Essay on the Economic, Social and Cultural Policy of the British from 1757 AD to 1857 AD in India

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During hundred years between the Battle of Plassey (1757) and Great Revolt of 1857, India had to witness large scale political, economic, social and cultural changes under the East India Company.

On the other hand, the company emerged as the paramount power in India from a mere organization of trade and commerce. Its territorial possessions expanded rapidly from Bengal to all parts of India and came to Bengal known as the British Indian Empire. Its administrator was Governor in Bengal and became Governor General of India. Profit and loss being the primacy considerations, the company adopted cautious policy initially.

Such policies aimed at protection and promotion of the commercial interests of the company. From 1757 onwards the relation of the company with India could not Bengal confined to trade and commerce alone. With the occupation of Bengal, the company exercised political power and its relation with India took a major turn.

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The company, here after, used its political power to enhance profits in trade and commerce as well as to maintain Indian empire for the growth of British industry. For the company, a peaceful India was the profitable India. Therefore, the British exercised their political power to suppress all sorts of resistance and to maintain law and order.

This policy served the purpose of protecting and promoting the interests of the British trade and industry. Similarly, the social and cultural policies of the British transformed Indian society and culture in such a manner that it remained always responsible and favorable to the British interests.

Ultimately, the company rule in India succeeded to transform India into a colony of Britain and the India fulfilled the needs of British economy as the field of plentiful raw materials required for growing British industries and as open market for the British industries goods. The process of transformation was complete by 1857.

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