How Long Did The British Rule India (And Why)?

How Long Did The British Rule India (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Approximately 100 Years

The British rule over India, or also known as the British raj was the rule of the British government over India. During the period of British rule, Britishers used India and Indians for their empowerment. As Indian men were made to join the British military and fight for them, Indian land was used to set up British companies and factories.

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How Long Did The British Rule India?

Timeline of British rule over IndiaTime
Initiation of British rule1858
End of British Rule1947

British rule began over India in the year 1858. However, by this time the British had not ruled over India completely, instead, the first instance was the rule of the British over the East India Company. The British government had taken over the legal rights and the authorities over the East India Company.

In 1857, the sepoy mutiny was another instance that made the British government hold its roots, even more, stronger over India. In this instance, the Indians were given long-term jails, and even life imprisonment, or they were sent to some other corners of the world if they did not bite cartridges that were greased with cow lard and pig lard.

A Series of instances happened since then which made the British rule stronger and even stronger over India, and ultimately the British government ruled over India for 100 long years.

However, 1944 to 1946 was the time when the British rule over India got weakened and ultimately led to India’s freedom. There were several different reasons which made the British lose its powers over India and the other captured territories as well.

In 1947, the British government promised freedom to India and also declared the land separation as demanded by the two political parties of India, the Congress, and the Muslim league. 

Why Did The British Rule India For That Long?

Several different instances happened during the span of British rule over India. Some of those made the British government have better control over India, while on the other hand, some of the instances made the British government lose its power over India.

Some of the major instances which made the British government have stronger control over India were control over East India Company, sepoy mutiny, direct British governance rule, and more. However, the major instance was when the British government applied the divide and rule action.

Divide and rule policy was first introduced by Lord Minto. He believed that India could easily be ruled over if Britishers would break the unity of Indian citizens and divide them. 

The divide and rule policy of Britishers led its actions as expected. As a result, the Indians became easier to be ruled over which ultimately led to the increased power of the Britishers.

The two major instances which made the British government lose its control over India were, firstly the condition of the British government after the second world war, and the pressure of the two political parties of India over the British government.

By the time of 1944, the British government was under huge loans taken from the United States to fight the second world war. Though the British government had won the second world war, it was under debt of nearly 4.33 billion US dollars. 

Moreover, by that time the United States and the Soviet Union were the two different nations that were the most powerful in the world. As a result, the United Nations was forcing and ultimately threatening the British government to pay its loan. This resulted in the British government losing its powers and holding over its territories.

Apart from this, the two political parties of India, that were, congress and the Muslim league were forcing the British government to separate land. This also made a major contribution to the British government losing its powers.


British India was divided majorly into two nations, that was, India and Pakistan, and India. However, Bangladesh was also a nation that later got separated from the land of India. Pakistan was declared as a separate free nation on August 14, 1947. While on the other hand, India was declared as another secular nation, free from British rule on August 15, 1947.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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