World Cultures Chapter 8 Study Guide Flashcards | Quizlet
The French, to compensate for the lack of European manpower so far from home, initiated the strategy of training and arming native recruits ( sepoys) like European armies. Such forces were so effective that local princes would trade large tracts of land for French trained sepoys, thus giving the French control over much of Southern India. In response to this new threat, the British responded in kind by training their own sepoys. By the end of the Seven Years War (1756-63), British naval superiority and sepoys under the leadership of Robert Clive had virtually ended French involvement in India. Clive dramatically demonstrated the effectiveness of European trained sepoys at the battle of Plassey (1757) when his army of 2800 British soldiers and sepoys routed a Bengali army of 100,000 men. Clive's victories over the Bengalis and French made the British East Indies Company a major power in India, able to install its own candidate on the Mughal throne and claim the wealthy province of Bengal for itself. British dominance resulting from these victories had three main effects.
How were the British able to conquer India?
Under the British Crown many policies were reformed in response to the horrendous mutiny and revolt. Military expenditures to suppress the revolt had cost the Government about £40,000,000. Viceroy Canning imposed an income tax in 1860 for five years to alleviate the £2,000,000 annual deficit. Madras governor Charles Trevelyan objected so strenuously to the income tax that Board of Control President Charles Wood had him removed. Land revenue provided half the income; the second largest revenue came from the Government's monopoly on the opium trade to China, and third was its monopoly on salt. A commission recommended that the ratio of Indian to British troops be two to one for the large Bengal army and three to one for Madras and Bombay. Except in mountain batteries, the artillery was handled only by Europeans. The Police Act of 1861 enabled the civil power to take over duties previously handled by the military, and many of the 100,000 dismissed from the army became police. By 1863 India had 62,000 British troops and 135,000 Indians in the army. The Bengal army especially was restructured with mixed regiments consisting of separate companies of Sikhs, Punjabi Muslims, and Hindu Dogras. Indian officers could command companies. A "white mutiny" occurred at Mirat because they were being transferred without being discharged, which prevented them from getting a bounty for enlisting again. Authorities ended up shipping 10,000 men home at more cost than the small bounties.
In January 1852 Lambert sent interpreter Edwards to arrange a meeting with the new governor; but his deputation was put off when they were told the governor was asleep. Lambert gave asylum to British subjects on his ships and blockaded the rivers. Despite a warning that a yellow ship belonged to the king of Burma, Lambert seized it and refused to give it back even when the Governor offered to pay compensation for the grievances. Lambert provoked the Burman batteries to fire and then destroyed them. Dalhousie admitted that Lambert started the war by seizing the king's ship. Even though Dalhousie repudiated Lambert's action, he accepted responsibility and gave the king an ultimatum to pay one million rupees by April first. He sent the 38th Native Infantry by the Dacca road, because they were not required to fight overseas by their enlistment contract. John Lawrence later criticized Dalhousie for sending a commodore if he wanted peace, and Richard Cobden wrote a pamphlet on the origin of the Burman war, condemning the whole affair.
General Godwin arrived in Rangoon on April 2, 1852, and the war began. Rangoon was captured on April 14, and the British took Bassein in May. They captured the city of Pegu and installed a prince from an old ruling family. In July the British captured the fortress of Prome; but after the interlude of the rainy season these two places had to be recaptured in the fall. Dalhousie rejected a march on the capital at Ava and ordered annexation to somewhere beyond Prome. The Burman king declined to negotiate a treaty, and in December the annexation was proclaimed. In February 1853 King Pagan Min was replaced by his half-brother Mindon, who wanted peace; he ordered his officers to stop attacking British forces and released their prisoners. Major Arthur Phayre was appointed commissioner of the new province that extended fifty miles beyond Prome.
In 1847 Hardinge had warned Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh (Oudh) that he had two years to put his house in order or face annexation. Wajid Ali was an accomplished poet and liked to spend his time with musicians and artists. Dalhousie asked Resident William Sleeman to investigate, and he described the corruption and anarchy in the country. The property-owning Talukdars regularly terrorized the poor cultivators. Robbery and murder were common. The Awadh shah complained later that Sleeman had interfered with his administration by urging people to submit complaints and even gathered names on a list of those who wanted the East India Company to govern Awadh. Bishop Heber had described Awadh as a prosperous country in 1825, and the two British residents between 1839 and 1847 testified that Nasir-ud-daullah had improved agriculture, reformed the police, revenue, and the judiciary, encouraged commerce, and sponsored public works such as schools, colleges, tanks, and wells.
Wajid Ali Shah was open to improvements by British administration, and Sleeman advised the British government to help without taking over the revenues of Awadh. Henry Lawrence recommended letting Awadh be governed by its own people. Sleeman wrote about Dalhousie's intentions regarding annexation, "There is no pretext, however weak, that is not sufficient, in their estimation, for the purpose; and no war, however cruel, that is not justifiable, if it has only this object in view."2 Sleeman saw the danger and warned that the native states were the breakwaters. If the annexations swept them away, they would be left at the mercy of the native army, which they may not always be able to control. Dalhousie wanted to warn the king again; but the Council felt the risk of recalling British troops should not be taken. Finally in January 1856 the Court of Directors extended Dalhousie's term and approved his annexation of Awadh. He sent Outram with a treaty; but Wajid Ali told him that treaties were for equals, and being treated as an inferior he would not sign nor accept the pension. Annexation was proclaimed four days later. Many Talukdars lost their land, and cultivators suffered from high assessments. About 50,000 sepoys were dismissed. The tax on opium was increased, and prices generally went up.
In October 1855 the last Karnatak nawab Muhammad Ghaus Khan died without a son, and Dalhousie would not recognize his uncle Azim Jah as nawab. That same month Raja Shivaji of Tanjore also died without a male heir. The Court of Directors declared that no daughter of a Hindu sovereign could succeed, and Dalhousie avoided deciding about the claim of the senior widow. The next Governor-General Canning decided to restore the property but not the regalia of the family.
Dalhousie also implemented internal reforms and promoted western education, planning three universities. In Bengal the Santals rebelled against harassment by police and revenue officials. Bengal had been under the busy Governor-General. The Company Charter was renewed again in 1853, and the new Charter Act created a lieutenant-governor to oversee Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and Assam. Since 1833 complaints had been made that the Indians were not appointed to higher positions, but the 1853 Act did little to remedy that. Competitive examination for the Company's covenanted service took away patronage from the Directors; their number was reduced from 24 to 18, and six were to be appointed by the Crown. The Act abolished the Military Board and transferred public works to a new department that was staffed with engineers as well as military men. A system of railroads was planned, and the first 150 miles were constructed. A telegraph system was created and extended wires for nearly 4,000 miles. Reformed postal facilities fixed a uniform rate for letters. Charles Wood took responsibility for improving education. Forest conservancy and tea plantations were established, and jails were reformed. Military force was used to suppress human sacrifices in the hills of Orissa.
Schools were taught in the vernacular languages at the lower levels with English used more in the colleges. The Educational Dispatch of 1854 proposed an administrative department of education, universities in the three Presidency cities, institutions for training teachers, increasing government schools and colleges, establishing middle schools, increasing vernacular elementary schools, and providing grants. During 1857 universities were incorporated in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras. Their faculties were in the arts, law, medicine, engineering, and science. Lahore University was established in 1869.