Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Gray, Eric, A People So Different from Themselves: British Attitudes Towards India and the Power Dynamics of the East India Company. Master of Arts (History), April, 2019, Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky.

Today, many characteristics of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century British Raj are well ingrained in the public consciousness, particularly Victorian Era Britons’ general disdain for numerous aspects of the many cultures found on the Indian Subcontinent. Moreover, while many characteristics of the preceding East India Company’s rule in India were no less exploitative of Indian peoples, evidence shows a much different relationship between British and Indian cultures during the East India Company’s hegemony over India than those of the later Raj. Prior to the nineteenth century, many Britons, both those who traveled to India and those who did not, appeared to hold relatively positives views on the “advancement” or “level of civilization” possessed by Indian cultures. During that period, Indians still retained significant political and economic power within India. Thus, the British during Company rule did not hold a dominant enough position over India to be as outwardly dismissive and contemptuous of Indians as did the British during the Raj. Power, or the relative lack thereof, played a critical role in how Britons perceived Indians and interacted with them.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Thesis Advisor

David Pizzo

Committee Chair

Kathy Callahan

Committee Member

David Pizzo

Committee Member

Taufiq Rashid

Document Type