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India: The jewel in the crown

Imperial Episodes: At its apogee in 1921, the British Empire was the largest the world had ever known.

The loss of the American colonies in 1783 deprived Great Britain of what was seen as the jewel of the Empire, and heralded the end of the First British Empire. But India soon came to replace North America as the jewel. This lecture will look at the first inroads by the East India Company, at the conquest of India from France and from the Indians themselves, and at the unusual way in which it was governed.


Professor Kathleen Burk | talks | www


Date and Time:

10 October 2005 at 6:00 pm


1 hour



Gresham College
Barnard's Inn Hall
+44 20 78 31 05 75

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Jewel of the crown?

Posted at 12:32 AM on 2 September, 2010 by

Annexation of the Indian subcontinent helped Britain to recruit and deploy a huge army (Imperial army of India) which was of great service to the crown untill the battle of Al-alameen that finished off the German army.
India was a great labour bank - a huge illiterate & subservient population that was transported as workers/farm labourers/coolies in all the British colonies (South Africa, Rhodesia, Keniya, Fiji, Mauritius, Srilanka, West-Indies, Malasia.. etc)
In the 1920's when the empire was at it's zenith,the contribution of the sub-continent in that glory was so huge; hence the remark - 'Jewel of the crown'


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