During the 1800s and 1900s, Britain ruled India. It was perhaps the most important territory in the British Empire, since it was different from other parts of the Empire making it run in different ways from other areas of the Empire. Britain could not take over, since there were states of government which were as complex as Britain.
As Britain’s rule in India grew stronger during the 1800s, there was still only a small number of British soldiers and administrators there. To keep British rule functioning, Indian civil servants were made to do normal everyday things. As the century went on, there were many middle-class Indians speaking fluent English and working as administrators. But this was not enough, they showed this with protests saying that Indians should have some rule over their own country, as well as having higher levelled jobs.
Eventually, the Indian National Congress set out the idea in 1855. Unfortunately for the Indians, the British did not care. In London, they were thinking about giving India a small amount of rule to their country, but threw the idea away when they realized it could upset the British settlers. India was also too valuable for them, so they did not want to risk anything getting out of control.
These rejections did not stop India from protesting for what they wanted. In fact, it only made them more violent as some of the Indian nationalist began attacking guards when protesting was more common-at the end of the war. Indians payed for troops to be sent to fight in the Great War, hoping that such a sacrifice would change Britain’s mind, and let them rule their country.
In 1919, all the protesting seemed to have thrown a very unfortunate event on peaceful protesters at Armritsar. A big demonstration was taking place there, when the commander of British forces in the area General Dyer commanded his troops to charge at the protesters. 400 were killed and over a 1000 were injured. This swept India and Britain off their feet with horror. Dyer was retired, but not charged with any crimes. The British reacted at what happened in Armritsar with shock because of fear of the growing nationalist movement.
One of the leaders of the protests was a man named Gandhi, who was partly the cause for the change of British attitudes toward India during the 1920s and 1930s. Throughout theses years Britain gave out more and more things which would bring independence in India. Protests continued, and increased after the world war. India sent thousands of troops to fight for the British Empire during the world war. International opinion of was very hostile towards Britain.