Geography

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52. Do you think that the British influence in India was positive or negative? Explain your answer.

52. Even though the British rule on India benefited it in a few ways, I believe that the British influence in India was more negative than it was positive. India once had a flourishing textile industry and was among the first nations to grow cotton. However, the British wanted to use India as a market for their own cheaper, machine-made textiles. They imported raw cotton from India, made it into cloth, and shipped the finished product back to India for sale. As a result of this, many Indians lost their jobs. Also, the British did not treat the Indians as their equals. Both the government and the army were organized with British officials in all of the positions of power. The Indians had to take positions at the lower levels. Obviously, this angered some of the Indians. As a result of all of this, Mohandas Gandhi brought up the belief of nonviolent resistance. This was his most powerful weapon against the British. Nonviolent resistance means opposing an enemy of oppressor by any means other than violence. One way that Gandhi peacefully resisted British rule was to boycott the British cloth.
On the other hand, the colonial rulers made many changes such as ending slavery, improving schools, and building a large railroad network that benefited India. Still, the negative effects overpower the few positive ones.


Anything else I can add?

  • Geography -

    Your answer is very good. I agree completely.

    For an excellent view of the English occupation of India and Gandhi, borrow the Oscar-winning film "Gandhi." I showed it every year to my 8th grade world history classes.

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