Indian History

Things that changed and continued during the time of the Mughal Empire, the Company Raj and the British Raj. By Ellie Perry 9L


Mughal Empire

1500 - 1857

The Mugha Emire was very diverse. It had Sikh lordships, Hindu Rajputs and the Marathas all in different parts India. The Mughals grew their empire by using powerful armies, invading new territories and forming alliances. They had very clever tactics when it came to fighting local rulers. They gave them two options, stay and fight which would ultimately result in his death, or give his land over and rule under Mughal rulers.

British East India Company

1600 - 1874

The British East Indian Company was around for 274 years, it wasn't in power for the last 16 years though.

The British Raj

1848 - 1947

The British government took control away from the British East India Company and became the official government of India.

BEIC closes down


Government and Leadership

Emperor Akbar ruled

1556 - 1605

Emperor Akbar formed many alliances during his rule by using intermarriage. He would marry Rajput princesses to form an alliance with the Rajputs. He had about 30 wives.

Emperor Aurangzeb ruled

1658 - 1707

Emperor Aurangzeb was the last strong Mughal emperor. Many other emperors followed Aurangzeb but they had very short reigns.

New Ruler of Bengal


The British East Indian Company became the official ruler of Bengal. They were the official administrators and tax collectors of three provinces. They took over from the Mughals.

Docterine Lapse

1848 - 1856

The Docterine Lapse is used in India. This means that anytime an Indian ruler dies who does not have an heir, the power they had goes to the British.

Last Mughal Emperor


The last Mughal emperor, Bahdur Shah II, lasted until 1857, one year before the British Government took over India

British Government takes over India


The British Government takes over Indian, taking rule way from the British East India Company. Everything the The Company had control over and owned was handed over to the British government.

Laws and Rules

New legal system put in place


The Governor-General of the Indian territories put in a new legal system that was similar to the British legal system but was relevant for India. This legal system continued to be this way when the British ruled India.

Indian Civil Service


Under the British rule, a new civil service was put in place. It continued through the Company Raj and the British Raj. The civil service officers were supposed to be chosen on merit so anybody could get in but there was mostly British men working there.

Indian Civil Service Changed


Under the British Raj, the civil service was changed so you had to go to University to get into the system. Despite these changes, only 5% of the the Civil Service Officials were Indian.

Civil Service after Indian Independance


After India gained its independence, 50% the Civil Service was Indian.

Everyday Life

Family LIfe


During the Mughal Empire family was very important. The families made important decisions together like childrens careers and marriages. They all worked in similar jobs. When they dies they passed down land, belongings and social power to their children. The Indians continued to live like this under the British and Company Raj

New trading bases


The British East Indian Company came to Indian along with France Holland and Portugal. They got the right form the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, to set up trading basses. These basses turned into a major industry and cities started to grow around them. One of these cities is Calcutta which is still there today, it is know as 'Kolkata' though.

Change of Language


English was made the official language of India. Before this is was Persian.

Power and Influence

BEIC's growing power


The British East Indian Company was granted a large amount of power from the British. They could claim territory, mint money, keep an army, declare war, sign peace treaties and rule any area it conquered.

Marathas Fought for Independance

1681 - 1707

The Marathas fought for their Independence from the Mughals. The Marathas were a Hindu caste from Maharashtra.

Wealth Declining

1700 - 1710

The rising of other groups meant that the Mughal Empire was losing lots of money which led to more taxes for the peasants which meant most of the nation was very unhappy.

Marathas created their own Empire

1707 - 1818

The Marathas gained independence from the Mughal Empire and started their own empire. They increased their territory and they ended up having control over a large part of India.

Secured power


The British East India Company had secured power in India, taking control away from the Mughal Empire.

Old rulers reclaiming power


Old rulers from royal dynasty's began to reclaim power. Nawabs were also doing the same thing. The weakening Mughal empire meant that local rulers could expand their territory.

Battle of Plassey


The British East India Company fought in the battle of Plassey which was the beginning of their rise to power.

BEIC's monopoly on trade ends


The British Government ends the British East Indian Company's monopoly on trade in India.

BIEC is no longer a trading company


The British government make the British East India Company only the government of India and they can no longer trade there.


Hindu and Muslim Laws


When the Governor-General put the new legal system in place, he also put in a set of laws for the Hindus and a set of laws for the Muslims. These laws were based on the 'ancient' laws' of each religion.

Sati is banned


The practice of Sati is when a man dies and is cremated, his wife must jump into the flames and burn herself to death. Both the Indians and British wanted this religious custom banned.


Collective land use


Under the Mughal Empire, many Indian societies had land that was collectively owned and used. Zamindars, officials, would collect taxes from peasants and let them farm the land in return.

Tea Trade


India had no tea trade before the British came.

Main Exports


India's biggest export was hand woven fabric made from cotton grown in India.

Selling Opium


The British East India Company started selling Opium to China. Opium is an ingredient in morphine and herion so many chinese became addicted to it. It contributed to up to 20% of the company's income.

Industrial Revolution


The Industrial Revolution meant than machines were making fabric from cotton and selling them for a much lower price than Indian hand-woven fabric. India needed something to export, so they started exporting raw materials like cotton, jute, tea, opium, wheat and tobacco.

Private land ownership


The government got rid of collective land use and introduced private land ownership. They gave zamindars private property in return for them collecting more taxes. Many zamindars had to sell their land but those with more wealth could pay for the taxes and keep their land which led to their wealth growing dramatically.

Developing Tea Trade


Wild tea plants grew in the Assam province and so the British East Indian Company developed the commercial production of Assam tea.

Smuggling tea plant into India


A Scottish botanist, Robert Fortune, travelled into China and snuck 20,000 tea plants into India.

Leading Tea Production


India's tea industry expanded greatly and Britain began buying more tea from India than China. Assam became the leading tea producing region in the world. India was the largest producer and consumer of tea.


First Railway


The First Indian Railway opened in 1851. Many British investors put large amounts of money into the railway and it continued to grow.

First Cable telegraph system

1851 - 1856

The first cable telegraph system in India was installed which meant telegraph operators in major cities could communicate with each other.



The population of India was at 300 million, around 20,000 of those were Britons.

Underwater cable


An underwater cable was laid in the ocean between Britain and India, allowing instant communication.


1876 - 1878

The worst famine in Indian history. It caused 6 million people to die. The famine started from bad weather preventing crops frlom growing.

9000 miles of Railway


Because of all the money that British investors put into the Indian railway, by 1880 there was over 9000 miles of railway throughout India. The British also improved roads, built canals, steam ships and genrerally improved transportation of the country.

Bubonic Plague

1895 - 1896

The Bubonic Plague spread through many regions


1896 - 1897

The second worst famine in Indian History, which caused 5 million deaths. Because of India's increasing trade in cotton, there was lots of land being used up and not much left for growing food.



A census shows that there were around 294 million people living in India, and about 170,00 were Europeans.

Wireless Telegraphs


Messages could be sent along electromagnetic waves in the air using the Morse code.

Telephone Introduced


Telephones were introduced five years after the first wireless telegraphs. At first they were only available to the wealthy.


First official education policy

1828 - 1835

The Governor-General put in an official education policy based on Lord Thomas MacAuley's ideas.

Change in language used at schools


The language in he Education system was canged from Persian to English. This was to make a small 'class' of Indians who were educated in English who could spread western ideas and values around the country.

British Style Education System

1848 - 1856

The official education policy was expanded which meant that India started using the British school system. This involved Primary schools, High schools, Colleges and Universities.