( This is a textbook and doesn't contain any image for images please take reference of
This book the British Raj has a short history of British rule on India which was once called the golden bird because of its immense wealth and civilisation. This book is written by me as a dedication for those who had sacrificed their lives for freedom of our nation India and for every freedom fighter from a house hold lady and childern to great leaders of India like Jawaharlal Nehru,Motilal Nehru,Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar, ,Bhagat Singh,Chandrashekhar Azad,etc. This book is knowledgeable and is written in a way that every one can enjoy reading it.
- Muhammad Abul Fazal
year - 2014
I would like to thanks my family first who had given me full support.
Iwould also like to extend my thanks to my school principal of K.V,B.H.U Dr,(Smt). Poonam Singgh and also to my class teacher and all my subject teacher with whom guidence I am able to complete this book.
- Short description of British rule in other parts of World..................................... 4-5
and East India Company
2. Arriving of European and British East India Company.....................................6-7
3. Annexation of Bengal and other territories........................................................8-11
4. Education and other reforms..............................................................................12-13
5. Revolt of 1857 and takeover by British.............................................................14-16
6. New policies and formation of Indian...................................................................17-17
7. Indian freedom struggle from start to end..............................................................18-19
Short Description of British Rule on other parts of the world and
East India Company
Britain had not only ruled India but it is said that had ruled half world. Name of some
country ruled by Britain are as follows- America, Australia, Canada, Algeria, etc. Great
Britain is an island therefore its navy was very well trained and disciplined. The countries
which were ruled by Britain were especially those which were either islands or peninsulas
or countries who had boundry of sea coast. The Britishers in every country had gone with
aim of establishing trade relationships but gradually their aim transformed into becoming
an administrative power their. But intersting thing is that the British people who aimed to
rule were not the member or officials of the then British Government but they were officials
of a British trading company 'The East India Company'.
The East India Company was established during
reign of Queen Elizabeth I and also got a right to trade overseas by the queen. The company
started overseas trade with Asia and Africa and got richer and richer the officials of the
company started to live a Luxurious life. The Kingdoms of Asia and Africa were very rich
and prosperous they have their own culture which Britishers saw as inferior. They aimed to
conquer these territories and to establish their administrative power their, they thought that
this would benefit their trade. At that time their were no rules for Human Rights so the
slave trade was a very common activity in Europe and America. The people of African and
Asian tribes were captured and were sold to plantation owner in America and Europe. They
were used as mere dogs. They were forced to work in fields day and night and were not
given any wage or break. They were also treated as most inferior and were considered as
untouchable. The annexed country was ruled either directly by British officials or a native
ruler who was a mere pupped under British Administration. The Company formulated
policies for that territory and people would follow it without any protest. If they protested
they were severely punished. The farmers were forced to grow crops which were said by
British traders and they purchased it from them at very low cost and British traders sold
that crop in their country at very high prices and got lot of profit out of that. This helps the
company in establishing even more powerful fortification and army.
The main reason for this enormous power of East India
Company were as follows -
a) Well trained and disciplined army
b) Well developed Arms and Ammunition like Guns, muskets, cannons and pistols.
c) Oneness of Britishers, etc.
Were some reasons for this great power of Britain and East India Company.
(Please don't be confused as East India Company was two. One was British East India
Company and other was Dutch East India Company, and East India Company had trade
not only with India but with many other countries. Dutch East India Company was soon
Arriving of European and British East India Company in India
Aurangzeb was last great Mughal Emperor. The successors of his were very weak rulers
they did not had any experience and training of ruling a country.
The arriving of European countries started when 1498 in Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama
first arrived on sea coast of Cochin a city in Kerala, his dicovery of sea route to India open-
ed doors for other European powers to establish trade relationship with India. Thse countries
Portugal captured Goa and Mumbai, Mumbai was later given
in British hand as dowry for marriage Portuguese princess with British Prince.
As told earlier in 1600 the company issued a charter from
Queen Elizabeth I to trade overseas. The East India Company then started looking for lands
where it can buy things at low prices and sell them at very high price in England. Then they
saw India as a golden opportunity to trade with it.
The Britishers first came to India in reign of Mughal Emperor
Jahangir. This could be seen in the painting of that time. Jahangir got impressed by Brit-
ishers and granted them trading rights in India. They Established their first post at Surat in
Gujarat. Britishers sent their ambassador in Jahangir's court his name was Sir Thomas Roe.
The Britsh traded Silk, spices, craft and other native products
of India. They buy them at very low cost here and sold it at high prices in Britain. French
also saw India as golden opportunity and started trade with it. This resulted in Battles
between France and England in Europe as well as India later on.
