- Slides: 13
During the 1700 s, the Mughal Empire in India was becoming progressively weaker.
The British East India Company and the French East India Company competed for control of the subcontinent.
The British East India Company ultimately emerged victorious. It profited from the sale of Indian cotton, silk, and sugar.
Yes, the British East India Company had a trade monopoly but it also acted as a government until 1858. It is hard to image a trading country ruling. But rule it did!
But in 1857, a crisis occurred. The Sepoys or Indian soldiers hired by the British East India Company rebelled!
The Sepoys had been loyal and good soldiers for the British East India Company but in 1857, they had been issued new ammunition for their rifles.
The new cartridges had to be greased with a mixture of beef and pork fat.
The cow is a sacred animal in the Hindu religion. Hindus are forbidden to harm or kill cows.
Muslims are forbidden to touch or eat pork products. The pig is considered an unclean animal in the religion of Islam.
The Hindu and Muslim Sepoys felt that their religious traditions and beliefs had been disrespected. They rebelled.
The British East India Company needed the help of the British government to end the rebellion. In 1859, the British government took over control of India.
British imperialism in India had begun. Imperialism is a policy of extending a nation’s political and economic dominance over a territory or country.
But the Indian people would one day unite again. They would unite in nonviolence, under the guidance of a Mahatma, and gain their freedom.