Critically Compare the British Rule in India to the French one in Algeria. Throughout the nineteenth century, the rivalling countries of Britain and France were both looking to expand into different continents and build a successful empire. There are many reasons for this thirst for expansion, including economic growth and territorial gains. According to Gildea the emergence of non-European countries such as United States and Japan as great powers fuelled the nationalistic appetite for the extension of borders and influence. The British rule in India; later coined the ‘British Raj’, began in 1858 and although coming under much strain in periods throughout, lasted until 1947 when they were finally given their independence. The French rule in Algeria spanned from 1830 to 1962 following the conclusion of the Algerian War and the signing of the Evian agreements. It is clear when examining both the rules of Great Britain in India and France in Algeria that there were significant differences in the ways the two countries were ran.
The French used military might to control the population and quell any uprisings; one instigator of such revolts was Abd al-Kader. These heavy handed tactics seemed to be less successful when compared to how the British reacted to Indian violence. Great Britain decided to grant concessions when faced by fierce opposition limiting the amount turmoil and essentially making it easier to diplomatically push western ideas upon them. France’s colonisation of Algeria was not the first time that they had tried to expand their borders and compete on a world stage with the other world powers, infact before looking to Africa France had the second largest empire in the world, second only to Great Britain. In 1605 France had secured a territory in what is now Nova Scotia in Canada.
One way in which British Rule did not help India was that they had a detrimental effect on Indian Trade. India at the time was a key producer of cotton but when the British came into power they also brought cheaper cotton from Britain. This meant that many cotton factories were being forced out of business by cheaper cotton abroad. In a sense the British were deindustrialising India. If British ...
Throughout the 17th century they had been highly successful in adding much of the North American continent, also the West Indies. However after a string of conflicts such the ‘Seven Years War (1756-1763)’ and the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) the other world powers had been successful in annexing these territories from France. The end of what has been labelled the ‘First French Empire’ was now coming to an end. In 1830 during a meeting between the French ambassador and the Algerian Dey regarding loans and trade the Dey struck the French ambassador with a fly whip. This act is said to be the final trigger cause which lead to the French occupation. However it is a wider known fact that there was a distinct lack of political support for the new monarchy and this act of war would help stir up national pride and increase confidence.
Whilst appearing on the front of it a petty reason for declaring war on a country and occupying it for 132 years, there are other motives behind the bold political decision to initiate a ‘Second French Empire’. Algeria was seen to be of high strategic significance as it offered a springboard into the rest of Africa, including such nations as Tunisia, Libya and Niger. Gildea agrees with this argument noting “Algeria, which it [France] occupied in 1830, was the cornerstone of her Mediterranean and African ambitions”. Therefore, by occupying Algeria and furthermore Congo and Niger in 1880 they had secured themselves once more as a successful Empire capable of competing in the world stage.
In 1869 the Suez Canal was officially opened for traffic, this narrow strip of water dissecting what is now Saudi Arabia on one side and Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, offered a significantly faster shipping route into the East. It also eradicated the need for trading ships to visit the perilous coastline of Cape Horn in South Africa where piracy was rife. This vital water passage was also utilised by the British in order to transport good to India. The East India Trading Company was founded in 1600 with the purpose of travelling to Asia in search of previously unsourced trading links. They operated under the authority of the British crown and even controlled a military force. They were responsible for directly trying to impose Western beliefs and cultures on India much too soon in the occupation and too forcefully.
French And Indian War In Pennsylvania By Louis M.Waddell & Bruce D. Bomberger Bomberger and Waddells book The French and Indian War in Pennsylvania, 1753-1763: Fortification and Struggle is one of the best works that describes the events of American colonial war between England and France. This book is equipped with numerous maps, photos and drawings and this doubles its value, as it allows ...
