well as Indian civil service. The social life developed after by introducing public health and Lady hospitals and doctors.

How did nationalism develop in South Asia? Discuss its rise, its factions and some of the challenges to the idea of a single nation in South Asia.
Sepoy Rebellion 1857-58
• After the invention of Enfield rifles the sepoys had to use greased paper cartridges that were greased by pig lard and cow tallow. To open the cartridge requires the sepoys to tear open the paper. There was uproar from the Sepoys and they revolted in Meerut and spread through the central cities. This could be seen as the first nationalist movement
1900’s
• In 1885, educated middle class nationals had founded the Indian National Conference (INC). Their aim was to get a much greater say in the way India was governed.
• In response to this development, the Morley-Minto reforms were introduced in 1909. The reforms lead to each province in India having its own governor and Indian nationals were allowed to sit on the councils, which advised these governors.
Satyagraha (truth through struggle)
• Comes out the newspaper Hind Swaraj→ Gandhi uses this as his main point during his campaigns
• Citizenship → pushing for a shift from being a subject to a citizen
• Himsa→ non-violence civil disobedience → this was how Gandhi worked
Jallianwallah Bagh- 1919
• Post massacre, empire is no longer able to portray itself as liberal
• Peaceful protest becomes a massacre → 650+ deaths
• British are condemned by worldly press → violence is the way to use on the Indians
• This is when we see nationalism on a grand scale, which is what starts Gandhi's non-cooperation act.
• The moment of anti imperial feeling → no grey sections but simply people want to lead to decolonization
Non-Cooperation – Post 1919
• Until 1919 he collaborated with the raj → after he saw through the British and their promises → push for non-cooperation
• Rowlatt Act = expansion of war measures act → suspension of civil liberties to keep peace and everything can be focused on the war → during the WWI this was kept
• Increase civil disobedience strike → they went on strike (didn’t go to their work place which happened across India)
• British start to get freaked out, because they are cut off from the world
• Upper admin keep going with the act → they stop groups from hanging and so Gandhi has mass protests
The Dandi March
• Mahatma Gandhi started the Salt Satyagraha in 1930 within Dandi, Gujarat where he manufactured Salt, broke the Salt Law and started a nationwide civil disobedience.
• It was a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India. This was the most significant organized challenge to British authority since the Non-cooperation movement and directly followed the Purna Swaraj declaration by the Indian National Congress in the1930’s.
The Quit India Movement
• The Quit India movement was the final nationalist movement in India.
• Gandhi started it in 1942 in response to the Cripps mission. o The Cripps mission was formed by a group of British individuals to see how India would look when it was independent. o The Indians had control over defense but not over foreign affairs o And from this we get the “Quit India” movement⇒ the political ideology: Britain couldn’t stop the Japanese incursion in Burma, so why and how will they protect India. o During this movement, there was a lot of communal unrest notably in Calcutta due to the famine. o Gandhi went on a 21 day fast and there were 100,000 arrests.

Describe relations between different communities in South Asia (Hindu, Muslim, Dalit, etc..). How did communalism arise in the subcontinent? What is the connection between communalism and partition?
• Hindus constitute the bulk of the population and they inhabit in all parts of the country. Muslims constitute the largest religious minority. But the adjustment between the Hindus and Muslims has been a failure several times, resulting in violent communal riots.
• In the communal riots during partition, millions of people were rendered homeless while millions of others lost their property. Communalism was responsible for the division of the country into India and Pakistan. The partition was expected to resolve the riddle, but it failed. Communalism is a political doctrine, which makes use of religious and cultural differences to achieve political ends.
Early 1900’s
• The Indian National Congress was founded in 1885, claiming that it had the objective of obtaining a greater share in government for educated Indians and to create a platform for civic and political dialogue of educated Indians with the British Raj.
• But Within the next few years, the demands of the INC became more radical in the face of constant opposition from the government, and the party decided to advocate in favour of the independence movement, as it would allow for a new political system in which they could be a major party.
1920’s onward
• The last stages of the independence struggle from the 1920s onwards saw Congress adopt Gandhi's policy of nonviolence and civil resistance, Muhammad Ali Jinnah's constitutional struggle for the rights of minorities in India, and several other campaigns.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah pushed for more rights of minorities:
• Muslim League 1906 o It was a political party established in the early years of the 20th century in the British Indian Empire. Its strong advocacy for the establishment of a separate Muslim-majority nation-state, Pakistan. o The British don’t mind if Pakistan gets created.
• Lucknow Pact 1916 o Jinnah advocated Hindu–Muslim unity, helping to shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the INC and the All-India Muslim League. In the Lucknow Pact, the League joined the Congress in the proposal for greater self-government
• Montague–Chelmsford Reforms 1919 o Departments like defense, foreign affairs, criminal law, communications, and income tax were retained by the Viceroy. o The central government in New Delhi, other departments like public health, education, land-revenue, local self-government was transferred to the provinces.
• During the Second World War, the League gained strength while leaders of the Congress were imprisoned, and in the elections held shortly after the war, it won most of the seats reserved for Muslims.
• Ultimately, the Congress and the Muslim League could not reach a power-sharing formula for a united India, leading all parties to agree to separate independence for a predominately Hindu India, and for a Muslim-majority state, to be called Pakistan.
• From this we can see that communalism arises from the disunity of Hindu’s and Muslims but also the ideology of certain figures in Indian history.
• India divided into several communities and attempted to placate separate "communal" interests.
• The Hindu Mahasabha and the All-India Muslim League represented such communal interests.
• Whereas Indian National Congress represented an overarching "nationalist" vision.
Independence
• In the run up to independence in 1947, communalism and nationalism came to be competing ideologies and led to the division of British India into the Republics of India and Pakistan.
• The bloody Partition violence gave a clear sense to every one what communalism leads to, and it has since been frowned upon in India.

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History Is a Lie

...novels, essays, historical and scientific works. His best-known histories are The Age of Louis XIV (1751), and his Essay on the Customs and the Spirit of the Nations (1756). He broke from the tradition of narrating political and military events, and emphasized traditions, societal history and achievements in the arts and sciences. One of his famous sayings, “History is the lie commonly agreed upon”, is quite contrary as some agree with it while others argue that that is not the case. Based on the analysis and readings I agree with what Voltaire said. Some people associate history with past whereas history is not the same as past. As past is the occurrence of all the events even the minor ones while history is the selection of some events from the past which are then given meaning to by the historians. So what we study is not actually history but historiography (the writings of history). An example of which can be a person selling gingerbread man in a low lying area and some random people come to his stall and beat him up and kill him [1]. So the historians will not give importance to this event – which is definitely part of the past but it is not the part of written history. At the same time history is majorly affected by the involvement of the role of power in its writing. History is always created by the winners. This means that the people who are on the winning end of any event will determine what the correct history will be. This can be seen with the example of Germany......

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