India and South Asia 1837 CE

The British empire now dominates most of India, marking the most radical change in the long history of the subcontinent.

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What is happening in India and South Asia in 1837CE

The British East India Company

From its base in Bengal, the British East India Company – surely the most influential company in all world history – has extended its control across the sub-continent. It has defeated the powerful state of Mysore and the states of the Maratha confederacy in a series of hard-fought wars, and has brought many other principalities, including the key states of Hyderabad and Awadh, into its alliance system. The British have also expanded their power into Nepal (1814-16) and western Burma (1826). Through direct and indirect rule, therefore, the British East India Company now dominates most of the sub-continent.

Ranjit Singh and the Sikh empire

Meanwhile, the Panjab has come under the control of a remarkable ruler, Ranjit Singh (ruled 1799-1839). He has fused the various Sikh states into a unified empire, covering an area as large as a major European country such as France. He has maintained good relations with the British, and has introduced a high level of administrative efficiency across his domain. In military terms, his well-trained troops are armed with European-style weapons, and the British regard his forces as equal in quality to their own. His reign has brought peace and prosperity to the people of his empire.

Next map: India and South Asia, 1871 CE

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The British in India

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The British Raj in 1799  and the following maps

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