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Overview

The process of international colonization and its effects--even centuries later--on the countries and peoples governed is one that is still debated in academic and public circles. And the British colonial model is the one most frequently used as a basis for these analyses.

Researchers in Asian and Indian studies, British colonial history, political science, and diplomatic history will find in this collection a wealth of resource materials to support studies of British business and military activities in India and Burma from 1600 through 1900. Selected from the India Office Records Library, the documents highlight the early trade of the famous East India Company, the role of the company in British empire-building, the Indian mutiny of 1858, and the subsequent period of crown sovereignty over Indian territory.

India Office Records also contains historical information about the men who shaped the British Empire in Asia, including:

 

  • Robert Clive, who became governor of Bengal in 1765 after securing the Bengal territory from the French and subjugating the native rulers
  • Warren Hastings, who ruled as governor general of Bengal from 1772-1785, and who preserved the Indian empire despite threats by Marathas and the rival French forces
  • Captain Henry Gurney, whose mission to Thailand opened Bangkok to Western traders

The collection features detailed and revealing documents that record the economic and political processes of ruling an empire halfway around the world. Included are diaries kept during the Indian mutiny, records of sales and delivery of goods in London, registers of exports, the correspondence of the British Administration in the Punjab, and rich accounts of British military campaigns and trading expeditions.

Libraries will find their students and researchers using this collection of materials extensively as it not only illuminates the British Empire in Asia, but also provides insight into Indian culture and history during this period.

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