Last Updated 09 Apr 2020

British Imperialism in South East Asia

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For along period, up to the late 20th century, many of the European nations had vast interest in many of the Asian and African countries. This made them to colonize these countries so as to get whatever they wanted. Almost all of the African and Asian countries became colonies of the western countries. The more a country was perceived to have got many resources, the higher the scramble for that country was. Britain is one of the countries that had majority colonies in both the African and the Asian continent. India happened to be just one of these colonies.

The colonists come along with their way of doing things thus impacting on the natives' way of handling the same issues. In essence, most of the colonies wanted to see that they changed their colonies to behave in the manner that will be beneficial to them. In India, the British’s interest was experienced during the decline time of Mughal Empire (http://www. indianchild. com/history_of_india. htm para 8). It all started as mere commercial activities between the two nations. There was a breakup in the rule of the Mughal Empire which resulted to the rising of dispute among the princess.

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This was a great advantage to the British as they did step in to settle the dispute. In the process, the British Empire started gaining much influence (Martin, pp 213). During the first global war that was fought in Europe and North America for seven years, it saw the British and the French come into a big fight in which the British won. Many of the Indians were recruited in the well paying British army. In the end, it emerged that India became the key source for Britain’s raw material and a market for finished goods (Siegel & Kennedy pp 98). British Colonialism in India

When the British entered the Indian colony, they formed a society that was stratified having the Britons occupying the highest position in the society. In the Indian schools, it emerged that the language of communication was now English. Many scholars of the British rule in India have noted that despite the heavy presence of the Britons in India, their presence was insignificant. The British used the tactic of divide and rule very well, and more importantly the psychological indoctrination of the Indians who had undergone through the education system of the British.

These were the people who became the model British subject. the British used the English-educated Indians to absorb values about what they wanted , and this played a significant role in helping the Britons loot most of what they wanted from India, in terms of physical wealth and labor (http://india_resource. tripod. com/britishedu. htm para 1). According to the Britons plan, they wanted to have a person who was Indian in blood and color, but with an English taste, language and intellect. It meant therefore that the Britons had to decide on what the Indians were going to learn in schools and the mode of learning.

For the British to succeed in its mission, they did set the learned Indians against their fellows by proclaiming that they were following a very bad tradition, and it was only the British’s tradition that was good. These intellects were used to stress the negative impact of the Indians tradition. The Indians were made to believe that they were conservative people who lacked national concept or history. On the other hand, the British were considered as modern and scientific oriented. "With their unique organizational skills and energetic zeal, they would raise India from the morass of casteism and religious bigotry.

These and other such ideas were repeatedly filled in the minds of the young Indians who received instruction in the British schools,"(http://india_resource. tripod. com/britishedu. htm para 4). There was need to facilitate transport and communication between the colony and the colonials. Hence the colonials constructed the railway line to facilitate transportation of the troops, raw materials and finished goods. There was as well telegraph lines to ease communication. However, the Britons did not take any step to see that the Indians learnt the new technology (Webster pp 186).

The Indian soldiers rebelled against the British in 1857 causing the British to tighten its rule against India (Martin, pp 213). the rebellion of the soldiers occurred when the British empire introduced new cartridges that required the soldiers to tear them apart using their teeth. The cartridges were lubricated using animal fat, and this offended especially the Muslims whom their religion did not allow them to use pork or its products, while the Hindus were against the use of cattle fat for greasing.

The rebellion was put down in 1858, but already several of the Britons had been killed; males, females and children. There were establishment of schools and universities by the Americans and the Britons in India that provided an education system that advocated for a strong nationalist sentiment. "In 1885, they founded the Indian National Congress, which promoted a greater role for Indians in their country's government. The new organization also sought harmony among Indians of diverse religion and social groups", (Martin pp 213).

There are many other influences in the Indian cultures that can be directly linked to the British rule in India. For instance, the Indians were not known for using surnames. However, with the coming and the ruling of the Britons, the Indians adopted the use of surnames. As Kolhatkar argues, "Surnames were not in use in India in ancient times and almost till the end of the first millennium CE. Thousands of names are known from Sanskrit/Prakrit texts, rock-cut inscriptions, copper plates, coins etc. They are almost always single names", (para 3).

However, it is now an occasion that in India, you come across the name of the child alongside that of the parent. The use of the surname became as a mark of respect for the parent. It is because of the British rule that the use of the surname became advent. It could be argued that these was because of the fact that the Britons wanted to make the work of administration much easier by having a system that was "more clarity in identifying individuals and the facility of documentation and reading created by the widening use of the printing press.

Thus came into being the current method of the individual's name, father's name and the surname,"(Kolhatkar para 6). Therefore, looking at the influence Britain had in India, it can be concluded that it is true to note that these influences spilled all over the world especially the other Britain’s colonies. The use of surname, the British system of education, trade and language are all over the world. Reference: Kolhatkar, A. Indian surnames and the British influence, 29 Jul 2004, Retrieved on 13th May 2008 from http://archiver. rootsweb. ancestry. com/th/read/INDIA/2004-07/1091137759

Martin, P. Five Steps To A 5, ISBN: 0071437142; McGraw-Hill Professional, 2004 History of India, 2004, Retrieved on 13th May 2008 http://www. indianchild. com/history_of_india. htm Siegel J & Kennedy P. Endgame: Britain, Russia and the Final Struggle for Central Asia, ISBN: 1850433712; I. B. Tauris, 2002 SOUTH ASIAN HISTORY; History of British Rule and Colonization in India, 2001 Retrieved on 13th May 2008 from http://india_resource. tripod. com/britishedu. htm Webster A. Gentlemen Capitalists: British Imperialism in South East Asia, 1770-1890, ISBN: 1860641717; I. B. Tauris, 1998

British Imperialism in South East Asia essay

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