What are the main causes of British success in India?


In less than a century, the British occupied a large part of India. The reason for the success of the British can be explained by a number of factors.

1. The Indian states lacked unity. Powerful states such as Punjab, Mysore and the Marathas failed to act unitedly against a common foreign enemy. All of them fell prey to the British policy of ‘Divide and Rule’. The British, on the other hand, were a united lot and under a unified command.

2. The Indian rulers failed to create a stable social, political and economic order. Most of them were short-sighted in the pursuit of their goals. They failed to win the loyalty of their subjects.


3. The badly-trained and poorly-paid Indian armies were no match for the disciplined and well-trained British forces.

4. The Indians were technologically backward whereas, the British had developed new techniques of warfare.

5. The British were strong at sea. None of the Indian states had a strong navy.

By the middle of the nineteenth century AD, the British had firmly established their position in India. A large part of the country was under direct British rule. The areas that remained independent were indirectly under British influence. India was subjugated politically as well as economically. The economic exploitation of India was a result of its political subjugation.

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