The Chaos of Empire

Author: Jon Wilson
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781610392945
Release Date: 2016-10-25
Genre: History

The popular image of the British Raj-an era of efficient but officious governors, sycophantic local functionaries, doting amahs, blisteringly hot days and torrid nights-chronicled by Forster and Kipling is a glamorous, nostalgic, but entirely fictitious. In this dramatic revisionist history, Jon Wilson upends the carefully sanitized image of unity, order, and success to reveal an empire rooted far more in violence than in virtue, far more in chaos than in control. Through the lives of administrators, soldiers, and subjects-both British and Indian-The Chaos of Empire traces Britain's imperial rule from the East India Company's first transactions in the 1600s to Indian Independence in 1947. The Raj was the most public demonstration of a state's ability to project power far from home, and its perceived success was used to justify interventions around the world in the years that followed. But the Raj's institutions-from law courts to railway lines-were designed to protect British power without benefiting the people they ruled. This self-serving and careless governance resulted in an impoverished people and a stifled society, not a glorious Indian empire. Jon Wilson's new portrait of a much-mythologized era finally and convincingly proves that the story of benign British triumph was a carefully concocted fiction, here thoroughly and totally debunked.

The Chaos of Empire

Author: Jon Wilson
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9781610392945
Release Date: 2016-10-25
Genre: History

The popular image of the British Raj-an era of efficient but officious governors, sycophantic local functionaries, doting amahs, blisteringly hot days and torrid nights-chronicled by Forster and Kipling is a glamorous, nostalgic, but entirely fictitious. In this dramatic revisionist history, Jon Wilson upends the carefully sanitized image of unity, order, and success to reveal an empire rooted far more in violence than in virtue, far more in chaos than in control. Through the lives of administrators, soldiers, and subjects-both British and Indian-The Chaos of Empire traces Britain's imperial rule from the East India Company's first transactions in the 1600s to Indian Independence in 1947. The Raj was the most public demonstration of a state's ability to project power far from home, and its perceived success was used to justify interventions around the world in the years that followed. But the Raj's institutions-from law courts to railway lines-were designed to protect British power without benefiting the people they ruled. This self-serving and careless governance resulted in an impoverished people and a stifled society, not a glorious Indian empire. Jon Wilson's new portrait of a much-mythologized era finally and convincingly proves that the story of benign British triumph was a carefully concocted fiction, here thoroughly and totally debunked.

India Conquered

Author: Jon Wilson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781471101274
Release Date: 2016-08-25
Genre: History

For the century and a half before the Second World War, Britain dominated the Indian subcontinent. Britain’s East India Company ruled enclaves of land in South Asia for a century and a half before that. For these 300 years, conquerors and governors projected themselves as heroes and improvers. The British public were sold an image of British authority and virtue. But beneath the veneer of pomp and splendour, British rule in India was anxious, fragile and fostered chaos. Britain’s Indian empire was built by people who wanted to make enough money to live well back in Britain, to avoid humiliation and danger, to put their narrow professional expertise into practice. The institutions they created, from law courts to railway lines, were designed to protect British power without connecting with the people they ruled. The result was a precarious regime that provided Indian society with no leadership, and which oscillated between paranoid paralysis and occasional moments of extreme violence. The lack of affection between rulers and ruled finally caused the system’s collapse. But even after its demise, the Raj lives on in the false idea of the efficacy of centralized, authoritarian power. Indians responded to the peculiar nature of British power by doing things for themselves, creating organisations and movements that created an order and prosperity of its own. India Conquered revises the way we think about nation-building as much as empire, showing how many of the institutions that shaped twentieth century India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were built in response to British power. The result is an engaging story vital for anyone who wants to understand the history of empires and the origins of contemporary South Asian society.

The Chaos of Empire

Author: Jon Wilson
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1541767934
Release Date: 2018-03-06
Genre: History

A sweeping history of the conquest of India by the British, from the first faltering trading stations to the marbled imperial cities, emphasizing the violence of colonial rule and its chaotic inheritance. The popular image of the British Raj-an era of efficient but officious governors, sycophantic local functionaries, doting amahs, blisteringly hot days and torrid nights-chronicled by Forster and Kipling is a glamorous, nostalgic, but entirely fictitious. In this dramatic revisionist history, Jon Wilson upends the carefully sanitized image of unity, order, and success to reveal an empire rooted far more in violence than in virtue, far more in chaos than in control. Through the lives of administrators, soldiers, and subjects-both British and Indian-The Chaos of Empire traces Britain's imperial rule from the East India Company's first transactions in the 1600s to Indian Independence in 1947. The Raj was the most public demonstration of a state's ability to project power far from home, and its perceived success was used to justify interventions around the world in the years that followed. But the Raj's institutions-from law courts to railway lines-were designed to protect British power without benefiting the people they ruled. This self-serving and careless governance resulted in an impoverished people and a stifled society, not a glorious Indian empire. Jon Wilson's new portrait of a much-mythologized era finally and convincingly proves that the story of benign British triumph was a carefully concocted fiction, here thoroughly and totally debunked.

