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How far did the replacement of the East India Company following the Mutiny of 1857 improve the way India was governed in the second half of the nineteenth century?

Looking at how the Indians lives changed and the way it was governed in the second half of the nineteenth century, one sees many benefits. Before the mutiny, many princes ruled their portion of India. Now, India was united as a country and there was more nationalism, therefore less quarrels and small battles. The improvement in the government led to many beneficial improvements for the Indians. Railways were created which enhanced transport and trade. Universities and better schooling was implemented which was by far better than before the mutiny. Due to these things, Indians learned how to trade due to the westerners. Due to all this building and expansion that was taking place, many jobs and opportunities to earn capital opened up for the Indians, which was very good for the society. The new set-up included the vice-roys, then the collectors, then the civil servants, and finally the Indian clerks, which was the highest position available for an Indian in the government. This new form of governing allowed the Indians some say in the way they were governed.

There was also a negative side to the change in the governing of India however. Before the mutiny the English parliament had already ordered the Englishmen in India to treat the Indians with equal rights and to respect their culture, showing that the governing was already fair before the mutiny. The bad thing about the replacement of the East India Company was the change in culture. Many different aspects of the Indians culture were ignored in the process of the restoration of the government and many different religious areas such as the suttee, were disregarded by the foreigners. The educational system had flaws as well, as it taught a lot about British history etc. that made the Indians question their culture. This newfound knowledge let the Indians know that they weren’t as well off as they thought they were, leaving them desperate for improvement. Even though there were more hospitals etc., not all the Indians could use the good services of these western ideas. During the East India Company’s years, the Indians were not allowed any real position in the government and had little to no say in any politics.

The major problem with the mutiny was the cultural aspect. During the mutiny and afterwards, India lost some of its long-living cultural aspects to let the western way of life be implemented. However, this western way of life was not all bad as it provided jobs and gave better transport and trade. Therefore, it seems that the replacement of the East India Company was good for India and the governing was better after the mutiny.

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The Chinese never truly accepted the western trade and ideas which were thrust upon them in the nineteenth century. How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer carefully.

There are many areas and facts which agree with this statement. For example, the emperor of China was against western influence/trade and even sent a letter to King George III of Britain to inform him that his gifts were appreciated but China was fine on its own and was more than satisfied with the products and merchandise they produced themselves. Most Chinese weren’t at first impressed by the western traders. The opium wars were a good example of how the Chinese did not accept the western trade. The Chinese government saw how bad Opium was for their country and banned it. The westerners however, continued their efforts which eventually led to a small battle which in turn led to a whole war. The Chinese did succumb at one point and gave the British Hong Kong, cash and the right to trade their opium at certain ports in China. “This provided a cultural foothold in China for western powers.”

The British wanted the Chinese to accept the idea that the British were equal to the Chinese, but the Chinese did not agree. The Chinese who were extremely against western technology broke railroads and machinery. Boxers, the extremists who started near the end of the nineteenth century were against Christianity and they even had the support of the empress of China. They were completely against the west and are a good example of how the Chinese did not want to accept western ideas.

There were ways in which the Chinese did accept the western trade and ideas as well however. Many countries had unsuccessfully tried to trade with China, but eventually, after England achieved Hong Kong etc., it seemed the local Chinese wanted the trade with the west (which seems to be due to the opium addictions etc.) Many Chinese flocked to the nearby areas such as the ports where the west could trade. There was even a movement, the self-strengthening movement which taught education and technology improvements from the west in china. Hung Hsiu-Chuan is another important example. He accepted Christianity and the ideas that the missionaries had implemented and tried to overpower the emperor. Millions of people accepted his ideas (originally western ideas) and it led to a civil war in which 0 million people died. In some areas they even destroyed some western technology.

The west was very demanding in it’s quest for trade with the Chinese. Although many of the public did indeed want to trade with the west, it seems it was mainly for the opium, a drug to which many had become addicted. Christianity was accepted quite widely after it had been used by missionaries for many years so it seems that the Chinese did eventually accept the ideas even though there were many struggles not to. (it seems that trade was never fully stopped by the Chinese as it was still widely accepted in China, but that Christianity was never really accepted as even today a small minority are Christians.)

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