Imperialism in India &
British Power increased in the 1900s through the British East India Co.
To rule India, the British East India Company had its own soldiers and forts. It also hired Indian soldiers, called sepoys, to protect the companys interests.
As distrust of the British grew a military rebellion occurred due to the British insensitivity toward Indian tradition (both Hindu and Muslim)
The immediate cause was the rumor that the British were passing out bullets greased with cow and pig fat. The cow is sacred to the Hindus, and the pig is taboo to Muslims. Thus a group of sepoys refused to use the bullets. The British arrested the offenders, causing the sepoys to go on a rampage and kill 50 European men, women, and children.
The revolt spread quickly, but it was crushed within a year. The Indians were vastly outnumbered and rivalries between Muslims and Hindus hurt cooperation among their forces. Atrocities were terrible on both sides. At Kanpur, Indians with swords and knives massacred two hundred defenseless women and children. When they recaptured Kanpur, the British took their revenge.
As a result of the Sepoy uprising, the British Parliament transferred the powers of the British East India Company to the British government. In 1876 Queen Victoria acquired the title of Empress of India.
British Rule The British government ruled
India directly through a British official known as a viceroya governor who rules as a representative of a monarch. The viceroy was assisted by a British civil service staff of about 3,500 people, who ruled 300 million.
British attitudes led Indian nationalist movements led by upper class English-educated leaders, but religious differences (between Hindus and Muslims) and British control did not allow these groups to be successful
British Rule One benefit was Britain brought order to a society wracked by
civil war. It also led to a fairly honest government. Lord Thomas Macaulay set up a new school system. The goal of the new system was to train Indian children to work in the colonial administrative system and the army. The new system served only upper-class Indians; 90 percent of the country remained illiterate. Britain also introduced infrastructure like the telegraph and railroads.
Perhaps the greatest cost to the Indians of British rule was
economic. British rule brought severe hardships to most of the population. British manufactured goods destroyed local industries, for example. In rural areas the zamindars (Indian tax collectors) collected taxes from the peasants. Many zamindars took advantage of their authority, increasing taxes and forcing many peasants to become tenants or lose their land entirely.
British Rule The British also persuaded many farmers to switch from
growing food to growing cotton. Food supplies could not keep up with the population, therefore. Between 1800 and 1900 thirty million Indians starved to death.
British rule was degrading to the educated, upper-class Indians as well. Top jobs were reserved for the British, and the rulers believed they were superior to the Indians, as the views of Lord Kitchener show. The British showed disrespect for Indian culture. For example, they used the Taj Mahal as a place of weddings and parties, even chipping off pieces of it to take as souvenirs.
An Indian Nationalist Movement
The first Indian nationalists were upper-class, English-educated people who preferred reform over revolution. Many came from urban areas such as Mumbai (then called Bombay) and Calcutta.
The slow pace of reform convinced most Indian nationalists they had to do more. In 1885 a small group of Indians formed the Indian National Congress (INC). At first it called only for a share in the governing process, not full independence.
A split between Hindus and Muslims plagued the INC. Muslims began to call for a separate league to better represent the interests of Indias millions of Muslims.
An Indian Nationalist Movement In 1915 the return of a young
lawyer gave new life to the independence movement. Mohandas Gandhi was born in Gujarat and educated in England. While working at a law firm in South Africa serving the interests of Indian workers there, Gandhi became aware of racial exploitation.
Using his experiences in South Africa, Gandhi turned the Indian independence movement into one of nonviolent resistance. The aim was to win aid for the poor and independence. Gandhis movement would indeed lead to independence.
Latin America was beginning to be influenced by the success of the American revolution.
Social classes based on privilege divided colonial Latin America. The top level, the peninsulares, held the important positions. Creoles (descendants of Europeans born in Latin America who lived there permanently) controlled land and businesses. Mestizos, the largest segment, worked as servants or laborers.
The creole elites were especially influenced by
revolutionary ideals. They found the ideas of a free press, free trade, and equality before the law very attractive. They resented colonial control of trade, as well. They especially resented the peninsulares Spanish and Portuguese officials who resided temporarily in Latin America for political and economic gain and then returned to their mother countries.
The creole elites denounced the rule of Spain and of Portugal. There was a series of revolts between 1807 and 1825, due to the weakened condition of Spain and Portugal from defeats at the hand of Napoleon.
Led by a priest Miguel Hidalgo Mexico attacked their Spanish occupiers and declared themselves a Republic.
Two members of the creole eliteJos de San Martn of Argentina and Simn Bolvar of Venezuelaare considered the liberators of South America.
Simon Bolivar led movements in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
San Martn believed the Spanish had to be removed from all of South
America if any South American nation was to be free. He freed Argentina by 1810. In 1817 he led forces against the Spanish in Chile. He crossed the Andes in an amazing march during which many soldiers died. The arrival of his army in Chile surprised the Spanish, and their forces were defeated.
San Martn wanted to move on to Lima, the center of Spanish authority. He knew he would need the help of the man who had freed Venezuela from the SpanishSimn Bolvar. They allied.
By 1824 there were eight countries free of Spanish control in South America: Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile
The newly independent nations did not have precise boundaries and began to fight one another.
In an attempt to bring peace to the region strong leaders known as caudillos came to power and ruled through military force (dictatorships).
Some of them were destructive, such as Mexican ruler Antonio Lpez de Santa Anna. He misused state funds, halted reforms, and created chaos. In 1835 American settlers in the Mexican state of Texas revolted against him.
Texas gained its independence in 1836; war between Mexico and the United States soon followed (1846 to 1848). Mexico lost almost one-half of its territory to the United States after losing the Mexican War.
Political independence did not translate into economic independence. Britain and other Western nations dominated the Latin American economy. Latin America continued to be a source of raw materials and food for the industrial West. Finished consumer goods, especially textiles, were imported. The continuation of this old pattern assured that Latin America would depend on Europe and the United States.
A basic problem for all Latin American nations was the domination of society by the landed elite. Large estates remain a way of life in Latin America.
Land remained the basis of wealth, prestige, and power in Latin America throughout the nineteenth century. The landed elite ran governments and made huge profits, while the masses lived in dire poverty.
Over the nineteenth century these new countries would become economically dependent on Europe and the United States once again.
The United States was emerging as a world power and were determined not to let any foreign countries interfere with the western hemisphere
United States president, James Monroe, issued the Monroe Doctrine, which warned against European involvement in Latin America and guaranteed the independence of the new Latin American nations.
Cuba became a protectorate, Puerto Rico was annexed, and a U.S. backed revolution in Columbia brought about independence in Panama, where the U.S. would complete the Panama Canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific
Economic Change in Latin America
Latin America had a period of economic prosperity after 1870 due to the exportation of a few major items, including wheat and beef from Argentina, coffee from Brazil, bananas from Central America, and sugar and silver from Peru.
After 1900 Latin America began doing more of its own manufacturing.
Economic Change in Latin America
Due to the prosperity, the middle sectors of Latin American society grew, even though they were too small to make up a genuine middle class. The middle sectors were only 5 to 10 percent of the population.
Members of the Latin American middle sectors had shared characteristics: they lived in cities, sought education and decent incomes, and saw the