Jewel in Britains Crown
India was seen as the jewel in Britain’s crown in their Empire, as it was supposed to be the place that was the most impressive for many reasons. Firstly, the resources and riches the British could gain were extortionate, and the location was good for Britain being able to base troops there, and it was seen as exotic.
Gaining Control in India
The British managed to take control of India and set up their own government of the country. It started by European traders setting up permanent trading stations in the 17th century across the world, particularly in colonised countries. Indian raw materials were turned into goods and exported elsewhere which led to a large profit made by the British.
East India Company
The East India Company (set up in 1600) ran British trading stations, and therefore, India became Britain’s trading base. The East India Company not only gained profits but started to control the areas they were stationed in. They lost their monopoly in India in 1694, but was so powerful as they had their own army & navy to protect them, that it was a force in the 18th century.
Battle of Plassey
During the Seven Years War, the English fought the French and some of India. At the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the EIC defeated the Bengali soldiers and so they now had control of all of Bengal and then expanded further. The Battle of Plassey drove the French out of India and secured control for the British.
British Government and the EIC
In order to help Robert Clive keep control and to help fund his army, the British government joined with the EIC in 1773 to ensure the EIC retained control of India. This then started British rule of India from central government, and the creation of a ruling body for India.
Robert Clive started off as a privateer and then took control of the EIC, making himself a multi-millionaire. He was a key figure in starting up the British rule in India, although his actions were controversial and led him being called before parliament, as they were worried about how he went about securing riches and his personal fortune in India that he had gained and not given to the crown.
Warren Hastings was an English statesman, and became the first Governor-General to India. He was one of the main people involved in turning the EIC into a great military and naval power, which led to their successes in India. Although he did try to work with the native Indians, he often did things that would have led him being in trouble in Parliament. Although he was tried for corruption (like Clive for personal gains), he was let off in 1795.
India was rich in natural resources, and it was understood that countries who traded with India would become rich. India was also a big country with a large population, so there was a source of people that could be used for soldiers and fighting for Britain. The EIC took advantage of India being at war in the late 1600s and early 1700s, and used India to make up for the loss of American colonies in the late 1700s.
- What was the East India Company?
- Your answer should include: trading station / Indian resources / privateers / army / navy
- Why was India the Jewel in the crown?
- Your answer should include: resources / population numbers / addition / empire
- What happened at the Battle of Plessy?
- Your answer should include: EIC / Eastern India Company / defeated / India / French / English / control