History of Modern India
This topic deals with ‘the history of modern India’. The history of ‘how the western countries, like any trader, came over here and finally became its ruler’. The history of, truly unforgettable, ‘India’s great freedom struggle’ and the history of “transformation from ‘India’ to ‘the India’”.
The modern history of India is actually a part of the modern world history. The modern India is the result of western contact and the western influence. The pace of change in ancient and medieval period was too slow but the speed of change in modern period was really fast.
There was trade relation between India and western countries since time immemorial. After the attack of ‘Alexander’ and from the time of Mauryas, there was increase in the western trade. In medieval period this trade happened through Arab traders. In 1498a.d, Vasco-di-Gama, a Portuguese, founded India. For around 100 years there was monopoly of Portuguese over European trade.
In 1526a.d, Babur established Mughal Empire in India. In 17th century, many other European countries established their trade relation with India. The trade was mainly of spices, silk, cotton clothes, pearls, perfumes, velvet and precious stones from India in exchange of gold and silvers from western countries. In 1707a.d, the Mughal ruler, Aurangzeb died. After his death the Mughal Empire, which was the central power that time, grew weak. And due to this weakness of central power, in 18th century, our country got divided into many small parts. Among them, many provinces started ruling independently. In 1720a.d, Md. Shah became the baadshah of Delhi. Md.Shah remained as the baadshah for 29 years, till 1748a.d. During his period also the division of Mughal Empire continued. Gradually in India many partial-independent states came into existence which were just formally under the Mughal rule. For the expansion of their state boundaries, the kings of the respective states fought among each other. Due to the weakness of central power, the property as well as the life of people became unsafe. This period of India’s history is known as ‘the changing period’ or
The European trading companies took advantage of this opportunity and they started interfering in Indian politics. Among these traders, the English traders, who had come from England, got success in establishing their rule in India.
After the establishment of British political power in India we came in close contact with them. The spread of English education, English science & technology and the contact with English culture, influenced every aspect of our life. The process of this change started after the mid of the 18th century. Thus 1757a.d is considered as the beginning of the modern India. The meaning of the modern means = present.
We are not in close contact with the happenings of Ancient as well as Medieval Indian history. For the study of the happenings of these periods we take help of the sculptures, buildings, temples, mosques, books and the documents. But we are in much contact with the happenings of the modern Indian history.
ARRIVALS OF EUROPEANS IN INDIA
From ancient time there was trade relation between India and European countries. This trade took place between them through water as well as land route. After the attack of Alexander, the trade relation established between India and Greece. From western trade, the Indian traders were getting too much profit. In western countries there was great demand for Indian goods, especially Indian clothes, silk, spices, perfumes, pearls and precious stones.
In medieval period Arabs were having the monopoly over the Indian sea trade. They were the link between western and eastern countries. But Europeans wished to trade directly with the eastern countries. India’s vast heritage was the main attraction point for them.
A) ARRIVAL OF PORTUGUESE
Portugal is a European country. The main source of income for them at that time was fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. In the search of fishes they traveled long in the sea. Thus they were having the good knowledge of sea route. And thus under the keen eye of Portugal power geographical inventions started. After Portugal, Spain came in this field. The main objective of these countries was to reach India through sea route. In 1492a.d, Columbus of Spain started his journey to reach India but he reached America (in 1494a.d). The first who reached India were Portuguese. Vasco-di-Gama, a Portuguese, reached India on 27th may, 1498a.d. He reached India at Kaulikat near Malabar port. The route from which he reached India is known as ‘The cape route’. The king of Kalikat welcomed him with open heart and allowed Portugal to trade. They took with them back the Indian goods and earned a profit of more than 60%. In 1502a.d Vasco-di-Gama again came to India and established his factory in kannaur. Till 1505a.d, the Portuguese reached the western coast of India. And this way Portuguese overruled the sea trade of India. They wanted to establish the Portugal rule in India. In1510a.d, they defeated the Sultan of Bijapur and conquered Goa and made Goa as the capital of Portuguese Empire. Before this conquest they were just the traders, but afterwards they became the political power.
B) ARRIVAL OF DUTCH
Portuguese had tried to establish their Empire in India, but they didn’t succeed. They were not in position to challenge the Mughal power. After Portuguese, Dutch came to India. Earlier they used to purchase goods from Portuguese but in 1602a.d, they established ‘United Dutch East India Company’ to trade with eastern countries directly. In India they established their colonies at many places like Surat, Patna, Cochin, Ahmadabad, Agra etc. But their influence ended till 1759a.d.
C) ARRIVAL OF BRITISH
To be Continued…..