British Imperialism In India

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Colonization started during the age of discovery in the 15th and 16th century when Portugal and Spain explored the globe for the first time. The wealth and prestige those large empire generated, encouraged Britain to spread Britain Imperialism around the world. British imperialism refers to the exercise of power over the domains Britain controlled and administered. In the Dual Mandate, Lugard argued that British colonial rule could only be situated ‘indirectly’. Indirect colonialism implies that ‘native chiefs are constituted as an integral part of the machinery of the administration’. However, the ‘chief himself must understand that he has no right to place and power unless he renders his proper service to the state’. In other words, indirect colonialism allows pre-colonial leaders to keep political and legal power over their subject, while demanding them to pay taxes to the colonial administration. By exploring the political, economical and social life of India’s and Africa’s populations, this essay will argue that it is only partially accurate to label the governance system of British Imperialism in the 19th and 20th ‘indirect’.

To begin with, only a few British people were settled in India. Indeed, in the 1900’s, on a population of 300 millions inhabitants, only 80k were British (1), that is to say only 0,03% of the population. Moreover, according to Vadney, the British were such a minority that until 1858, only 60% of India’s territory was administered by Britain,
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