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 information sheet

Peccavi: Britains Assumption of Imperial Destiny in India


You can 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
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing