British India 1858-1885 History of India 1919-1947

British India 1885-1918

In 1885 Indian patriots founded the CONGRESS PARTY. The British administration, however, spent little attention on her. The recruitment of Indian (Bengali, Tamil) COOLIES to work mines, railroad construction sites or plantations in other colonies of the British Empire, for instance Fiji or the Straits Settlements, continued. The British expanded the railway network of India. Famine, which occurred repeatedly, was blamed to the greed of grain merchants and the reluctance of the British administration to interfere by regulating prices in times of scarcity (Catholic Encyclopedia).
In 1885 UPPER BURMA was conquered in the THIRD ANGLO-BURMESE WAR; in 1886 it was annexed. In 1890 to 1893, territory on the border to AFGHANISTAN was annexed. With the Chinese Empire disintegrating, Britain regarded TIBET as British sphere of influence (from 1900 onward); in the ANGLO-RUSSIAN ENTENTE of 1907, southeastern Persia, adjacent to Baluchistan, was described as British sphere of influence.
Around 1900, British India consisted of 9 provinces : Madras, Bombay, Bengal, Eastern Bengal and Assam, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, the Punjab, Burma, Central Provinces and the North -- West Frontier Province. There were minor administrative units in addition to these : Coorg, Ajmere -- Marwara, British Baluchistan, and the Andaman Islands. The smaller protected states were grouped into AGENCIES such as the Rajputana, Kathiawar, Central India Agency.
In 1905 the province of Bengal was partitioned into West and East Bengal, a decision which would have far-reaching implications. In 1907, for the first time, a Muslim and a Hindu were appointed members of the COUNCIL OF INDIA. By 1910, the far majority of upper level positions in British India's administration (over 90 %) were held by Europeans.

In 1887 the UNIVERSITY OF ALLAHABAD was established, India's fifth institution of that kind.
In 1899, RUDYARD KIPLING published the poem THE WHITE MAN'S BURDEN, glorifying British colonial rule. In 1913, RABINDRANATH TAGORE was the first non-western author to be awarded the NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE; his works, written in Bengali, were based on Indian mythology and were anti-colonial in tone.
In 1912 British India introduced registration of motor vehicles.

"The White Man's Burden" and its critics, from Boondocksnet
Biography of Rabindranath Tagore, from About Bangladesh
Article India from Catholic Encyclopedia, from EB 1911
DOCUMENTS Article Ostindien (East India), from Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888-1890 edition, in German
News from India, in "The Great Round World and What is Going on in it", Vol.1 No.37, July 1897, Vol.1 No.38, July 1897, Vol.1 No.41, August 1897, Vol.1 No.44, September 1897, Vol.1 No.46, September 1897, Vol.1 No.47, September 1897, Vol.1 No.48, October 1897, Vol.1 No.49, October 1897, Vol.1 No.50, October 1897, Vol.1 No.53, November 1897, Vol.1 No.54, November 1897, Vol.1 No.56, December 1897, Vol.1 No.58, December 1897, posted by Gutenberg Library Online
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003
Robin J. Moore, Imperial India 1858-1914, in : Andrew Porter (ed.), The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol.III : The Nineteenth Century, Oxford : UP 1999, KMLA Lib.Sign. 909.0971241 O98o v.3
David Gilmore, Curzon, Imperial Statesman, NY : Farra, Straus and Giroux 1994, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 954.03 G488c
Article India, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1913, pp.603-622 (on events of 1912) [G]
Article : India and Dependencies, in : Statesman's Year Book 1895 pp.115-153, 1898 pp.115-153, 1901 pp.125-167, 1905 pp.131-174, 1910 pp.115-157, 1918 pp.112-160 [G]
Article : India, British, in : International Year Book 1898 pp.411-420, 1899 pp.428-431, 1900 pp.465-469 [G]
Article : India, British, in : New International Year Book 1907 pp.385-392, 1908 pp.346-353, 1909 pp.361-367, 1913 pp.347-354, 1914 pp.353-359, 1916 pp.324-328, 1918 pp.306-310 [G]
Article : India, in : Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events 1886 pp.435-439, 1894 pp.363-369, 1902 pp.332-341 [G]
Annie Besant, The Case for India (1917), posted online by Gutenberg Library Online
Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Forty-One Years in India (1897), posted by Gutenberg Library Online

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First posted on May 23rd 2002, last revised on September 15th 2008

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