How Many Years Did The British Rule Over India?


9 Answers

Dipa Suresh Profile
Dipa Suresh answered
It was in the year 1600 that the British Queen of the time Queen Elizabeth I gave a Royal Charter to the East India Company of England to travel to the Eastern part of the world, in order to conduct trade with those countries.
Subsequently, the East India Company arrived in India in the year 1608, docking their ships at Surat, one of the popular ports of India at the time. After waging several power struggles with those foreign powers already in India, like for example the Portuguese, the British East India Company was able to quickly establish trading posts and factories in some of the major cities of India. Soon enough, by the end of the seventeenth century, the British had firmly established themselves on Indian soil, and had started ruling the people of the Indian Sub-Continent.
Indians started rebelling towards the English, and in 1857, the First Mutiny was launched, followed by several others, headed by Mahatma Gandhi and other great leaders, until the English could take it no longer and agreed to 'Quit India'. This happened in the year 1947, when India declared herself an independent nation. Therefore, the British ruled over India for 347 years.
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Anonymous commented
it is 147 years with optimistic guess, and around 90 years of authorative rule... for details read references and comment provided further below
Anonymous commented
1757 to 1947 = 190 years Bangladesh was ruled

Tipu Sultan defeated in 1790 - when Britain entered south india
Marathas signed treaty of Princely States in 1818.

1818 to 1947 = 147 years India ( minus Punjab ).

1857 to 1947 = 90 years India with Princely states agreement, with Queen of England influencing indian policies.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The answer given by dipasuresh, about how many years britain rules india is wrong. It was actually 339 years, he/she wrote 347. 1947 - 1608 = 339 years. History is important sorry but even the smallest mistake can cause big misunderstanding. But thank you dipasuresh you have helped me by giving me the answer text.
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Anonymous commented
this is not correct...
Please check in detail

1. From 1757 - when battle of plassy took place - british has only area of current bangladesh; to call india == bangladesh is joke.

from 1750 britain had bangladesh; before that they were just merchant requesting favours and signing treaties with local kings.

2. only in 1820, british got Maratha's (Marathas ruled 70% of current India upto 1802 definitely as I know) accept 'treaty' - by which Princely states will continue their own rules in return for some favours to East India company. British did not rule directly until 1857; only after 1857 - could british dictate terms to local laws and policy.

3. British did not rule Punjab until - 1849; So I would say -

Optimistically from 1818 (when british defeat Maratha) upto 1947; britain had significant part of india, about 147 years

Also bear in mind by 1920 (when ireland home rule influenced indian politicians to ask for home rule) britain already started discussing peaceful exit (this made some british section upset when Dyer killed 2000 innocent people mostly women in children, in Amritsar) - Otherwise Not much blood bath in india as part of British rulers already discussing with Gandhi - ways to part.

Obviously it would take 20 odd years for exit, to think all this happened in one day would be stupid.

Indians always maintained peaceful relations with britain-west despite of hostilities as Indian were much interested in picking modern techonologies and western sciences.
Anonymous commented
from wiki:

By the early 18th century, the British East India Company had three main stations Fort St. George in Madras, Fort William in Calcutta and Bombay Castle in western India

Map of british rule in 1757: src: british library - shows very cleary only bangladesh & and small strip in india.

Battle of 1818 when British got significant part of india (excluding Punjab)
Anonymous commented

In 1782 - British was requesting Maratha's - Not to go along with French. British also requested Marathas to defeat Tipu Sultan.

Company retained control of Salsette but all the territories occupied by the British after the treaty of Purandar were given back to the Marathas.

Salsette is small town.

This treaty continued until 1802. Wikipedia is heavily edited by biased people, you can refer British library for further references. Read only direct information Not opinions.
Lily James Profile
Lily James answered

The British Rule in India lasted for a very long time. It all started with the settlement of the  East India Company in the year 1612. East India Company was the key force behind colonization of countries around the world.

The East India Company established its trading posts and eventually started keeping its own military. However, the Mughal Empire declined in 1707 and the East India Company started taking over the affairs of the empire after Battle of Plassey in 1757.

The Britishers ruled the country then onwards till 14 August 1947, when Pakistan and India finally claimed Independence.
Sabin Pokharel Profile
Sabin Pokharel answered

It doesn't matter how many years British ruled over India- Anyway India was not having independence till 1947. And even now in 2014, India is fully influenced by British people, their laws. Even it's name India is not set out by itself. As a conclusion - India is not independent still and it will never be..

