chapter  Chapter 14
29 Pages

British India

ByRhoads Murphey, Kristin Stapleton

This chapter presents the chaotic state of India in the early eighteenth century as the Mughal order collapsed; the origins of the English trade in India; the founding of Madras in 1639, Bombay in 1687, and Calcutta in 1690; and the beginnings of wider territorial acquisitions with the conquest of Bengal by Robert Clive in 1757. It looks at the growth of opium production in British India, linked to the Opium War with China that resulted from Britain’s increasingly aggressive policy toward trade. High-handed British policies provoked the Indian revolt of 1857. At every period, from the first "factory" at Surat to Indian independence in 1947, Indians found new employment, new scope, and new wealth in the expanding economy of colonial ports and inland trading posts, as well as in the colonial bureaucracy. The chapter ends with a discussion on the incorporation of India into British Empire, and developments in economic, political, and cultural life in the late nineteenth century.