Imperialism practiced Vaishnavism (worship of the Hindu god

Imperialism is “the attempt of one country to control another country, especially by political and economic methods.” ( During the 1800s and early 1900s, Imperialism was the main source of income for the leading European powers, such as Britain, France, and Belgium.

Their disregard for the welfare of the locals they exploited while obtaining vast wealth set the stage for the colonies to revolt.Before the British Empire took over, India was ruled as the Mogul Empire. The Mogul Empire was established by the invasion of a Turkish prince. His grandson later took control of Afganistan and Northern India, and made it the Mogul Empire. The Mogul Empire was very rich and succesful for roughly two hundred years. However, its downfall was its political and economic decentralization, which facilitated entry for the British East India Company. (http://www.

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order now, India was taken over by Britain, known then as the British East India Company, in the 1750s. Originally, Britain wasn’t looking to create an empire in India. She saw all the resources in India, such as cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, and tea, and created the British East India Company to create a trade monopoly. After a conflict with the french branch of the company, Britain took over India. They ruled indirectly, meaning they ruled from overseas. (Desmond Kuah)Mahatma Gandhi devoted his life to protecting the rights of his fellow Indians.

He had a good heart, and he was a capable leader. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, in the state of Gujarat, India. His father was the dewan (high priest) of Porbandar, and his mother practiced Vaishnavism (worship of the Hindu god Vishnu), which was influenced by Jainism, an ascetic religion that focused on self-discipline.

( Gandhi was later given the salutation “Mahatma,”  by his followers. “Mahatma” means “supreme soul.

” A year before his death, Mahatma Gandhi secured India its independence from Britain. However, he was shot to death in Delhi, India in January of 1948 by a Hindu fundamentalist. (http://www.history.

com/topics/mahatma-gandhi)Gandhi was the right person at the right time to lead his revolution because of his experience in South Africa working negotiating with the “white men in charge”, a.k.a the British, and his passion for peaceful philosophies. ( Unlike other revolutionaries, such as Michael Collins of Ireland, Mahatma Gandhi used non-violent and peaceful philosophies to fight the violence of India’s oppressor. This was more effective than violence because less lives were lost than if violence took place.

After completing his law education at University College, Gandhi went to South Africa 1893. He was aware of the mistreatment and struggles of the people of color in South Africa, so he left his wife and newbornchild to go take on a case there. Dada Abdulla and Sons in South Africa needed a lawyer who could speak Gujarati to settle a dispute with someone who refused to pay the firm. Throughout this chapter of his life, Gandhi experienced a lot of not-so subtle racism from British agents, and other “white-men-in-charge.” The first of many incidents occurred at the courthouse with Abdulla, and the local magistrate told him to remove his turban.

Gandhi refused on the grounds that removing a turban was a sign of disrespect in India, and promptly exited the courthouse. Soon after, Gandhi had to travel to Pretoria for the court case and, despite having a first-class ticket, the conductor ordered him to move to a much less comfortable train car  because of the color of his skin. Gandhi refused because he had a valid ticket, and was forcibly removed from the train in Pietermaritzburg. He returned to India for a decade starting in 1896, and then returned to South Africa (discussed later in essay). (http://gandhi.southafrica.

net/)Later in life, Gandhi said his time in South Africa was “a most valuable experience in his life.” This affirmation further emphasized in his mind that his fellow people of-color in India and all colonies were in need of many more rights. This experience in law helped Gandhi learn how to peacefully–yet effectively–protest for the rights of others. Thus, his experiences in South Africa helped him to become the right person at the right time to lead his revolution. Here is a map for reference for where Gandhi was in South Africa:


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