The Effects of British Imperialism in India
One could approach this topic from two points of view; the British and the Indian. One could choose either party and find very different opinions. When British colonizers first arrived in India, they slowly gained more and more control in India through many ways, the most prominent being trade and commerce. At first, they managed India’s government by pulling the string behind the curtain. However, soon they had acquired complete rule over India, converting it into a true British colony. The British considered Indian civilization to be inferior and implemented their western ways overriding ancient Indian customs. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that British imperialism in India resulted in both positive as well as negative reforms in political, economic and social aspects of its new colony.
To begin with, one can observe that the British colonizers did indeed improve Indian civilization by developing means of communication and transport. They built a great number of bridges, over 40,000 miles of railway and paving an astounding 70,000 miles of road (Doc. 4). They established schools,newspapers and telegraphs for the people of the colonies.All blessings of civilization they could not create for themselves (Doc. 1). Furthermore, the British brought 30 million acres under cultivation with large scale irrigation works, began industrialization, improved sanitation and provided an overall higher standard of living (Doc. 4). With many new establishments and institutions to staff, job opportunities opened up left and right for Indian workers.Their contributions to Indian civilization made famine all but disappear throughout India. Without the British, it’s quite possible India could not achieved the same level of progress alone. So as Dadabhai Naoroji, and Indian, so cleverly phrased it: “The natives call the british system ‘the knife of sugar’. That is to say there is no oppression, it is all smooth and sweet, but it is the knife, nevertheless.” He means to say that though at the time the British had not publicly shown any intentions of oppressing Indian people, that did not necessarily mean they were in any way free from the European’s power. There’s no proof that can substantially deny that Britain did in fact provide and contribute many beneficial things to India’s overall progress and development, if only as a British colony.
Notwithstanding, the negative consequences and repercussions of British imperialism in India were unjust and devastating. Where there is good there must be bad. By bringing with them an industrial England, old indian crafts were broken up. Consequently, the economic development of India and the growth of new industry was prevented. India wealth now came solely from agricultural industry. Supplying materials and markets for England’s industrial goods. “The destruction of industry led to unemployment on a vast scale. The poverty of the country grew. The standard of living fell to...