8 frequently asked questions on Growth of the British Empire in India


1. State two causes why the British followed an expansionist policy in India.

With the treasury of Bengal in their hand after the acquisition of Diwani the English Company was now bent on acquiring territories in India.

Another factor that led to the expansionist policy was the increased military strength.


Particularly, the British soldiers brought in India during the Anglo-French struggle immensely increased the military strength so much needed for the conquest of territories in India.

2. On what plea did the British invade Mysore in 1790?

The British invaded Mysore in 1790, a time when the British had declared the policy of non-intervention in the Indian states.

Mysore was invaded by the British on the flimsy pretext of Haidar’s belligerent act upon Travancore and Coorg, the two allies of the English.


Thus began the third Anglo-Mysore War in 1790.

3. Mention two objectives of the Subsidiary Alliance.

The one objective of the Subsidiary Alliance was to expand the British dominion in India.

Another objective was to achieve this end by peaceful means. Hence native rulers were invited to accept the Subsidiary Alliance with the English.


4. What was the essence of the Doctrine of Lapse?

The Doctrine of Lapse was an instrument by which Lord Dalhousie wanted to expand the British dominion in India to its greatest extent.

This instrument of expansion did not involve any expenditure on account of military engagement.

Many native states were annexed to the British Empire when their rulers died without a natural heir.


5. When was the kingdom of Oudh annexed by the British and on what grounds?

Wellesley annexed the kingdom of Oudh in 1856.

The ground on which Oudh was annexed was misgovernment.

It must, however, be remembered that if there was any misgovernment in Oudh that was all due to the British interference.


And none but the British were to be held responsible for the so-called misgovernment.

6. Who was the architect of the tradition of Civil Service in India? When was the Fort William College established?

It was Lord Cornwallis who was the real founder of the Indian Civil Service.

The Fort William College was established in Calcutta in 1800 by Lord Wellesley the then Governor-General.

7. What is meant by the term ‘Rule of Law’?

The concept of the ‘Rule of Law’ meant the government would be run according to certain principles and it would abide by laws.

It also implied equality of all in the eye of law. It also implied that personal liberty of individuals would be protected.

8. After which battle did the British recruit soldiers from amongst the Indians? Who took the initiative first in this direction?

It was after the battle of Plassey that the British started recruiting soldiers from amongst the Indians.

The first initiative in the process of recruiting Indians in the army, who would fight on behalf of the foreign Company, was taken by the French.

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