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Describe British rule in India at the end of the First World War

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Introduction

Q1, Describe British rule in India at the end of the First World War. The British Government took over responsibility for governing India from 1858. The Viceroy was appointed by parliament and was the representative of the Monarch. The Viceroy governed with help of Imperial Legislative Council. The Council passed laws for India. To support him, the Viceroy had an administration about 70,000 civil servants and soldiers which were filled by British who came from Britain. Only 60% of India was governed by the British. The rest was governed by Indian Princes who owned states. Altogether there were 562 states. Some were very large with 14million inhabitants; others were very small with about 200 inhabitants. The Princes retained their power by signing treaties with British. The All Indian Muslim League was set up in 1906, at first its members did not campaign for an independent Muslim state. Its aims were to protect Muslim minorities in areas of India where they were outnumbered by Hindus. The INC was the Indian National Congress. ...read more.

Middle

Less than 2 per cent of the population Indians could actually vote. The reforms tended to divide Hindu and Muslim communities by treating them as separate communities. This was very difficult to change once it was introduced. In order to settle the unrest George V held the great Delhi Durbar in 1911, where he announced the two parts of Bengal would be reunited. In the outbreak of World War 1 in August 1914, the Indian government declared war on Germany to support the British. This decision was decided by the many Indians who supported Britain during the war. This led to 1.25 million Indians volunteering to fight in the British Army in Middle East and on the western front. The war benefited the Indian economy when demands for Indian cotton and other raw materials rose rapidly, which led to an increase in employment. The Indians hoped that supporting the British government in the war against Germany would lead them to Home Rule. Indians were encouraged by the fact that they fought alongside the British as equals. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, this was unacceptable to the many Indians who had expected a reward for helping the British during the war. Violence increased as details of the reform increased. This was made worse when India was hit by the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1919-1920 and more than 13 million people died. The Rowlatts Acts were passed as a solution to the report given by the Rowlatt commission on how the British Government is losing control of the situation especially when the Defence of India Act was passed. The Acts enabled the Indian government to arrest and imprison trouble makers without trial and allowed judges to try offenders without a jury. The Acts were a serious mistake as they were opposed by all Indian members of the Imperial Legislative Council. The Acts made an impression that the promises made by Montagu - Chelmsford Reforms meant nothing. Just after World War 1 Indians were expecting a form of self government but the Acts suggested the British Government had no intention of leaving India. The Rowlatts Acts stirred up Indian opinion against the British. ?? ?? ?? ?? Uggy ...read more.

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