India Conquered: Britain's Raj and the Passions of Empire

India Conquered Britain s Raj and the Passions of Empire For the century and a half before the Second World War Britain dominated the Indian subcontinent Britain s East India Company ruled enclaves of land in South Asia for a century and a half before that

  • Title: India Conquered: Britain's Raj and the Passions of Empire
  • Author: Jon Wilson
  • ISBN: 9781471101250
  • Page: 170
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For the century and a half before the Second World War, Britain dominated the Indian subcontinent Britain s East India Company ruled enclaves of land in South Asia for a century and a half before that For these 300 years, conquerors and governors projected themselves as heroes and improvers The British public were sold an image of British authority and virtue But beneaFor the century and a half before the Second World War, Britain dominated the Indian subcontinent Britain s East India Company ruled enclaves of land in South Asia for a century and a half before that For these 300 years, conquerors and governors projected themselves as heroes and improvers The British public were sold an image of British authority and virtue But beneath the veneer of pomp and splendour, British rule in India was anxious, fragile and fostered chaos.Britain s Indian empire was built by people who wanted to make enough money to live well back in Britain, to avoid humiliation and danger, to put their narrow professional expertise into practice The institutions they created, from law courts to railway lines, were designed to protect British power without connecting with the people they ruled The result was a precarious regime that provided Indian society with no leadership, and which oscillated between paranoid paralysis and occasional moments of extreme violence The lack of affection between rulers and ruled finally caused the system s collapse But even after its demise, the Raj lives on in the false idea of the efficacy of centralized, authoritarian power.Indians responded to the peculiar nature of British power by doing things for themselves, creating organisations and movements that created an order and prosperity of its own India Conquered revises the way we think about nation building as much as empire, showing how many of the institutions that shaped twentieth century India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were built in response to British power The result is an engaging story vital for anyone who wants to understand the history of empires and the origins of contemporary South Asian society.

    One thought on “India Conquered: Britain's Raj and the Passions of Empire”

    1. Probably the most balanced and subjective view on British Raj I have come across to date, an account only a British historian could deliver. That the British came to India to trade but evolved into conquerors is well known but I never knew the that the Indians always considered themselves as at least their junior partners in this colossal conquest. The Indians by this virtue demanded more rights and powers from the small elitest class of British rulers which became a sort of cat and mouse game p [...]

    2. Question: how long does a guilt trip last? Answer: 504 pages. Let this reviewer nail his colours to the mast: he is a child of empire. His father’s family worked for, kowtowed to and adopted its name from the British. We were condescended to and condescended in our turn. And we ended up here. But, like the rest of the subcontinental diaspora, and the people of India and its surrounding nations, we’ve gotten over it. Ploughing through Wilson’s work, it would appear the author hasn’t. Not [...]

    3. I finished ploughing through this 500 page book yesterday. The primary hypothesis the author seeks to prove is that the British rule was sustained by violence and authority as opposed to the earlier Mughal period characterized by negotiations and intricate support networks within rural and urban society. This is supposed to counter the romanticist’s version of the British time as a period of order. However, this is a fringe and ill-founded view, at least among Indians. The author has devoted m [...]

    4. In this highly argumentative book, the author asserts that for all its time conquering India, the British only interested in one thing only: keeping hold on its domination over India. Even then, the writer argued that in this the British were incompetent and ended up wrecking the socio-economic structure which existed since the Mughal Empire. I am unable to identify any single positive thing that the British had done for Indians in this book. The only reason I finish reading this book is just be [...]

    5. Thorough description of the role of the East India Company from 1600 and its aftermath to 1947. Puts the role of the East India Company in a whole new light at least for me. A bit heavy, lots of details, but thoroughly informative.

    6. India conquered An essential read for any Indian who wants to understand the story of British Raj. A good narrative which is full of meaningful brave conclusions rather than as it happened.

    7. I had bought this book for my spouse, who is a big history buff. I ended up reading it. History was the most boring subject for me in school, and I set this book as a challenge. And I absolutely enjoyed the challenge. The author Jon Wilson begins with an explanation of the early British interest in India up to independence and its aftermath. Right from the beginning, the author says, they created problems wherever they went. They refused to deal with local leadership in Indian / Mughal style (ne [...]

    8. En kritisk gjennomgang av den britiske kolonitiden, med fokus på mangelen på strategisk visjon, kombinert med brutalitet og kortsiktighet, noe som holdt Indias utvikling tilbake og skapte og forsterket interne motsetninger. Et viktig korrektiv, men også farget av at dette er historieskrivningen sett med 2016-briller, noe som bidrar til at fremstillingen er unødig ensidig og unyansert.

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