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British Occupation of India

  • Period: 130 BCE to 1453

    Silk Route Trade

  • 1271

    Marco Polo & The Silk Road

    Marco Polo & The Silk Road
    Marco Polo journeyed on a long route through Iraq, Iran, and Turkmenistan. Then passing through the Gobi Desert and past many ancient mercantile cities. Finally, in the spring of 1275, Polo reached Shangdu (summer residence of Kublai Khan). The route taken by the Polos became known as The Silk Road. This was very important to Indian history, as the Silk Road was utilized to get from imports and exports from Great Britain to India and vise versa and allowed them to have more control.
  • May 29, 1453

    Fall of Constantinople

    Fall of Constantinople
    The Byzantine Empire located in Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks after numerous battles. This is marked as the beginning of the end of the European Middle Ages. The Ottoman empire had been expanded its territories, and need the remaining Constantinople to complete their siege. The cities strong fortified walls led off attacks for many years, but the Turks were able to break in after launching spontaneous attacks, killing the emperor, and taking control of the whole city.
  • 1498

    Vasco Da Gama Enters India

    Vasco Da Gama Enters India
    Portuguese sailor, Vasco Da Gama led a portuguese fleet to India looking for a sea route from Western Europe to the India. He traveled along the south coast of Africa and ventured into the reckless southern Atlantic sea until he reached India. Da Gama’s discovery encouraged Portugal to engage in affairs in India.
  • Defeat of the Spanish Armada

    Defeat of the Spanish Armada
    The Spanish fleet of ships sailed near Britain to guard the Spanish soldiers on land as they attacked Britain. However, Britain had spies that uncovered the attack early, so Britain was able to prepare. The defeat of the Spanish Armada lead English voyagers to travel the globe in search of riches.
  • Creation of the British East India Company (and Charter Given)

    Creation of the British East India Company (and Charter Given)
    A group of British merchants proposed to Queen Elizabeth I their company that would travel to the East Indies in hope of conducting business there and bringing back goods. On this date, the East India Company of London was given permission by the British monarch. Queen Elizabeth I of England granted a formal charter to the London merchants trading to the East Indies, hoping to break the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade in what is now Indonesia.
  • British Entry

    First British (East India Company) ships land in India at Surat, Gujarat.
  • British Establishes First "Factory"

    The British establish the first "factory" or trading post in Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh) on Coromandel Coast on Bay of Bengal.
  • Battle of Swally

    Battle of Swally
    British East India Company’s navy defeats the Portuguese in the Battle of Swally near Surat, Gujarat, and establishes a trading post.
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    British East India Company sets up trading post at Surat

    Surat is a large city beside the Tapi River in the west Indian state of Gujarat (once known for silk weaving). The East India Company showed their potential for expansion when the started to set up trading posts in many different areas, including Surat.
  • Monopolies Allowed In India

    Monopolies Allowed In India
    The Company soon became involved with the Indian government and convinced the Mughal emperor to allow the right to a monopoly in India. The British company wanted to eliminate all other competitors, so through bribes, the emperor gave a grant to the British East India Company for exclusive rights to establish more posts throughout India. In later years, these post grew to be so large that the British merchants and their families had to ability to govern themselves.
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    Sir Thomas Roe

    Sir Thomas Roe stays at Jahangir’s court to press for expanded trading rights. And in 1615, he signed commercial treaty with Jahangir in exchange for luxury goods from Europe and naval protection against the Portuguese sea power .
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    Mughals grant to Britain

    Mughals grant Britain right to trade and establish factories in exchange for English navy's protection of the Mughal Empire, which faces Portuguese sea power.
  • East India Company Expansion

    East India Company establishes trading post in Madras.
  • Portuguese Cede Bombay

    Portuguese cede Bombay to England for access to trade.
  • Formation of French East India Company

    Formation of French East India Company
    French East India Company is formed. The French East India Company was a commercial Imperial enterprise, founded in 1664 to compete with the English and Dutch East India companies in the East Indies. Planned by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, it was chartered by King Louis XIV for the purpose of trading in the Eastern Hemisphere.
  • Robert Clive