Raj

Author: Lawrence James
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0312263821
Release Date: 2000-08-12
Genre: History

Spring/Summer 2000

India Conquered

Author: Jon S. Wilson
Publisher:
ISBN: 1471101258
Release Date: 2016-08-25
Genre:

For the century and a half before the Second World War, Britain dominated the Indian subcontinent. Britain's East India Company ruled enclaves of land in South Asia for a century and a half before that. For these 300 years, conquerors and governors projected themselves as heroes and improvers. The British public were sold an image of British authority and virtue. But beneath the veneer of pomp and splendour, British rule in India was anxious, fragile and fostered chaos. Britain's Indian empire was built by people who wanted to make enough money to live well back in Britain, to avoid humiliation and danger, to put their narrow professional expertise into practice. The institutions they created, from law courts to railway lines, were designed to protect British power without connecting with the people they ruled. The result was a precarious regime that provided Indian society with no leadership, and which oscillated between paranoid paralysis and occasional moments of extreme violence. The lack of affection between rulers and ruled finally caused the system's collapse. But even after its demise, the Raj lives on in the false idea of the efficacy of centralized, authoritarian power. Indians responded to the peculiar nature of British power by doing things for themselves, creating organisations and movements that created an order and prosperity of its own. India Conquered revises the way we think about nation-building as much as empire, showing how many of the institutions that shaped twentieth century India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were built in response to British power. The result is an engaging story vital for anyone who wants to understand the history of empires and the origins of contemporary South Asian society.

India Conquered

Author: Jon Wilson
Publisher:
ISBN: 1471101266
Release Date: 2017-08-10
Genre:

'The core of the book is a virtuoso takedown of cherished shibboleths of Raj mythology' Financial Times 'A forceful reminder that Britain has its own messy past to come to terms with' Guardian In the nineteenth century, imperial India was at the centre of Britain's global power. But since its partition between India and Pakistan in 1947, the Raj has divided opinion: some celebrate its supposed role in creating much that is good in the modern world; others condemn it as the cause of continuing poverty. Today, the Raj lives on in faded images of Britain's former glory, a notion used now to sell goods in India as well as Europe. But its real character has been poorly understood. India Conquered is the first general history of British India for over twenty years, getting under the skin of empire to show how British rule really worked. Oscillating between paranoid paralysis and moments of extreme violence, it was beset by chaos and chronic weakness. Jon Wilson argues that this contradictory character was a consequence of the Raj's failure to create long-term relationships with Indian society and claims that these systemic problems still affect the world's largest democracy as it navigates the twenty-first century. 'This is a brave and long overdue riposte to Raj romanticists' John Keay

Battles of the Honourable East India Company

Author: M. S. Naravane
Publisher: APH Publishing
ISBN: 813130034X
Release Date: 2006-01-01
Genre: Great Britain

This book deals with all major battles of the East India Company, starting with the naval battle off the coast of swally (Suhali) in 1612 to the Second Sikh war and Annexation of the Punjab in 1849. The Afghan and Burma Wars and the Mutiny of 1857 are excluded. Chapter II deals with the Geographical Portrait and Climate of History of India in which the company operated. Chapter III traces the Evolution of the political and Military Ethos of the Company . Chapters IV to X describe the various battles - against the Portugues and the Dutch, against the Mughals, the French, the Marathas, Haidar and Tipu, the Gorkhas and the Sikhs. Chapter XI discusses the reasons why the Company triumphed.

India Under Colonial Rule 1700 1885

Author: Douglas M. Peers
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317882862
Release Date: 2013-11-05
Genre: History

Between 1700 and 1885 the British became the paramount power on the Indian subcontinent, their authority extending from Sri Lankain the south to the Himalayasin the north. It was a massive empire, inspiring both pride and anxiety amongst the British, and forcing change upon and disrupting the lives of its Indian subjects. Yet it is not simply a history of conquest and subjugation, or dominance and defeat: interaction and interdependency powerfully shaped the histories of all involved. The end result was a hybrid empire. India may have become by 1885 the jewel in the British crown, but by that same year a series of changes had occurred within Indian society that would set the foundations for the modern states of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This book provides a concise introduction to these dramatic changes.

