Peccavi: Britains Assumption of Imperial Destiny in India

Ref: C3741631

We will study how British control of India resulted mainly from a series of events with unexpected consequences. From a relatively modest venture by the East India Company, British interests gradually expanded, and brought her into conflict first with France, a long-established rival, and then Russia, as the strategic importance of India was realised. Through agreements with local rulers, followed by control to protect British interests, India became a matter for Parliament in London. We will see how British law and institutions were embedded in Indian government - and Indian culture influenced Britain. Studying some contemporary sources, we will glimpse insights into British attitudes to India, its people, customs - and understand its value to Britain as a piece in the "Great Game" of 19th Century imperial diplomacy.

Course aim

The course will trace the marker points which led Britain from a trading adventure in India to become the19th century world's leading colonial power, responsible for the government of the whole subcontinent.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Name key events in the story of Britain's acquisition of control of the whole of India.
  • Identify some of the individuals involved in the transition from commerce to government.
  • Identify some of the social and personal problems faced by British in India.
  • Name some of the consequences of the British takeover of control, for India and for Britain.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • We will use some contemporary source material (handouts) and PowerPoint presentation. Class discussion is encouraged.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing in particular is needed. As we meet in the library, some resources there can be explored, including on the internet. Most students like to bring a notebook.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

Download full course outline

Peccavi: Britains Assumption of Imperial Destiny in India Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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