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History of modern india

The modern history of the world is said to have begun after the Middle Ages. After the Age of Reason and the Age of Enlightenment, historical events are said to have entered the modern period. This holds true especially for events after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The modern history of India is said to begin after 1850. There are some seminal periods of the modern history of India that shaped the consequent events that occurred long after these periods.

The Beginning of the Modern History of India

In 1857, there was a large scale rebellion of Indian soldiers against the British colonisers. There were several reasons behind this uprising. Some broad causes of the rebellion are as follows:

  • The gunpowder cartridges of the Enfield rifles had material that was incompatible with the religious practices of both Hindus and Muslims.
  • The long-standing dissatisfaction with the British taxation policies.
  • The racist tendencies of the British officers against their Indian troops.
  • The policy of land annexation practised by the Britishers.

The trigger point was the rebellion of the sepoy Mangal Pandey. After Mangal Pandey, soldiers all over the country started joining peasant armies forming in several districts in different parts of the country.

Consequences of the war of 1857:

  • All administration and government of India were transferred to the British Crown from the East India Company.
  • The British Crown controlled all the land of the East India Company.
  • As a result of the government being transferred, the British Crown held sway over most of the country because they had considerable influence in the princely states.

The British Raj (1858-1947)

After the 1857 rebellion, the British government started the colonisation of India in earnest. They built the railroads and irrigation system. The focus shifted to producing workers for the technologically advanced British empire, and some 60,000 Indians had enrolled by the end of 1890. 

Several political organisations were formed. The most prominent among these was the Indian National Congress, the All India Muslim League, and the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha. The latter two were openly influenced by a religious perspective in their politics. The Indian National Congress did not take part in socio-religious movements. 

Several periods of note occurred during the British Raj. Some of them are as follows:

  • The India Renaissance: There was a period of social reforms, predominantly in the Bengali region, focused on the treatment of women in the society, religious orthodoxies, caste, marriage, the dowry system. It is said to have begun with Raja Ram Mohan Roy and ended with Rabindranath Tagore.
  • Famines: India suffered through some of the worst famines of history under British rule. These were usually the result of a combination of natural factors and destructive and insensitive British policies.
  • World War I: Nearly one million Indian troops served the British empire during the First World War. Out of these, almost 74,000 lost their lives.
  • World War II: Almost two and a half million Indians were a part of the British war effort in World 
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