This lead to a largely hostile reception and in 1857 there was a large scale rebellion. The British had been religiously insensitive towards both the Hindu and Muslim populations. The British had issued new gunpowder cartridges which were believed to be greased using cow or pig fat. This practice would have been unacceptable by both the Hindu and Muslim sepoys, however it wasn’t just the Bengal Army who wished to be rid of the British; the Indian aristocracy had lost vast amounts of power and influence. Officials such as Sir Thomas Munro could see little use in “a parasitic land owning class” commenting on how preferential methods of governance would be village communities as “it fitted better with the europeanized and more efficient type of administration that had been built up during the nineteenth century” The British leant many lessons from the 1857 Rebellion, and as subsequently the British Raj was created. This is a far more sympathetic approach to ruling over India.
No longer did the British Government and the East India Trading Company underestimate the need to be culturally aware. This issue of religion and culture provides a distinction between the British methods in the India and the French methods in Algeria. In comparison the French continually used military force to repress uprisings. Abd al-Kader, as previously mentioned was an instigator of such uprisings, however after the French Army swelled in size it became possible for them to employ ‘scorched-earth’ tactics, ferociously supressing the local population, consequently al-Kader was forced to surrender in 1847 . In the late 19th Century France began emigrating large numbers of Europeans into Algeria, “By 1881 there were 300,000 Europeans (Half of them French) in an area of 2.5 million Arabs.”Another example of France trying to reduce Islamic culture comes from after the Second World War.
Culture literal meaning is what how you cultivate or build oneself. Cult or build in multi-directionally i.e in ethically socially even in all aspects of that lead human development. Every culture is enriched with some good and bad features. Indian culture is rich and diverse and as a result unique in its very own way. Our manners, way of communicating with one another, etc are one of the ...
Charles de Gaulle; the leader of the French provisional government offered to grant French citizenship to certain Algerian Muslims, however in doing so they would essential renounce their faith and religion. In India Britain used a ‘divide and rule’ policy in order to retain peace. Akhtar Sandhu suggests “the British adopted the policy to maintain harmony and peace. They valued unity and tranquillity in the British India.” These are the act of a “conqueror who decides to stay and rule”. It is clear that the British way of integrating Western culture within Indian society was more successful than the equivalent process involving the French in Algeria. This can be seen from the fact that within the upper classes of Indian society a new elite was being born.
These people had respected professions, such as “lawyers, doctors, teachers, journalists and businessmen”, they had “established a Western life-style using the English language and English schools” Outside the upper class Great Britain had introduced Western technology to help improve the livelihood of the population. The introduction of railways and the improvement of irrigation methods had improved both industrial and agricultural efficiency. In Algeria the French also brought about Western civilisation to some extent, creating schools and building cities as well as constructing hospitals, however they spent 162 years with almost constant violence.
Their eagerness to us military force to resolve issues lead to resentment from many Algerian nationals. In Conclusion, there were a number of similarities when looking at the resistance of the colonial occupation in both Algeria and India, however what differed is the reactions of the occupying country’s and how they learnt from their mistakes. The British at first tried to force Western ideals against the Hindu and Muslim Indians. However they quickly learnt that countering their revolts with over aggressive military action was counter-intuitive to their cause.
Instead they began to offer concessions in order to appease the nationals. The policy of divide and rule ensured there would be minimal friction between the multiplicities of religious beliefs. In contrast the French confronted violent upheaval with similarly vicious tactics such as the policy of ‘scorched-earth’ instead of pacifying the African ideals. However, both the French and British Empires did to differing extents manage to integrate Western technologies such as railways and modern irrigation methods. In addition both occupations were valuable building blocks in which to expand their empires; France into Africa and Great Britain into Asia.
Describe the different approaches used by M. K. Gandhi and Ho Chi Minh to rid their respective countries from the political control of Western nations. Explain how and why each was motivated to follow very different paths to the same goal. Mohandas Gandhi, born in 1869, was a man who saw himself as a moral teacher in the quest for religiosity and truth. He led the independence of India from the ...
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