The British Empire

In 1900 the British Empire included about 25% of the world and its population. In had developed for many different reasons: trade, military security, the desire to control now lands. The lands were Australia, Canada, East Africa, Ireland, New Zeland, South Africa, South-East Asia, United States, West Africa, West Indies and India. The East India Company bagan trading in India in the early 17 th century and Gradually increased its influence. The British government then took over control of the India sub-continent until 1947 when India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) became independent.
Mohandas Gandhi was born in India in 1869. he went to London to study law and after his degree went to work in South Africa. Gandhi became involved in civil rights and developed his theory of Satyagraha: nonviolent protest. He encouraged people to boycott British goods and institutions in protest against British rule. He encouraged all Indians, rich and poor, to wear only Indian clothes made from Indian cloth, and involved women in the independence movement by asking them to spend time each day making homemade clothes in order to boycott imported ones. In 1930 he led the Salt March, in protest against the taxes the people had to pay on salt they should have been able to get for free. He was arrested once more, but his message had reached millions of Indians. Gandhi started the “Quit India” campaign in order to get the British to leave the country. In 1947 India was made independent but was divided into the two countries of India (with a Hindu majority) and Pakistan (with a Muslim majority). He was assassinated in 1948 by an extremist. Gandhi was voted “Greatest person of the millennium”.

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