The new imperialism motives and methods

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 1. Weber had been studying the role of the serfs and the day labourers who were no longer serfs in northeastern Germany where feudal estates still survived in Weber's day. Weber found that often serfs would do everything they could to rid themselves of their status as serfs, in order to obtain freedom. This freedom was mostly illusory, because this free status often led to poverty.

The new imperialism motives and methods

The new imperialism motives and methods

The end of the empire in India was a massive blow to British imperialism. Yet as Britain withdrew, it divided the subcontinent between India and the supposedly 'Muslim' state of Pakistan. The convulsions of partition saw Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs slaughter one another on an unprecedented scale.

Today right wing forces in India are again stirring up divisions between Muslims and Hindus. However, the legacy of the empire and partition is certainly not one of an inevitable communal divide. From trade to empire Disraeli famously dubbed India a 'jewel in the crown of England'.

In the s India took nearly one fifth of British exports and overseas investment. In the midth century all tea had come from China. By most of it came from India. The possession of India, as Churchill once remarked, made all the difference between Britain being a first and a third rate world power.

Viceroy Mayo wrote, 'We are determined as long as sun shines in heaven to hold India. By over 25, Indians had been shipped overseas as indentured labour. The peak of this process was reached in when 53, Indians were sent overseas, the vast bulk of them to Mauritius which became the most 'Indianised' of the colonies.

But the seeds harvested in the late 19th and early 20th century had been sown over the preceding years. Trade began slowly in the 17th century but developed rapidly over the course of the 18th. Indian manufacturing industry was more developed in the 16th and 17th centuries than European, and so British traders took great delight in the goods of the subcontinent.

The traders of the British East India Company sought to establish themselves as the middlemen controlling Indian trade with Europe and in the process came to dominate whole swathes of the Indian subcontinent.

The later organisation of the British Empire in India was rooted in the organisation of the company. The traders of the East India Company riddled Indian society so that, by the s, the company was buying huge numbers of Indian finished goods, at low prices, for export to England and Europe.

While the British wanted Indian products, Indian traders wanted few British ones, so the company bridged the gap with silver bullion imported via London from the 'New World' bringing India's rulers great wealth.

The company's traders initially allied themselves with the Mughal Empire that ruled much of northern and central India. It was strong enough to put down any disorder, and allowed the company's men to travel safely with their goods.

But by the beginning of the 18th century the Mughal Empire could no longer protect trade so the company built up its own European style standing army to defend its activities.

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It had financial obligations to London - the company had to pay dividends to shareholders, pensions to its retired members, bills for military equipment and stores, and interest on the public debt the so called 'Home Charges'.

The company extended the territory under its control in order to generate extra revenue and so meet its financial obligations. But the costs of expansion frequently overshot the estimates and so threatened to wreck the company's finances rather than rescue them.

The need to keep remittances flowing to London remained a constant pressure. But superior naval strength, and larger capital resources, allowed the British to beat off competition from French traders and also to strengthen their hold over various Indian rulers.

A crucial breakthrough, however, came in when Robert Clive led the company's forces to military victory at Plassey after a revolt by a local ruler. This left the company in control of Bengal. Clive installed a pliant ruler, asked the Mughal Empire to recognise him and began collecting the huge revenues available in the form of taxes.

A number of benefits followed. The British increasingly used the proceeds of the new Bengal revenues to pay for goods acquired in Bengal and eastern India, thus drastically reducing the need to import bullion.

The land revenues were also used to support an enlarged army which intervened in other Indian states. The company was now collecting huge revenues, making wars and negotiating with princes.The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (50th Anniversary Edition) [William Appleman Williams, Andrew J.

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