Impact of British Rule in India

British Rule had a tremendous effect on Indian society, economy and culture. It also gave rise to a sense of nationhood and a spirit of Nationalism arose which resulted in National Awakening and a feeling of revolt against Britishers.

1. Methods of Colonisation In India

England succeeded in controlling trade with India and established the East India Company in 1600. The first factory was established at Surat in 1613. The battles of Plassey (1757) and Buxar (1764) provided the ground for the British success in India.

Anglo-Mysore Wars: Ended in the heroic defeat and death of Tipu Sultan. Large ports like Kanara, Coimbatore and Srirangapatnam were secured by the British (1799 AD).

Anglo-Maratha Wars: The English defeated the Peshwa, dethroned him and annexed all his territories.

Anglo-Sikh Wars: Punjab was annexed by Lord Dalhousie. Maharaja Dalip Singh, the son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was pensioned off and sent to England.

Soon many more native states came under British control through the systems of Doctrine of Lapse and Subsidiary Alliance.

2. Economic Impact

English merchants succeeded in selling their goods at a cheap price as foreign goods were given free entry in India without paying any duty. Indian handicrafts were taxed heavily when they were sent out of the country. This made a huge impact on the Indian handloom weaving industry leading to its virtual collapse.

3. Land Revenue Policy

The land revenue experiments of the British like the Permanent Settlement, the Mahalwari Settlement and the Ryotwari Settlement caused hardship to cultivators. Commercialisation of Agriculture took place with tea, coffee, indigo, opium, cotton, jute, sugarcane and oil seed being grown. As a result food grain production went down.

4. Transport and Communication

The vast network of railways was pioneered during the latter half of the 19th century. This opened avenues for British bankers and investors to invest surplus wealth and material in the construction of railways.

5. Society and Culture

Indian society had certain social ills like female infanticide, child marriage, Sati, polygamy and a rigid caste system. Other malpractices were expensive rituals, sacrifices and practices after birth or death outlined by the priestly class.

Many legal measures were introduced to improve the status of women. The practice of Sati was banned in 1829. Widow Remarriage was permitted. Sharda Act was passed in 1929 preventing child marriage.

6. Education Policy

Education policy was so concieved that the Indians would be ready to work as clerks on low wages to create a class of Indians who were loyal to the British & appreciate the culture of the British and help to increase the market for British goods.