Soon in reign of Emperor Aurangzeb Britishers started to fortify Surat with permission of
Aurangzeb this angered him and he ordered to pull down the fortification but Britishers
rejected this order. One of the ship of Mughal India was looted by a British Pirate. The
Aurangzeb attacked fortification of Surat captured the British official in-charge and ordered
him to find that pirate, the ships of East India Company started search for that Mughal ship
but were not successful in search.
Annexation of Bengal and other territories
The Britishers came to Kalikata which later came to be known as Calcutta and Kolkata.
The Company established a factory at the bank of River Hugli in 1651. The compnay was
also given zamindari rights and later the then Mughal Emperor Farruksiyar granted a
Farman to company to trade duty free in India in 1717.
The Farman was very profitable for company but the offic-
ials started to sell it to other Indian traders illegally. This angered the Nawab of Bengal
Sirajuddaulah. On other hand East India Compnay also started Fortifying Kolkata this
even more angered Sirajuddaulah. He asked Britishers to pull down their fortification but
once again Britishers did not agree with this. As a result in June 1756 he laid a siege to the
forts of East India Company and Captured it. He imprisoned 146 men in a small room for
a whole night and locked its door when at morning it was opened 123 people were found
dead, this was remembered as 'Black Hole Tragedy'. The British recaptured it under
Robert Clive who was an eminent General and was called by East India Company to help
its army in India in 1757. The Treaty of Alinagar was signed by Siraj-ud-daulah and Robert
Clive. By the terms of the treaty Nawab had to restore rights and possessions of East India
Company. Britishers were allowed to fortify Calcutta.
Robert Clive wanted the downfall of Siraj-ud-daulah.
He tried every means to bring him down. He tried to win over his corrupt court officials and
was successful in doing this. He was able to win one of the most important offical of
Nawab's Court Mir Jafar who was chief commander of Nawab's army. He was promised
that if Britishers were successful in capturing Bengal he would be given Nawabship and
in return he would work under Britishers and give them certain rights which would even
more flourish their trade, a secret agreement was signed for this purpose.
For making Siraj-ud-daulah to have battle with Britishers
Robert Clive presented a set of unreasonable demands in front of Nawab which angered him
and he declared war against East India Company which Robert Clive wanted to happen.
The British Army and Nawab's army clashed in Battle of
Plassey named after Palashi a place situated near Calcutta where the battle occurred. Mir
Jafar did not join the war as he had signed a treaty for that he became only a mere onlooker.
He had fearn that he would be betrayed, without him Siraj-ud-Adu;ah cannot handle war
and had to withdraw his army. He was captured by Britishers and was soon put to death and
Mir Jafar was made Nawab of Begal. He was puppet under Britishers, he had given a large
sum of money to Robert Clive as gift. He also had given undisputed rights to trade over
Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. This battle also proved weakness of Indian rulers in front of
Soon Mir Jafar was replaced with his son-in-law Mir Qasim he
had given jagirs of Burdwan,Midnapur and Chittagong to Company as a mark of affection.
Mir Qasim was a capable ruler. He abolished the duty free trade of Indian
Merchents who were trading on farman of East India Company. This was not liked by Bri-
tishers. Then a war was held in 1763 between Britishers and Mir Qasim. Mir Qasim was
defeated and was once again replaced by Mir Jafar.
Mir Qasim formed alliance with Nawab of Awadh Shuja-ud-
daulah, Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. Their combined forces appeard in front of British
army in 1764 in Battle of Buxar held at Buxar a city in Bihar.
The British forces were in command of Hector Munro. The combined forces of Nawab and
Mughal Emperor was defeated by British Army.
As a consequence Shuja-ud-Daulah and Shah Alam II were forced
to sign treaty of Allahabad. In terms of which district of Kora and Allahabad were taken
away from Awadh and placed in British rule. Nawab had to pay war indemity and Mughal
Emperor had to give Diwani Rights or right to collect revenue to East India Comapny.
A Dual Government was formed of East India Company and Nawab of Bengal. East
India Company collected revenue and Nawab had administrative power.
But soon Dual Government was finished and Britishers established direct rule over
Bengal. Warren Hastings was made Governer General of Bengal.
The annexation of Bengal opened doors for Britishers to conquer more territories of
India soon they were able to Conquer Mysore by defeating Tipu Sultan in Fourth Anglo-
Mysore War in 1799. Marthas by defeating Peshwa Madhao Rao II in Second Martha War in
1803-1805. Lord Wellesly was in command of East India Company during these conquests.
