Impact Of British Colonization Of India

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Impact Of British Colonization Of India



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The positive influences of British rule in India - #1.5 - History made Fun

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Thereafter, Ethiopia was able to maintain its independence for much of the colonial period, except for a brief interlude of Italian oversight between and This brought the parties into conflict. During this sixteen-year period, he used a variety of strategies, including guerrilla warfare, scorched-earth programs, and direct military engagement. For this last tactic he acquired arms, especially quick-firing rifles, from European merchant and traders in Sierra Leone and Senegal. He also established engineering workshops where weapons were repaired and parts were fabricated. With these resources and his well-trained forces and the motivation of national defense he provided his protracted resistance to the French.

Eventually he was captured and, in , exiled to Gabon, where he died in It is quite clear that most African societies fought fiercely and bravely to retain control over their countries and societies against European imperialist designs and military invasions. But the African societies eventually lost out. This was partly for political and technological reasons. The nineteenth century was a period of profound and even revolutionary changes in the political geography of Africa, characterized by the demise of old African kingdoms and empires and their reconfiguration into different political entities.

Some of the old societies were reconstructed and new African societies were founded on different ideological and social premises. Consequently, African societies were in a state of flux, and many were organizationally weak and politically unstable. They were therefore unable to put up effective resistance against the European invaders. The technological factor was expressed in the radical disparity between the technologies of warfare deployed by the contending European and African forces. African forces in general fought with bows, arrows, spears, swords, old rifles, and cavalries; the European forces, beneficiaries of the technical fruits of the Industrial Revolution, fought with more deadly firearms, machines guns, new rifles, and artillery guns.

Thus in direct encounters European forces often won the day. But as the length of some resistance struggles amply demonstrates, Africans put up the best resistance with the resources they had. After the conquest of African decentralized and centralized states, the European powers set about establishing colonial state systems. The colonial state was the machinery of administrative domination established to facilitate effective control and exploitation of the colonized societies.

Partly as a result of their origins in military conquest and partly because of the racist ideology of the imperialist enterprise, the colonial states were authoritarian, bureaucratic systems. Because they were imposed and maintained by force, without the consent of the governed, the colonial states never had the effective legitimacy of normal governments. Second, they were bureaucratic because they were administered by military officers and civil servants who were appointees of the colonial power.

While they were all authoritarian, bureaucratic state systems, their forms of administration varied, partly due to the different national administrative traditions and specific imperialist ideologies of the colonizers and partly because of the political conditions in the various territories that they conquered. There was usually a governor or governor-general in the colonial capital who governed along with an appointed executive council and a legislative council of appointed and selected local and foreign members.

The governor was responsible to the colonial office and the colonial secretary in London, from whom laws, policies, and programs were received. He made some local laws and policies, however. Colonial policies and directives were implemented through a central administrative organization or a colonial secretariat, with officers responsible for different departments such as Revenue, Agriculture, Trade, Transport, Health, Education, Police, Prison, and so on. The British colonies were often subdivided into provinces headed by provincial commissioners or residents, and then into districts headed by district officers or district commissioners. Laws and policies on taxation, public works, forced labor, mining, agricultural production, and other matters were made in London or in the colonial capital and then passed down to the lower administrative levels for enforcement.

At the provincial and district levels the British established the system of local administration popularly known as indirect rule. This system operated in alliance with preexisting political leaderships and institutions. The theory and practice of indirect rule is commonly associated with Lord Lugard, who was first the British high commissioner for northern Nigeria and later governor-general of Nigeria. Lugard simply and wisely adapted it to his ends. It was cheap and convenient.

Despite attempts to portray the use of indirect rule as an expression of British administrative genius, it was nothing of the sort. It was a pragmatic and parsimonious choice based partly on using existing functional institutions. The choice was also partly based on Britain's unwillingness to provide the resources required to administer its vast empire. Instead, it developed the perverse view that the colonized should pay for their colonial domination. Hence, the choice of indirect rule. The system had three major institutions: the "native authority" made up of the local ruler, the colonial official, and the administrative staff; the "native treasury," which collected revenues to pay for the local administrative staff and services; and the "native courts," which purportedly administered "native law and custom," the supposedly traditional legal system of the colonized that was used by the courts to adjudicate cases.

In general, indirect rule worked fairly well in areas that had long-established centralized state systems such as chiefdoms, city-states, kingdoms, and empires, with their functional administrative and judicial systems of government. But even here the fact that the ultimate authority was the British officials meant that the African leaders had been vassalized and exercised "authority" at the mercy of European colonial officials. Thus the political and social umbilical cords that tied them to their people in the old system had been broken.

Some astute African leaders maneuvered and ruled as best they could, while others used the new colonial setting to become tyrants and oppressors, as they were responsible to British officials ultimately. In the decentralized societies, the system of indirect rule worked less well, as they did not have single rulers. The British colonizers, unfamiliar with these novel and unique political systems and insisting that African "natives" must have chiefs, often appointed licensed leaders called warrant chiefs, as in Igboland, for example. The French, for their part, established a highly centralized administrative system that was influenced by their ideology of colonialism and their national tradition of extreme administrative centralism.

