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What did India mean to Great Britain in the Eighteenth century?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Tea: An essential exported good
  3. Visible shift in Britain's position with reference to India in the second half of the eighteenth century
  4. The expansion of British control or cultivation of land into the interior
  5. Agriculture as the employer of British subjects within India and Indian residents
  6. Keeping up with the quality of goods being produced in India
  7. The close of the eighteenth century
  8. Works cited

What began as an exercise of hubris, Great Britain's presence in India was strong and far-reaching. Via the East India Company, formally established in 1660, Indian trade patterns grew as the eighteenth century progressed. Through India, the British Empire expanded to become an all-permeating social, political and economic dominance. By the final decades of the eighteenth century, India's meaning to the British Empire was hardly a symbolic one. Great Britain had countless trade outposts within the subcontinent, and its economic stability was closely linked to the nations' trades within and because of its imperialism of India. India held great meaning for Britain in that it allowed the crown to expand, profit and stretch its political muscle. The two nations had a converse relationship.

[...] India produced millions of dollars worth of profit, shared by the British merchants and traders who were invested in its production.[4] There was a visible shift in Britain's position within and with reference to India in the second half of the eighteenth century. Following 1750, Britain, as spurred on by its merchants and government, saw that India could be an avenue for increased political dominance. Thus, the continent, which first served its very profitable purpose as a trading outpost, began to be developed as a colonized entity, as a result of British imperial ambition. [...]


[...] By the close of the eighteenth century, Indian's meaning to Great Britain had gradually changed from the form in which it was founded. Throughout the 1780s and 1790s, more acutely after General Hastings rule, which ended in 1785, there was a greater need to bring ?culture' to the people of India. Although not the initial goal of the British East India Company, those within and outside the country believed India could benefit from cultural reform, the country and its industries ?needed to be ?improved' by firm, benevolent foreign rule.[15]? To implement these changes a number of social reforms were first created. [...]


[...] ?Some Trends in European (Mainly British) Historiography of Modern India. Economic and Political Weekly. Vol No (Mar 1987), pp. 416-418. Marshall, Peter. British Presence in India in the 18th Century.? www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/east_india.shtml, pp. 6. Mitter, Partha. Early British Port Cities of India: Their Planning and Architecture Circa 1640-1757.? The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol No (Jun., 1986), pp. 95-114. Parthasarathi. Prasannan. ?Rethinking Wages and Competitiveness in the Eighteenth Century: Britain and South India.? Past and Present Society, Vol No (1998), pp. 79-109. [...]

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