42 reasons WHY we should JOIN the EU: India


(See also,) Asian Politics in Britain on ’43 reasons WHY we should join the EU: Asian Politics in Britain’ available on:


(See also,) Indian Council’s Act (1909), available on: tbc

(See also,) Government of India Act (1919), available on: tbc

‘From about 1900, and particularly after 1919, Indian affairs impinged continually on British politics. Increasing nationalist protests, mainly centred on the Congress Party, alongside growing economic and military weakness, forced British politicians to concede to Indians more say in India’s constitutional development. Concessions were made in order to encourage moderates and undermine nationalists. The Indian Council’s Act of 1909 gave Indians greater access to both local and central governments, whilst the Government of India Act of 1919 went further and introduced a dual system of local government (or dyarchy) in which the provincial governors and the mostly elected legislatures dealt with separate matters. These measures were undermined by the massacres in Amritsar in 1919. The following year, General Dyer’s actions were debated heatedly in Parliament during which the whole nature of Britain’s rule in India was discussed. Although Dyer’s removal from India was upheld, nationalist protests increased.

British attempts to find an acceptable system of government for India, first through an investigative parliamentary commission under Sir John Simon, 1927-9, and then the Round Table conferences (1930-2) failed. Consequently, in 1935 the National Government introduced its own Government of India Bill, which met with sustained opposition, particularly from Winston Churchill, who with others in the India Defence League felt Britain was surrendering India and betraying Indian princes who had been British allies. Basically, the Act gave the provinces full autonomy, thus ending provincial dyarchy.

In 1942, following the loss of Malaya and Burma to the Japanese, Sir Stafford Cripps failed to gain nationalist support for Britain with the promise of dominion status after the war. Instead, Congress called on Britain to ‘quit India’, forcing the British to imprison Ghandi and the Congress leadership unit near the war’s end. However, the Attlee government was committed to Indian independence and in 1946, a cabinet mission which included Cripps went to India in an attempt to find a solution: it failed. In 1947, a settlement was achieved by partitioning the country into the separate states of India and Pakistan, after Mountbatten was appointed viceroy with far-reaching powers. By then, Britains withdrawal from both was considered inevitable’.

(See also,) ‘The Expansion of England’ on ’41 reasons WHY we should JOIN the EU: ‘The Expansion of England’, (1883), From, Sir John Seeley’ available on:


(See also,) *Imperial Preference on ’44 reasons WHY we should JOIN the EU: *Imperial Preference’ available on:


(See also,) *Import Duties Act on ’47 reasons WHY we should JOIN the EU: *Import Duties Act’ available on:



From, John Ramsden, Professor of Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London.

References: Judith M. Brown, ‘Modern India: The Origins of as Asian Democracy’, Oxford, 1994.

References: Lawrence James, ‘Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India’, London, 1998.

Photo from,  Goodnet.org


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