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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.


Q1.The British conquest of India was accidental or intentional. Critically analyse.



The English East India Company was established in 1600, but in the early stages, its ambition to establish a base in India was unsuccessful until it acquired Bombay. The company then expanded its power until it could control most of the subcontinent by 1857. It was replaced by direct British rule after this date, although India remained a colony until 1947, when it became independent.

Events that support the theory of accidental conquest:

  1. Need of the raw material and selling markets due to the industrial revolution: –
    • The Industrial Revolution in Europe, specifically in Britain, increased the demand for raw materials to feed the hungry mills of Lancashire.
    • They also required a market to sell their finished products.

India provided such a platform to accomplish all their needs.

  1. Absence of a Strong and Efficient Emperor in India:
    • After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the Mughal empire disintegrated in the first half of 18 th century, which allowed the Britishers to grab political power.
    • The later Mughals were also not that much prudent. For example, farukshiyar gave them farman to the British East Indian company without considering the later consequences.
    • The local Indian states were so busy fighting war against each other that this also allowed the Britishers to interfere in Indian politics and military affairs. For example, a series of Carnatic wars.
  2. Reluctance to take power:

o British tried to keep the puppet Nawab as long as they could in Bengal. Their intention seemed to only gather as much revenue and tax benefit as they could initially and did not actually want to govern the territory.

Events that support the theory of preplanned conquest:

The desire to control the local resources, trade routes and economic monopolies persuaded the East India Company towards territorial conquest and war in the Indian subcontinent.

Everything You Need To Know About 18 July 2023 : Daily Answer Writing

  1. Diplomacy: The Britishers grabbed each one of these opportunities to become kingmakers first and even king later. For example, starting from the grant of Diwani rights, the war at Carnatic, and even indulging with the central power, they utilised all the circumstances wise fully. They even defeated the other European power with their diplomatic skills.
  2. Education: English education was introduced to boost the downward filtration theory. This system produced administrators who were Indians by birth but Britishers by heart.
  3. Subsidiary alliance: This was a trap of lord wessesly to grab the Indian states, which were not annexed by any other policies. for example, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Peshawa of Marthas and so on.
  4. The doctrine of lapse: lord Dalhousie used the doctrine of lapse and the charge of maladministration to annex some Indian states like Satara (1848), Awadh(1856), Jhansi and Nagpur (1854).
  5. Divide and rule policy: After the sepoy mutiny(1857), the crown rule was started in India. From now, the government started appeasing some sections and disbanding others, so a policy of Divide and rule was prevalent. For example, a separate electorate was given to a few communities. With this, they portrayed that they were open to reforms, but their actual motive was to rule India by dividing Indians.
  6. Global Colonial ambitions: Anglo-French rivalry to establish supremacy in India and America was one of the prime motivating factors.


After analysing the above events, we can say that at that time, circumstances somehow facilitated the Britishers to gain power in earlier stages, but in later phases, the British conquest of India was absolutely a preplanned event.

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