Punjab was also soon annexed after death of Ranjit Singh the Britishers finally captured
Punjab after Second Anglo Sikh War in 1848-1849. Dalhousie the then Governer General
departed Rani Jindan who revolted against Britishers to England.
Some policies formulated by Britishers like Subsidiary alliance and Doctrine of Lapse
helped in further annexation of more territories and to convert indirect rule into direct rule.
Subsidiary Alliance has a term that Indian rulers were alienated from keeping large forces
and also had to handle their forces to Britishers when asked to do so, it also stated that rulers
had to keep a British resident at their court. The British were able to take control by this
policy on Hyderabad in 1798 and 1800, Tanjore in 1799, Awadh in 1801, Gwalior in 1804,
Indore in 1817, Udaipur, Jaipur and Jodhpur in 1818.
Doctrine of Lapse stated that if an Indian ruler had no right of adoption of heir and if
he passed away without leaving any male natural heir his territory would be directly
annexed by East Indian Company. Some states which came under Doctrine of Lapse were
Satara in 1848, Jaitpur and Sambalpur in 1849, Jhansi 1853 and Nagpur in 1854.
By 1856 whole India was under direct control of East India Company.
Education and other reforms.
Traditional way of Education was changed during British Rule. The British introduced new
way of Education in India but two different group of Britishers were predicting two
different way of Education one group was called Orientalist and other was called Anglicist.
Orientalist were saying that the Education of Indian would be traditional Indian in
traditional Indian languages like Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic. On the other hand Anglicists
were saying that medium of language shall be English and Western Education should be
given to Indians.
However the then Governor General Lord Maculay prefered to take side of Anglicist so
Indian Education was abolished and western education was given to Indian people.
The Western Education to Indians created a sense of loyalty in hearts of Indian towards
Britishers but it also made awareness about some evil tradition of India like Sati and
dis-allowance of widow remarriage.
A ban on practise of sati was put in governorship of Lord Bentinck
in 1829. The former Governor general Lord Wellesly was also keen to put ban on Sati but
at that time condition was not suitable to do so.
Widow remarriage was also legalised during tenure of Lord Dalhousie in 1856.
by effort of Indian reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Introduction to telegram and railways was also done during British
rule. First telegram line was set from Calcutta to diamond harbour in 1850. First railway line
was from Bombay to Thane.
Railways and telegram helped in faster communication which
Britishers took full advantage. Through help of railways the British army could be
transported anywhere in India and through telegram news of revolt could be transmitted any
whrere in India.
Indigo plantation was forcefully done by Indian farmers under pressure of British.
British bought them from Indian farmer at very low cost and sell them in their country at
very high cost. Indigo exploited the fields and condition of Indian farmer worsen this was
one of the reason for Revolt of 1857.
Revolt of 1857 and takeover by British Government
The year 1857 was a boon for Indian independence struggle. A revolution was held in
India as Indian were wanting to as soon as get rid of from British East India Company rule.
Reasons for Revolt of 1857 were-
a) Economic exploitation of Indian farmers, artisan, etc. British drained resources of India
in such a systematic way that it totally exploited economy of India. India which was once
called golden bird was now reduced to mere subsistence level. There were famine everywh-
b) Political Reasons Doctrine of Lapse and Subsidiary alliance as well as removal of
Mughal dominency from India were some of the political reasons for the revolt. British
declared that after Bahadur Shah Zafar II the Mughal dynasty would be abolished.
Name of emperor were removed from the coins and he was locked in Red fort (Lal Quila)
c) Religious exploitation, British exploited the religious faith of both Hindus and Muslims.
In Hindu faith the practice of Sati was banned which angered Hindus of upper caste.
In army the Indian sepoys were not allowed to grow beard on their face, this angered the
Muslim members of army.
Introduction of new cartridge of Enfield rifle had given a blow to faith of
both Hindus and Muslim. The cap of the cartridge had to be bitten out with mouth before
loading it in rifle but he cartridges were greased with Cow fat and Pig lard which were not
to be consumed by Hindus and Muslim. This was the main reasin for Revolution. The
English missionaries were considered for mixing slow poison in Indian culture.
