Title

Power Dynamics and the East India Company

Presenter Information

Eric GrayFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

History

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Kathy Callahan

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

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 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.

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Power Dynamics and the East India Company

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 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.