    Robert Clive
    Robert Clive, age 26, seizes Arcot in modern Tamil Nadu as French and British fight for control of South India.
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    The Siege of Arcot

    The British East India Company was lead by Robert Clive, age 26, in a battle verses India, Mogul forces, and small French help. The Company seizes Arcot, India as French and British fight for control of South India
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    Seven Years War

    The Seven Years' War was a global conflict involving every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions, led by the Kingdom of Great Britain on one side and the Kingdom of France, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire on the other.
  • Black Hole of Calcutta

    Black Hole of Calcutta
    By the end of the 17th century, the Mogul empire had fallen into the hands of the nawabs. This caused the British and French to take advantage and compete to build empires. The British had established a trading place in Calcutta in 1690s. The nawab army arrived on June 16th. Siraj's final attack came on the morning of June 20th. He was forced to surrender. A total of 146 British prisoners were herded at sword-point for the night into the "black hole", a little lock up the British had built.
  • The Battle of Plassey

    The Battle of Plassey
    At this time period, the British East India Company were a powerful political power and had their own army. The Company fought with Bengal lead by their governor along with its French allies. It resulted in a victory for the Company and gained all the lands the Bengal leader owned. This was an important historical moment for the Company since it now controlled their own real estate in India and is known as the start of the “company rule in India”.
  • Battle of Plassey Video

  • British Defeat Mughals

    During the following century Mughal power had become severely limited, and the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, had authority over only one city. He was tried by the British East India Company for treason, imprisoned, and exiled. The last remnants of the empire were taken over by the British & the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act 1858 to enable the Crown to displace the rights of the East India Company and assume direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj.
  • Battle of Buxar

    Battle of Buxar
    The company was involved in a war with the Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II. It was between the forces of the British East India Company, commanded by Major Hector Munro, and the combined army of an alliance of Indian states including Bengal, Awadh, and the Mughal Empire. The Company again won and gained control of the Mughal Emperor territories. This battle again confirmed the dominance of the Company in India.
  • Opium

    British East India Company obtains monopoly on the production and sale of opium in Bengal. This will be detrimental to the people of this region and destroy lives.
  • Abolition of Slave Trade

    Abolition of Slave Trade
    British Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade is formed, marking the beginning of the end of slavery.
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    Warren Hastings

    British Parliament impeaches Warren Hastings, Governor General of Bengal (1774-85) for misconduct.
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    Second Anglo-Maratha War

    The Second Anglo-Maratha war was the second conflict between the British East India Company and India. After years of fighting and many treaties signed by the Maratha rulers, the British captured Delhi and control over other large parts of India.
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    Indian Education

    Orientalists --> learn with Indian language, values, and culture
    Anglicists--> (ethnocentric)--> make Indians learn western ways and speak English... but they decided to use this technique until the Sepoy Mutiny Beliefs and goals:
    -Abolition of caste discrimination
    -Abolition of idol worship
    -Abolition of sati
    -Creation of an educated public that included women
    -Political and social liberation
    -The possibility of achieving salvation through rational knowledge of the divine
  • Establishing a Homeland in NW India

    British Christians defeat Ranjit Singh's forces at Balakot, in Sikh attempt to establish a homeland in N.W. India.
  • Emigration

    Britain formalizes emigration of Indian indentured laborers to supply cheap labor under a system more morally acceptable to British Christian society than slavery, illegal in the British Empire since 1833.
  • First Indian Revolution (Sepoy Mutiny)

    First Indian Revolution (Sepoy Mutiny)
    First Indian Revolution, called the Sepoy Mutiny, ends in a few months with the fall of Delhi and Lucknow. 1858: India has 200 miles of railroad track. By 1869 5,000 miles of steel track have been completed by British railroad companies. In 1900, total track is 25,000 miles, and by World War I, 35,000 miles. By 1970, at 62,136 miles, it has become the world's greatest train system. Unfortunately, this development depletes India's forest lands.
  • The Establishment of the Indian Civil Service

