Imperialism: Great Britain

Carter Harrison, Courtney Lombardo, Sabrine Alsalih


imperialism: is the policy in which a country extends its power and influence through diplomacy or a military force.

sepoys: Indian soldiers that regulated the East India Company’s efforts both in London and in India.

Sepoy Mutiny: The uprising spread over much of northern India.

Raj: The part of India that was under direct British rule was called the Raj. The term Raj referred to British rule over India from 1757 until 1947.

Ram Mohun Roy: a modern-thinking, well- educated Indian, began a campaign to move India away from traditional practices and ideas. Sometimes called the “Father of Modern India,” Ram Mohun Roy saw arranged child marriages and the rigid caste separation as parts of religious life that needed to be changed. He believed that if the practices were not changed, India would continue to be controlled by outsiders. Roy’s writings inspired other Indian reformers to call for adoption of Western ways. Roy also founded a social reform movement that worked for change in India.

Four Important Laws/Treaties/Events

The British restricted Indian-owned industries, such as cotton textiles. The emphasis on cash crops resulted in a loss of self-suffiancy for many villagers. The conversion to cash crops reduced food production, causing famines on the late 1800's.

The East India Company drove the expansion of the British Empire in Asia. The Company's army had first joined forces with the Royal Navy during the Seven Years' War, and the two continued to cooperate in arenas outside India.

Between 1815 and 1914, a period referred to as Britain's "imperial century" by some historians, around 10,000,000 square miles (26,000,000 km2) of territory and roughly 400 million people were added to the British Empire. Victory over Napoleon left Britain without any serious international rival, other than Russia in central Asia.

During the late 18th and early 19th centuries the British Crown began to assume an increasingly large role in the affairs of the Company. A series of Acts of Parliament were passed, including the Regulating Act of 1773, Pitt's India Act of 1784 and the Charter Act of 1813 which regulated the Company's affairs and established the sovereignty of the Crown over the territories that it had acquired.

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This painting depicts the forces of British Major General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis (1738-1805) (who was not himself present at the surrender), surrendering to French and American forces after the Siege of Yorktown (September 28 – October 19, 1781) during the American Revolutionary War. The United States government commissioned Trumbull to paint patriotic paintings, including this piece, for them in 1817, paying for the piece in 1820.


Why do you think there was such demand for African land during the imperialism of the British?

Does this act of imperialism relate to any other acts in the world?

What inventions do you think allowed easy communication between colonies?