British Raj: The Economic Benefits of Imperialism

As a colony of Great Britain, the British Raj received many western capital investments and ideas, which shaped society.  The British ruled the Indian Peninsula in a manner in which that industry and enterprise were able to expand and the colony could adapt to the global economy.  Benefits from British influence included creation of canals, commercialization of agriculture, and improvements to infrastructure.  These changes created a new way of life for Indians and is evident throughout society.

In this photo, boys can be seen sailing through a canal.  This canal was a result of the proliferation of irrigation within the British Raj.  These canals led way for increased food security, as seen by the use of a fishing boat.  Additionally, traveling was made easier by way of canals, as more direct routes were created.  Overall, agriculture, travel and even leisure was improved through the creation of new canals in the Raj.

Here, a relatively-new appearing road is displayed and seems to go on for a long distance.  This road was most likely the product of the British’s improvements to infrastructure in the Raj.  After the Mughal Empire, roads were in poor condition and did not fit the needs of such a large population.  The newly created roads not only helped wheeled-vehicle travel become more popular, but also made transportation much easier.


In this photo, a large amount of people are gathered near a waterfront.  This area appears to be a port, as several boats can be seen near a dock.  This could have allowed for travel, as well as a channel for trade to commence.  Several factories can be seen in the background as well, which were a result of increased industrialization in India during this time.  British influence on the economy of the peninsula is well displayed here.

SC01197572.jpgSeveral people can again be seen in this image, but this time they are gathered in an open field.  This field may have been used for public meetings, but also for the commerce.  Two men are pictured with large piles of grain, which means they most likely intend to sell it for a profit.  British influence is once again evident, as Indians are engaging in sales of an improved agricultural system.


This scene depicts a building far in the background of a large field.  This field is similar to the earlier one, and was used for public meetings.  The buildings are both large and appear complex in detail from the exterior.  Both were products of British influence and have a western style.  Creation of these buildings was possible due to capital investments from Britain, and shows how India benefitted from its rule.


This image shows a woman washing her clothes in a small lake.  Behind her, there are several other clothes hanging to dry above the lake.  This lake was most likely created because of British influence and investment into the Raj.  The women is clearly benefitting, as cleaning has become easier for her.


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