British India: 1858-1918

Ref: C3742918

1858-1918 saw India (the Jewel in Britain's imperial crown) restored - and imperilled. In the aftermath of the Indian Mutiny, British colonial and military staff pursued a more conciliatory and diplomatic path, to control the vast territory under their command. a closer relationship developed with many princes, and a model colonial civil service, including Indians, transformed the efficiency of government - but also brought ambition for self-government to the educated classes. By 1914, divisions meant that many Indians fought for British victory, while others plotted the overthrow of the empire.

Course aim

The course aims to explore how the bitter aftermath of the Indian Mutiny was handled by the authorities and how by 1914 many Indians were willing to volunteer to fight for Britain in the First World War.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • this course is for students who wish to expand their knowledge and discuss evidence - anyone can join in!

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

  • Identify leading politicians involved in India's development in the period - British, Hindu, Muslim
  • Describe the relationship between the British Crown and its Indian subjects - personal, political
  • Describe changes in the management of India's people and princes between 1857 and 1914
  • Describe the impact of Britain's industrial strength on the sub-continent
  • identify how India and its culture impacted on British fashion, emotions and culture

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

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • an interest in researching the period through reading or the internet would be worthwhile

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?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

British India: 1858-1918


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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