British Imperialism Analysis

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To what extent is it accurate to label the governance system of British Imperialism in the 19th and 20th century 'indirect '? Britain was the greatest colonial empire followed up closely enough by France in the XIXth century up to the XXth. Britain was also one of the first major colonial powers and therefore lead the way for the different types of ruling such as direct rule, indirect rule or a mix of the two. The oxford dictionary (1) defines indirect rule as such: “A system of government of one nation by another in which the governed people retain certain administrative, legal, and other powers.”, the nation being the colonizing power and the other being the colonized. On the other side direct rule is defined as having “centralized administrations…show more content…
Therefore in 1810 the British Colonies were as shows the document 1. As we can see India is one of Britain’s oldest colony, in fact already in 1757 it was ruled by the ‘semi-private’ company: The East India Company, ‘semi-private’ because it was anyway tightly tied with the British state, and indeed after the Sepoy mutiny in 1857 the British Crown assumed control in 1874 with the crowning of Queen Victoria as “The Empress of India”, title that was previously endowed to Bahadur Shah II the last Mughal Emperor of India (1837-1857), deposed and exiled by the British after having crushed the mutiny of 1857. India was mostly separated in two: the native or princely states and the British annexed states. The first knew more of an indirect rule while the second knew more of a direct rule. Native or princely states composed approximately 50% of Indian territory and 30% of it’s population, and in the first half of the XIXth century Britain had an expansionist attitude towards these princely states indeed between 1848 and 1856, the British governor-general, Lord Dalhousie, implemented the Doctrine of Lapse which meant that he refused to recognize adopted heirs and annexed several native states where the ruler died without a natural heir and by 1957 Britain annexed…show more content…
Initially the British East India Company made considerable trade with India and searched for a safe harbor in Malaya and therefore in 1819 they founded a trading post at Singapore. Then, in 1824, came into play the treaty of London dividing the land between the British and the Dutch and therefore Britain gained Melaka. Some revolutions arose and were violently repressed but this firmer clutch, as well, started to soften up and in 1853. Britain removed the taxes on tin, then established a protectorate and with increasing influence more Malayan states joined its protectorate, and Britain respected it’s terms. Britain faced the Japanese, even if she lost, in 1942 and then regained control in late 1944 and in 1946 formed the Malayan Union therefore placing the former crown controlled colonies under a unified administration but because it wanted to separate Singapore from it keeping it as a directly controlled crown colony, dissent increased and finally the Malayan Union was replaced 2 years later by the Federation of Malaya which echoed the original positions of the Malayan
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