Inglorious Empire

Author: Shashi Tharoor
Publisher: Penguin Press
ISBN: 0141987146
Release Date: 2018-02
Genre: Great Britain

The Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller on India's experience of British colonialism, by the internationally-acclaimed author and diplomat Shashi Tharoor 'Tharoor's impassioned polemic slices straight to the heart of the darkness that drives all empires ... laying bare the grim, and high, cost of the British Empire for its former subjects. An essential read' Financial Times In the eighteenth century, India's share of the world economy was as large as Europe's. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. The Empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalised racism, and caused millions to die from starvation. British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor takes demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial 'gift' - from the railways to the rule of law - was designed in Britain's interests alone. He goes on to show how Britain's Industrial Revolution was founded on India's deindustrialisation, and the destruction of its textile industry. In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor exposes to devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britain's stained Indian legacy.

India and the British Empire

Author: Douglas M. Peers
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192513526
Release Date: 2016-10-13
Genre: History

South Asian History has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance over the past thirty years. Its historians are not only producing new ways of thinking about the imperial impact and legacy on South Asia, but also helping to reshape the study of imperial history in general. The essays in this collection address a number of these important developments, delineating not only the complicated interplay between imperial rulers and their subjects in India, but also illuminating the economic, political, environmental, social, cultural, ideological, and intellectual contexts which informed, and were in turn informed by, these interactions. Particular attention is paid to a cluster of binary oppositions that have hitherto framed South Asian history, namely colonizer/colonized, imperialism/nationalism, and modernity/tradition, and how new analytical frameworks are emerging which enable us to think beyond the constraints imposed by these binaries. Closer attention to regional dynamics as well as to wider global forces has enriched our understanding of the history of South Asia within a wider imperial matrix. Previous impressions of all-powerful imperialism, with the capacity to reshape all before it, for good or ill, are rejected in favour of a much more nuanced image of imperialism in India that acknowledges the impact as well as the intentions of colonialism, but within a much more complicated historical landscape where other processes are at work.

Ideology and Empire in Eighteenth Century India

Author: Robert Travers
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139464161
Release Date: 2007-04-19
Genre: History

Robert Travers' analysis of British conquests in late eighteenth-century India shows how new ideas were formulated about the construction of empire. After the British East India Company conquered the vast province of Bengal, Britons confronted the apparent anomaly of a European trading company acting as an Indian ruler. Responding to a prolonged crisis of imperial legitimacy, British officials in Bengal tried to build their authority on the basis of an 'ancient constitution', supposedly discovered among the remnants of the declining Mughal Empire. In the search for an indigenous constitution, British political concepts were redeployed and redefined on the Indian frontier of empire, while stereotypes about 'oriental despotism' were challenged by the encounter with sophisticated Indian state forms. This highly original book uncovers a forgotten style of imperial state-building based on constitutional restoration, and in the process opens up new points of connection between British, imperial and South Asian history.

The Lion and the Tiger

Author: Denis Judd
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192805797
Release Date: 2005-03-24
Genre: History

How did a few thousand people from a small, windswept island in the northern seas end up ruling a far distant subcontinent with a population of millions? Were the British in India intent on development or exploitation? Were they really the 'civilizing' influence they claimed? And what were Britain's greatest legacies - democracy and the rule of law, or cricket and an efficient railway system? Best-selling historian Denis Judd tells the epic story of the British impact upon India, capturing the essence of what the Raj really meant both for the British and their Indian subjects.

The Poisoned Well

Author: Roger Hardy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190623203
Release Date: 2016-09-30
Genre: Middle East

The conflicts and crises of today's Middle East are rooted in the colonial era. To better understand them, we need to acknowledge how Western imperialism negatively shaped the region and its destiny in the half-century between World War I and the happenings of the Cold War. That is the challenging argument of The Poisoned Well, which provides a vivid account of the struggle against European colonial rule in ten states stretching from North Africa to south Arabia. Drawing on a rich cast of eye-witnesses - ranging from nationalists and colonial administrators to soldiers, spies, and courtesans - The Poisoned Well brings to life the story of the making of the Middle East, highlighting the great dramas of decolonization such as the end of the Palestine mandate, the Suez crisis, the Algerian war of independence, and the retreat from Aden. It argues that imperialism sowed the seeds of future conflict - and poisoned relations between the Middle East and the West. Bolstered by firsthand accounts and interviews, readers will find a wise and humanistic account of the struggle for independence in the Middle East. Written by a former BBC journalist, it is a far-ranging, landmark work that will serve as the definitive history of Western imperialism in the Middle East for years to come.