” culture and while thesepolicies enhanced the old European empire, they were detrimental to the
people of the colonies.”
Discuss. To what extent do you agree with this statement? Use evidence from
your SOSE book to support your point of view.
During a period after 1870, there was a rise in European interest to obtain
overseas empires, which to the European empires seemed politically weak and
vulnerable. They greedily grabbed these empires to boost their own economic
system and power. They often told the peoples of the colonised country that
they were inferior to the empire that ruled them. The effects of the
colonisation had a huge impact on the economies of these countries and the
people who lived within them.
Power was a major driving force behind the fight to obtain the most amount
of colonies. In the Late 1800’s acquiring colonies had become “in fashion”
and the prestige of owning these colonies drove the empire to attaining an
ever-growing number. The military force number would have grown with ever
colony obtained therefore giving the mother country more power and
prestige, and gaining India into the empire was like finding a sparkling
gem in a bucket of coals, although the native people of India had such a
different way of life that very few Englishmen could comprehend.
With the British Empire comprising of India, it was able to boost the
economic system of Britain, with a vast amount raw materials and a large
population, which made labour inexpensive, the British profited greatly at
the expense of the Indian people. The trade routes in India made
transporting the raw materials out of the country and importing cheap goods
into the country simple, and once again at the expense of the Indian
people. When the industrial revolution arrived, the British were able to
export cotton to England and produce cotton-made products in factories much
cheaper than if someone in India were to do this, many Indian lost their
way of life, as the factory-made cotton products were much cheaper than the
hand-made India products.
The India culture was very different to anything the British Empire had
ever witnessed before. The British were very prejudice towards the Indians
and felt that the Indians were inferior to themselves. Charles Darwin’s
“Survival of the Fittest” theory seemed to support this, giving the British
grounds to fell superior. They forced their religion and culture upon the
Indians and convinced them that anything British was better than anything
Indian was, and the Indians felt inferior to the British. Many Indian
children were taught English and British history in schools, leaving no
room for the history and culture of the country the resided in.
Although the industrial revolution and the grab for colonies helped develop
the British Empire into a powerful kingdom, these things were very
detrimental towards the people residing in these colonies, as was the
British’s superiority complex.
Dominique Fazzari 10i