    The Establishment of the Indian Civil Service
    Local inhabitants began to be trained by British scholars or positions in the military and government because there wasn’t enough British citizens to govern the vast empire. They did so by the Anglisiti approach by educating them with western views.
  • Formation of the Sepoy

    Formation of the Sepoy
    In the 18th century the French East India Company and its other European counterparts employed locally recruited soldiers within India, mainly consisting of infantry designated as "sepoys". The largest of these Indian forces, trained along European lines, was that belonging to the British East India Company.
  • Mahatma Gandhi

    Mahatma Gandhi
    Mohandas Gandhi, later known as “Mahatma” or great soul, was the leader of the Indian independence movement and was looked up to and gained many followers for his pure beliefs. His goals for India were for Hindus and Muslims to live in Unity and defy the British through nonviolence, which lead to many non violent protest.
  • Zulu War

    Zulu War
    15,000 British troops invade the independent nation of Zululand in present-day South Africa resulting in a battle between the Zulus and the British. Gandhi was affected greatly by the Zulu war because he saw the true impression of people and he often reflects upon the event.
  • Indian National Congress is Founded

    Indian National Congress is Founded
    A group of middle-class intellectuals in India, some of them British, found the Indian National Congress to be a voice of Indian opinion to the British government. This was the origin of the later Congress Party. The Indian National Congress is a broadly based political party in India. Founded in 1885, it was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa
  • Formation of the Indian National Congress

    Formation of the Indian National Congress
    A unified group joined together to create democracy, local self-rule, and prevent mass peasant uprisings by keeping power centered on middle-class leaders. They planned to govern themselves but remain part of the Indian government. This eventually shifted to them wanting the power to govern themselves and not have any connections to the Indian government.
  • The Muslim League Forms

    The Muslim League Forms
    Founded under the leadership of Leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah who believed that Indian must be divided into 2 nations, one for Hindus and the other for Muslims. He at first supported the Hindu-Muslim Unity but later had a disagreement with Gandhi leading to him supporting an independent Muslim homeland. This all leads to the major divide between Indians defined by their religion rather than just being Indian.
  • World War 1 Indian Involvement

    World War 1 Indian Involvement
    World War 1 brought broke out after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand creating a war that lasted for 4 years. The advancements of warfare created a gory war between the allied forces (Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan, and the United States) and the central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire). During this time period, the British Indian army sent a total of a710,000 men including reserves to help the fighting.
  • World War 1 Indian Involvement Continued

    World War 1 Indian Involvement Continued
    Gandhi supported the Indian's involvement in hope of achieving self-rule for India as British promised if they helped in the fighting. However, at the end of the war, Britain made few reforms and refused to give India self-government.
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    World War 1

  • The Massacre at Amritsar

    The Massacre at Amritsar
    After the British government made it illegal for large gathering, Indians gathered together inspired by Gandhi to show that they can rise of above the hate and follow the Indian nationalist Cause. With non warning, General Dyer ordered the British to fire on the gathered unarmed Indians with no way out.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru

    Jawaharlal Nehru
    Hindu leader Jawaharlal Nehru drafts plan for a free India; becomes president of Congress Party in 1929. He was Gandi's right-hand man and became the first Prime minister of India.
  • Salt March

    Salt March
    After the British government passed the salt tax making it illegal for Indians to sell and produce salt, Gandhi gather a group of 78 followers and marched for 240 miles to the Arabian sea and ended with thousands of followers. Gandhi wrote to Viceroy claimed his intentions and at the end of his journey, he and thousands were harmed and jailed. This was one of the many protest Gandhi sponsored as an act of civil disobedience, refusing to obey unjust laws and purposely breaking them.
  • India Earns its Independence

    India Earns its Independence
    The British House of Commons passed the Indian independence act granting India its independence from Britain. Additionally, it divided India into 2 domains, Pakistan and India, for equal independent states. Pakistan emerges as a separate Islamic nation, and 600,000 die in clashes during subsequent population exchange of 14 million people between the two new countries.
  • Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi

    Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
    His fight ended in 1948, when he was assassinated by an angry man who was as upset with Gandhi's preaching peace in Pakistan and blamed him for the partition in India. However, he is a known for his impact on the world.