Colonialsim In India Essay, Research Paper
The term colonialism is often used interchangeable with imperialism, but colonialism – the conquest and dominance of indigenous people by a foreign nation – can be regarded as a special form of imperialism.1 In the writing of modern history, the usage of the terms imperialism and colonialism is linked to the development of political and economic power overseas, and to the formation of capitalism. Imperialism, in a broad definition can be defined as the superior economic and political power that a given state or territory has over another.2 The essential difference between Colonialism and Imperialism is that the latter implies political and economic influence in a given state or territory without direct political rule, whereas the former implies the direct political conquest and rule by the foreign power.3 Colonialism, therefore, can be defined as a direct result of imperial domination.
The direct economic and political power that the Indian continent experienced from British rule, can be divided into three different stages.4 The first stage was from the eighteenth century onwards, when the primary interest was to make the greatest profit out of the region (though economic and political domination was still evident). For example, in the eighteenth century the East India company entered the country as a trading company, and traded to make a profit out of the local revenue.5 It then bought what it needed, to in order to sell the required goods at the best market price offered throughout the world. The second phrase of colonialism was Industrial, was in the nineteenth century, when India became important to the English Industrial revolution when it became a source to supply the much needed raw materials, and also a source of labour.6 The final stage of colonialism, from the nineteenth century onwards, (by Marxist definition the finance phase) was where capital was invested into the region through banks and investors, and industries were also established. This final stage, was not so obviously as there was not a great deal of direct capital investment from London However, what was evident in the “finance stage” was the replying of profits generated in India back into the continent itself.7 Colonialism, in the case of India, began in the eighteenth century and continued to develop into the twentieth century, as the people who inhabited India were increasing dominated through the imperial state centered in England.
Even in the different stages of British there was one feature of Indian colonialism that stood out as a unique feature to India, that being the establishment of direct and economic and political power that was controlled through the imperial state centered in England.
For example, economic and political concerns between the two major’s cities in India, Bombay and Calcutta, was not direct between the cities, but rather between London and Calcutta and London and Bombay.8 Therefore, the direct political and economic power control came from a small English minority who ruled the country for two hundred years, rather than the number of European who were established in the continent itself. 9In sum, colonialism in India was most prominent – not through settlement by the British colonial master – but rather through direct economic and political control by a small elite minatory located some 12 thousand miles away in London.