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ICSE Notes 2018 : History and Civics-Growth of Nationalism (Bhagwanti Education Centre, Kanpur Nagar)

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Growth of Nationalism Factors Promoting the Growth of Nationalism in India The birth of nationalism was one of the most important phenomena which took place in nineteenth century India. Many factors contributed to the rise of nationalism in India. These were Economic Exploitation The main aim of British policies in India was to promote their own trade interests. They exploited the Indian economy to such an extent that India became one of the poorest countries within two centuries of British rule. The following sections of Indian society were impacted by British policies: Peasants: The government levied high taxes on land. The revenues were generally not reduced even during droughts and floods. This deteriorated the conditions of the Indian peasantry. Artisans and Craftsmen: By following the policy of Free Trade , the British destroyed the Indian textile and handicraft industries. While no import duties were levied on British goods entering India, high duties were imposed on Indian goods entering Britain. This policy ruined the income for artisans and craftsmen. Working Class: The establishment of industries gave rise to the working class in India. The working class was exploited by factory owners who were generally Englishmen. Extremely low salaries were paid to factory workers. Educated Indians: The educated Indians were not appointed to high posts. High posts in civil and military services were only reserved for the British. Their chances of promotion were also weak. As a result, the educated Indians began to feel alienated by the British. Repressive Colonial Policies Repressive policies followed by the British fuelled nationalism among the Indians. These were A grand durbar was organised by Lord Lytton in Delhi in 1877 to proclaim Queen Victoria as the Empress of India. A great famine also broke out in Bengal at this time. While million of rupees were spent on the grand durbar, nothing was done to help Indians suffering from famine. The Vernacular Press Act which was passed in 1878 by Lord Lytton empowered the government to confiscate newspapers if they print anything against the British government. This Act was later repealed by Lord Ripon. In 1878, the Arms Act was passed by the British government. According to this Act, no Indian could possess weapons without a valid licence. However, the Europeans and Anglo Indians were allowed to keep arms without a licence. This caused resentment among the Indians. The maximum age limit for appearing for the Indian Civil Service Examination was reduced from 21 years to 19 years, making it difficult for Indians to compete in the exams. The removal of import duties on British goods harmed the interests of Indian industries. The Ilbert Bill was passed in 1883 by Lord Ripon. This Bill sought to create political equality by vesting Indian judges with the power to try European or British citizens residing

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