Dan Superdude Profile
Dan Superdude answered
The British left India in 1947 as part of a deal that was struck between the UK and the USA for the Americans support in WW2. The Americans were extremely reluctant to enter into the war in its early stages as they thought the Germans would be the likely victors. Franklin Roosevelt, the US President at the time contacted the Canadian PM, Mackenzie King and suggested that the US and Canada actually side with the Germans over Britain! The Canadians were so outraged at the suggestion that relations between the two great countries suffered as a direct result. After the Japanese attacks on the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour the US declared itself at war with Japan, but still not with Germany. It was actually Germany and Italy who declared war on the USA on 11th December 1941. Well, when I say Italy, it was actually Mussolini who declared war on the USA. Many Italians had family and friends living in the US and saw the country as a home from homes. In fact Sicilian resistance members actually fought against fascist elements in Italy and supported US ground troops when they landed on the island of Sicily.
So, Winston Churchill asked, begged and pleaded with Roosevelt for US military support, but little came. Some US naval and air force pilots, many of them Jewish, did voluntary join the RAF under the US flag and fought the Germans over the skies of Britain and Europe. It was not until  President Harry Truman  came into power that the Americans really stepped up their game in Europe. Truman was a man of vision, a man that saw the potential in the US and where this countries could stand in world affairs. He offered  the UK full support in the war, but with certain stipulations. Firstly the British had to give up their acquired empire. That meant, good bye to Indian, all of Africa and the far East such as Burma, Malaya, and Singapore as well as many Chinese territories and islands. Also the US knew that if they were to be number one then they would need superiority of the seas, so that meant that the Royal Navy had to go! The US ordered the British to deplete it once proud and fearsome naval fleet down to the bare minimum, post 1945 Britannia no longer ruled the waves. The Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto quote after the attacks on Pearl really summed up the new order of things to come, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
Without the military clout and with mounting pressure from the new post depression America, the sun finally started to set on the British Empire. After 300 years of influence in the India sub-continent the British packed their bags and bid a fond fair well to the people of India.
The end.
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Meta Forrest
Meta Forrest commented
Thank you for your long winded answer . We all know about the second world war, and that was not the question here .
Tony Newcastle
Tony Newcastle commented
You can name yourself honorary 'SUPERDUD' of the Blurtit year. Congratulations.
Anonymous commented
300 years is wrong number,

Before 1750 - british had adhoc posts and castles protected in treaty with Indian kings...

From 1757 - British had may be 5% of existing India.

from 1818 - britain had significant part of India - so really it is around 140 years max... (also Punjab was not with Britain until 1849 and in 1920 Britain already started discussing Indian Home rule)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Up to now nobody has ever written down in black and white on what date the british started ruling, it was certainly a gradual   process therefore, it can only be said only as over 300 years.
Steve Robinson Profile
Steve Robinson answered
Dan Superdude does not have a clue to what he is talking about.

Roosevelt fired Joe Kennedy (the  father of JFK, the future and 1st Catholic President of the US) for saying the US should leave England to its fate.  America shouldered the burden of the war in the Pacific while entering into a treaty with the UK called "The Lend / Lease Pact".  And, England was the ONLY Allied nation who actually paid the bills incurred from the war.
After the war ended, Mahatma Gandhi led the Indians in the march for independence, breaking India into 3 distinct parts, East and West Pakistan (primarily Muslim dominated) and India (primarily Hindu.)  The US NEVER told England to downsize it's fleet, or give up the Empire. 
But, after the war, England found it impossible to maintain everything like it was before the war due to the costs of rebuilding, paying back loans it had incurred from other Allied nations, and so gradually let their former colonies seek independence.
And, it could be said that Britain did rule most of India for about 200 years, but they fought the Sikhs in the 1840's, fought the entire country EXCEPT the Sikhs in the 1850's, and still won, even though they were heavily outnumbered in every battle they fought.
Check your facts, Superdude...
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Tony Newcastle
Tony Newcastle commented
Thanks, Steve, for putting the historical and factual record straight, and for putting 'Superdud' in his place-- at the bottom of the class.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
@ rohini137: That is in no way true. Of all the people in the world discriminated against, Africans and African-Americans have suffered the worse and the longest. Not only did they suffer almost 500 years of brutal slavery in America and Europe, many countries in Africa itself were under British rule until the early 60s. India was liberated in 1947. You also can't forget the discrimination against African-Americans in the United States as well. Indians DEFINITELY had it easier.
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joy dallas
joy dallas commented
Can't we just say that all "minorities" were discriminated against, oppressed. Enslaved, and basically screwed over somewaht equally. It's kinda weird to argue over who got the shortest stick-they were ALL short. One race or religion being oppressed longer than another does not make it any less painful.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My age is 29 but today (03-Sep-2010) only came to know that the British Ruled India for around 349 years..
Very shame to me at the same time thinking about our peoples who struggled for these 349 years.. Oh god..

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