The soldiers of 19th regiment refused to use the cartridge there leaders severely punished
the soldiers. On 29 March 1857 Mangal Pandey, a soldier of 34th regiment refused to use
cartridge when his sergent major came to punish himhe fired on him and asked whole 34th
regiment to revolt. However Mangal Pandey was arrested and executed. This was beginning
of revolt. The regiments at Lucknow and Ambala also protested. The regiment at Lucknow
At Meerut on 24 April 1857 the 3rd Calvary revolted, they were given
punishment of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. On 9 May, they were stripped out of
their uniform and were disgraced publicly. Next day the whole regiment revolted the
infantry also joined them. They released prisoners and killed British officers and civilians
and marched to Delhi same night and crowned Bahadur Shah Zafar II their leader and
Emperor of India. This was real beginning of revolt.
At Kanpur Nana Saheb revolted against Doctrine of Lapse.
He captured Kanpur and declared himself Peshwa. The British however captured Kanpur
This revolt also occurred at Jhansi under Rani Laxmi Bai, in Lucknow under
Begum Hazrat Mahal (wife of Nawab of Lucknow), Bihar under Kunwar Singh, Bareilly
under Khan Bahadur Khan and at Gwalior under Tantia Tope. However these all places
were recaptured by British very soon.
The Revolt failed but it created a sense of fear under British which
resulted in end of East India Company rule and held the power to British Government and
Queen Victoria was declared Empress of India.
Aftermath revolt following changes occurred:-
a) End to Company’s rule.
b) Board of Control and Court of Director were abolished. In place of it secretary of India
and Indian Council was created.
c) The Doctrine of Lapse was abolished.
d) Policy of annexation was finished.
e) General pardon was given to rebels except those who were subject of Britisher's murder.
f) British Parliament passed Government of India act, 1858.
New policies and formation of Indian National Congress
After revolt British Government formulated some new policies for Indian people.
Vernacular Press Act
Vernacular means native or indigenous. The local press of India was publishing news again-
st British Government some newspaper and periodicals were- The Hindu, Amrita, Bazar
Patrika, etc. The Act alienated Vernacular press from publishing any anti British news.
Arms act was passed during Viceroy ship of lord Lytton. The act forbid any Indian from
keeping arms and ammunition as it can be danger for British security. It was repealed at
time of Lord Ripon.
Ilbert bill was proposed during tenure of Lord Ripon. The bill allowed Indian judges
to try European as well. This angered British resident and they protested against that bill.
Finally bill was cancelled. This act of Britishers showed their feeling of racial
Formation of Indian National Congress
In 1885 a retired British Imperial Service officer formed Indian National Congress for
helping Indians to put their demand after British Government and also to create a sense of
equality among Indians. Womesh Chandra Banerjee was chosen first president of INC.
Indian freedom struggle from start to end.
Now, I will start story from arrival of Gandhiji. Before his arrival some more great leaders
had started freedom struggle they included- Dada bhai Naroji, Gokhale, etc.
After return of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a lawyer of Indian origin practising at
South Africa. He had seen bad condition of Indians at South Africa. Now he had returned to
hos motherland to serve it and get it off fro hand of British rule. Ghandhji was a follower
of non-violent method of protesting. This was called Satyagrah.
He joined Indian National Congress and launched many
non-violent movements against Britishers, these plans included Non-cooperation movem-
ent, Civil disobidence movement, etc. These movement had boycotting of British goods
and peaceful protesting. But people sometimes come in so much anger that they used
violent methods, such actions resulted in loss of life and accident like Chauri-Chaura.
Gandhiji was joined by Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sardar
But some revolutionaries realised that only revolution can get India
independent these included Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shakhar Azad, etc.
Leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose said that only battle can get India out
of Britishers. His some famous slogans were ' Dilli Chalo' and ' Tum Mujhe Khun do
main tumhen azadi dunga'.
The Muslim League on other hand demanded for separate nation for
The British in return formed policies like Divsion of Bengal to
weak feeling of Nationalism but they did not work.
Finally on 15th August 1947 India became independent with Jawharlal
Nehru as first Prime Minister.
Nationalist literature also helped in freedom struggle and
igniting fire of Nationalism in hearts of Indians. Some of National literature
works are Saare Jahan se acha, Kaidi aur Kokila and our national anthem .
“ This was whole history of British Rule or Raj on India”
' Saare Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Hamara-Hamara'
'सारे जहान से अच्छा हिन्दुस्तान हमारा-हमारा'
'سارے جہاں سے اچھا ہندوستاں ہمارا۔ہمارا
About the author
Muhammad Abul Fazal (2000-) was born in city Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. He studiesd at St.Mary’s Convent School, Varanasi and is currently studying in Kendriya Vidyalaya, B.H.U. His father M.A.Shaz is proffersor of Physics in B.H.U, his mother name is Shabana Mujeeb he have small sister Almaas Nasreen.