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British Colonization of India

One of the main reasons for the Europeans to sail the oceans was to find new trade routes to Asia, especially, to India. The adventure was inevitable as the land route to Asia was now held by the Ottoman Empire since 1453 CE (In 1453 CE, Constantinople was captured by the Ottomans, which led to the fall of the Byzantine Empire) and an alternative trade route had to be discovered, for the sake of trade and profits.

But, besides monetary prospects, another significant reason/motivation for all European colonisations in different parts of the world is almost always ignored. It was an inherent ideology of “western supremacy”. This idea is often referred to as “the white man’s burden”: a self-proclaimed responsibility of the west to subjugate and civilize any other person, who does not fall under the category of the “west”.

Accordingly, the Europeans, who “discovered” India had both intentions in mind. But, it was the British, who were the most successful among them. They not only succeeded in controlling most of the Indian Territory, but also successfully colonized various aspects of the Indian society like culture, politics, economy and education. They have since become an inseparable part of our history.

Hence, in their conquest of India, two important objectives of the British emerge: Profit and spreading civilization among Indians. This article briefly examines how the hostile and atrocious policies of the British, intended to achieve the above mentioned objectives, systematically impoverished the Indians, both physically and mentally.

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