The Road to India's Independence

  • 1252

    Marco Polo

    Marco Polo
    Marco Polo was the most famous Westerner to travel on the Silk Road. He was the one who initially introduced the Western world to all the goods India had to offer.
  • May 29, 1453

    Fall of Constantinople

    Marked the end of the Byzentine Empire. Constantinople was a major trading area, and once it fell, all the products going to Europe were not available which triggered the desire for exploration of alternate routes.
  • 1498

    Vasco da Gama

     Vasco da Gama
    First European sailor to reach India
  • 1526

    Founding of the Mughal Empire

    Babur, supposedly Tamerlane’s grandson, took over. It spanned over most of the Indian Subcontinent but not to the extent of the future British rule.
  • East India Company is set up by England

    East India Company is set up by England
    From the Mughal rulers, the company won rights to build trading posts and forts in order to trade gold and silver for Indian goods (charter from Queen)
  • Decline of the Mughal Empire

    Once the empire began declining, the British and the French were competing for economic/political power. India was now many small kingdoms and the 2 European countries competed to control them.
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    Seven Years War and Other Key Events During this Time

    Left Britain as the leading power in India (1756-63)

    Sub Events:
    - French and Indian War- French and British were fighting in North America
    - Battle of Plassey- British: Under leadership of Robert Clive, Military victories led the East India company to strengthen their hold on India (1757)- british defeated the french and then had complete control over India
  • Regulating Act

    Regulating Act
    A legislation passed by the British Parliament for the regulation of the British East India Company territories. It was the first invention by the British government and marked the beginning of a takeover process that was completed in 1858.
  • Pitt’s India Act

    Passed in the British Parliament to rectify the defects of the 1773 Regulating act. It resulted in dual control of India by the Crown and the East India Company. The India Company’s political functions were differentiated from its commercial activities for the first time.
  • Opium War

    Opium War
    The demand for Chinese Goods created a trade imbalance between Imperial China and Great Britain. To fix the imbalance The East India company decided to auction opium grown in India, in exchange for silver.
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    The Sepoy Rebellion

    Broke out near Delhi. It quickly spread across northern and central India Sub Events:
    - “Well of Cawnpore” -Indian brutality to men, women, & children
    - British counter with equal brutality. The besieged Company forces and civilians in Cawnpore (now Kanpur) were unprepared for an extended siege and surrendered to rebel forces under Nana Sahib, in return for a safe passage to Allahabad.(1857) (Black Hole of Calicutta)
  • Indian Civil Service

    The Indian Civil Service was put in place in order to control the vast empire that was the Raj. They used military or threatened force to continue expanding. Indians were trained for this job, since there were not enough British people. However, Indians had no real say in things, which was infuriating to them. The ICS was not ended until 1947 when India gained independence.
  • Indian National Congress

    Indian National Congress
    The goal of this was to prevent mass peasant uprising by keeping power centered on middle class leaders; democracy
  • Indian National Congress

    The goal of this was to prevent mass peasant uprising by keeping power centered on middle class leaders; democracy. First modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British empire.
  • The Amritsar Massacre

    The Amritsar Massacre
    Troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer fired rifles into a crowd of Indians, who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Amristar, Punjab. The Indians (led by Gandhi) were unarmed and refused to fight back which struck major controversy
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    Gandhi's Movement

    -Mohandas Gandhi took over leadership of the Congress movement
    - Gandhi launches the Civil Disobedience Movement: calls for boycott of British goods. Calls off movement a year later due to Chauri Chaura killing where a mob killed policemen
  • Salt March

    Salt March
    An act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India led by Gandhi to produce salt from seawater in the coastal village of Dandi
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    Elsewhere in the World

    While India was gaining Independence, 6 million Jewish people were being murdered. Jews were an inferior race, and a threat to German racial purity and community. Many years of these threats Jews were consistently persecuted. Adolf Hitler’s “final solution", now known as the Holocaust, came to a point of creating this solution during World War 2 with mass killing centers constructed in the concentration camps of occupied Poland.
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    Kashmir Conflict

    During the time of India's partition, many different areas had to choose which country to join or if they wanted to remain independent. Kashmir's location allowed it to choose either, for religious reasons it was a complex choice. Remaining neutral was impossible and troops from India and Pakistan were sent.
  • Partition: India and Pakistan

    Partition: India and Pakistan
    • Independence from British rule and Partition of British India into modern countries of India and Pakistan (August 14th) - Grants full independence to India
  • Indian Independence

    Indian Independence
    Towards the end of the war, British hold on India was weakening and partition was already a plan so on this day India celebrated independence.