Their colonial ideology explicitly claimed that they were on a "civilizing mission" to lift the benighted "natives" out of backwardness to the new status of civilized French Africans. To achieve this, the French used the policy of assimilation, whereby through acculturation and education and the fulfillment of some formal conditions, some "natives" would become evolved and civilized French Africans. In practice, the stringent conditions set for citizenship made it virtually impossible for most colonial subjects to become French citizens. For example, potential citizens were supposed to speak French fluently, to have served the French meritoriously, to have won an award, and so on. However, since France would not provide the educational system to train all its colonized subjects to speak French and would not establish administrative and social systems to employ all its subjects, assimilation was more an imperialist political and ideological posture than a serious political objective.

They also created federations in West Africa and Central Africa. In the colonial capitals the governors were responsible to the minister of colonies in Paris. Most laws and policies were sent from Paris, and the governors who ruled with general councils were expected to enforce them in line with France's centralist traditions. The colonies were also subdivided into smaller administrative units as follows: cercles under commandant du Cercles, subdivisions under chef de subdivisions, and at the next level, cantons were administered by African chiefs who were in effect like the British warrant chiefs. While France tried to maintain this highly centralized system, in some parts of its colonies where it encountered strongly established centralized state systems, the French were compelled to adopt the policy of association, a system of rule operating in alliance with preexisting African ruling institutions and leaders.

Thus it was somewhat like British indirect rule, although the French still remained committed to the doctrine of assimilation. In the association system, local governments were run with African rulers whom the French organized at three levels and grades: chef de province provincial chief ; chef de canton district chiefs , and chef de village village chief. In practice, the French system combined elements of direct administration and indirect rule. In general, the French administrative system was more centralized, bureaucratic, and interventionist than the British system of colonial rule.

The other colonial powers— Germany, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, and Italy—used varied administrative systems to facilitate control and economic exploitation. However, no matter the system, they were all alien, authoritarian, and bureaucratic, and distorted African political and social organizations and undermined their moral authority and political legitimacy as governing structures. Ekechi, Felix. Toyin Falola. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, Iweriebor, Ehiedu E. Oyebade, Adebayo. It needed to be 'improved' by firm, benevolent foreign rule. Various strategies for improvement were being discussed. Property relations should be reformed to give greater security to the ownership of land.

Laws should be codified on scientific principles. All obstacles to free trade between Britain and India should be removed, thus opening India's economy to the stimulus of an expanding trade with Europe. Education should be remodelled. The ignorance and superstition thought to be inculcated by Asian religions should be challenged by missionaries propagating the rationality embodied in Christianity. The implementation of improvement in any systematic way lay in the future, but commitment to governing in Indian ways through Indians was waning fast. The conquests that had begun in the s had never been sanctioned in Britain and both the national government and the directors of the Company insisted that further territorial expansion must be curbed.

This proved a vain hope. The Company's new domains made it a participant in the complex politics of post-Mughal India. It sought to keep potential enemies at a distance by forming alliances with neighbouring states. These alliances led to increasing intervention in the affairs of such states and to wars fought on their behalf. In Warren Hastings's period the British were drawn into expensive and indecisive wars on several fronts, which had a dire effect on the Company's finances and were strongly condemned at home. By the end of the century, however, the Company's governor general, Richard Wellesley, soon to be Marquess Wellesley, was willing to abandon policies of limited commitment and to use war as an instrument for imposing British hegemony on all the major states in the subcontinent.

A series of intermittent wars was beginning which would take British authority over the next fifty years up to the mountains of Afghanistan in the west and into Burma in the east. He was President of the Royal Historical Society, Search term:. Read more. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience.

Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets CSS if you are able to do so. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving. East India Company British involvement in India during the 18th century can be divided into two phases, one ending and the other beginning at mid-century. Territorial expansion The conquests that had begun in the s had never been sanctioned in Britain and both the national government and the directors of the Company insisted that further territorial expansion must be curbed. British History Timeline. Colonizing governments realize that they gain strength not necessarily through physical control, but through mental control. Colonial education strips the colonized people away from their indigenous learning structures and draws them toward the structures of the colonizers see Frantz Fanon.

Much of the reasoning that favors such a learning system comes from supremacist ideas of the colonizers. Thomas B. Macaulay asserts his viewpoints about British India in an early nineteenth century speech. Often, the implementation of a new education system leaves those who are colonized with a limited sense of their past. The indigenous history and customs once practiced and observed slowly slip away see Paul Gilroy: The Black Atlantic. Growing up in the colonial education system, many colonized children enter a condition of hybridity , in which their identities are created out of multiple cultural forms, practices, beliefs and power dynamics. Colonial education creates a blurring that makes it difficult to differentiate between the new, enforced ideas of the colonizers and the formerly accepted native practices.

It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from that wasteland. Not only does colonial education eventually create a desire to disassociate with native heritage, but it affects the individual and the sense of self-confidence. A new educational structure must support and empower the hybrid identity of a liberated people. However, another form of colonization has been present in America for many years. This includes the way in which the educational system is structured. In a supporting study of , census statistics indicate that American Indians have a significantly lower graduation rate at the high school, bachelor, and graduate level than the rest of Americans. What a fantastic piece of work…..

Hopefully, if implemented, will help make the world beautiful again…at least, more functional societies….

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