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FIF 209 Britain and India: The East India Company

Course Description

How did the British become the paramount power on the Indian subcontinent in what is now India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh? How did a trading company evolve into an imperial power? From the mid-18th to the mid-19th century, the massive empire was ostensibly ruled by the East India Company, a monopoly, which had been granted in 1600 by Queen Elizabeth I. Examine the mercantile, political and military influences that the company brought to the cultural, societal, political and geographical milieu of the subcontinent. Discuss events prior to the 1857 Indian ‘Mutiny’ through to 1858 when Queen Victoria and the British parliament formally assumed direct government of India. Topics include: geography and demography, India and orientalism, decline of the Mughal Empire, creation of the Company Raj, colonial rule and Indian society, implications of British social and economic policy, Sati and Thagi, the Indian ‘mutiny’ of 1857-1858, and post-rebellion India.


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