British Rule in India CHAPTER 21 SECTION 3 18TH CENTURY Colonial India The Sepoy Mutiny Britain’s entrance into India was led by the British East India Trade Company, a private company who had permission from the British crown to do business and act on behalf of the British Government. The Mughal Empire in India had kept Britain from colonizing. The Mughal empire were a powerful Muslim dynasty, but as they lost power Britain took advantage using their army , made up of British soldiers and native soldiers known as sepoys. Cultural difference led to the Sepoy Rebellion. The initial problem centered around the British soldiers greasing their ammo with pig & cow fat, derived from 2 animals sacred to Hindus. The Sepoys refused to touch the ammunition for fear of being polluted. Sapoy Mutiny The Sepoy Mutiny The Mutiny began in Meerut when sepoy soldiers who refused to load their weapons were imprisoned leading to their comrades to rise up, killing 50 British Soldiers. The movement was quickly put down due to Indians not being unified mainly due to differences in religion. In Kanpur, Sepoys killed 200 women & children allied with the British. As a result of the rebellions authority of India changed going from the East India Trade Co. to directly to the British Government. Although the rebellion was unsuccessful, it did plant the seed of Indian Nationalism, or and eventual movement towards independence. British Colonial Rule Under the authority of the British Crown, India, now a colony, was governed through direct rule. A viceroy , or British official ruling on behalf of the monarchy was now in charge of India and it’s 300 million people. Some benefits of British rule include political unity for the first time in a territory that was very diverse. Also, some forms of modernization including schools, railroads, communication & postal service. Unfortunately, education was only promised to India’s elite, leaving out roughly 90% of the population. The negative effects of British rule can be seen in the Indian economy. Forced to buy British manufactured goods, local industries disappeared as well. Taxation of the peasants also led to problems. Movements from subsistence farming to Cash crop farming also lowered the amount of food available. Indian Nationalists The origin of Indian nationalist movements can be found in the urban areas of India such as Bombay, Madras & Calcutta. These movements wee started by upper class, English educated Indians. The Indian National Congress was eventually established after asking for reforms from the British were unsuccessful. They wanted to share power, not absolute independence initially. . Since India was so diverse, Issues soon began within the INC centered along religious lines. Muslims felt that the Hindu’s who had the majority of the authority were not sympathetic to the Muslims who created the Muslim League. Mohandas Gandhi Mohandas Gandhi was born in 1869 and was educated in England where he became a lawyer. After leaving In South Africa Gandhi noticed the harsh treatment that Indians received. Gandhi's main motives were for the British to improve conditions for the poor & Indian independence. Eventually, India will be free but Gandhi will be assassinated. Colonial Indian Culture Nationalist newspapers, printed in various languages to accommodate Indian diverse population soon printed numerous copies. These wee designed to engage the middle class in independence movements. Mindful of not directly criticizing the British, authors used innuendo, or suggestion to convey their true feelings about the British. One of India’s most famous writers was Rabindranath Tagore, who won a Nobel prize in literature in 1913. he is credited with writing India’s 1st national anthem. He also established many schools and a university.