British Imperialism Dbq Analysis

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The British and their East India Company came to India, motivated by political, economic, and social interests. They desired land, raw materials, money, and control. This left the Indians in starvation and poverty, fighting for the independence of their people. British rule served the English with a government designed to control Indians, taxing them when they were dying from famine caused by British economic cash crop policies, leaving remaining Indians illiterate, and never giving them a chance to benefit from trade links. British imperialism had a negative impact on the politics of India because the British taxed Indians even when they were starving, as well as established a government with an army, police force, and justice system…show more content…
Lalvani says that the British helped preserve the environment and animals by opening up parks. However, the British actually cut down forests, causing a lack of water and therefore making the soil high in salt (Doc #7). The soil now was unfit for growing food and, without money to purchase food, Indians starved. Furthermore, Lalvani also claims that both nations benefited from trade links. But, Gandhi says, “British factories make the cloth that make our poverty.” Fabric sold from Bengal to the British dropped from 2 thousand to about 304 when the British could make their own and sell it for cheaper (Doc #6). As a result, “weavers became beggars” (Doc 5). This is significant because English taxes on hand weaved Indian fabrics pushed Indians out of business and into poverty until they were without money for food, nor a way to grow their own. The British ruined forests as well as forced Indians to grow cash crops, ultimately destroying their…show more content…
When the British came to India, they built universities and museums (Lalvani). However, literacy among Indians did not exceed 16% until after they finally gained Independence in 1947 (Doc 9). While the British did help create universities and support education, the literacy rate didn’t increase quickly and significantly until after the British left, showing that the Indians may have become literate sooner if they received independence earlier. Lalvani also claims that Quinine brought to the Indians by the English caused life expectancy and overall health in India to increase. However, document 11 shows that 59 million Indians died from 40 famines while under British rule, the deaths in these famines being the result of forced cash crops. India only went through 18 famines in the span of 600 years before they were ruled by the British (Doc 11). This is significant because the deaths from famine outweigh the effects of Malaria, if not being just as bad. Quinine will not save the
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