First published in 1952, imperialism is a regularly recurring historical phenomenon, calling for neither approval not condemnation in the abstract. A more profitable exercise is to consider particular imperialisms and assess their spirit and their achievements. From this premise Sir Percival Griffiths proceeds to examine the political, administrative and economic effects on India of British rule. Formerly a member of the Indian Civil Service, later the leader of the British representatives in the Indian Legislative Assembly and now closely connected with commerce and industry in India and Pakistan, he has the advantage of a three-sided approach. He was, moreover, playing an active part in Indian public affairs throughout the years leading to the transfer of power. In 1942 he declared that he would fight any government which resiled from the promise of independence for India and when the Cabinet Mission visited India in 1947, it fell on him to assert - on behalf of the British community in India – their conviction that independence must be granted without further delay. It is because he has thus been a close eye-witness of the events of the last three decades in India that he has written this book.

Although Western civilization is often regarded by Indians as materialistic, it is the spiritual rather than in the material sphere that British influence has been greatest. It has built up Indian nationalism; it has engendered in Indian minds a new concept of equality and of human rights; it has rekindled the scientific spirit; and is has profoundly modified the Indian intellectual approach to the problems in life. In all this there have been losses as well as gain – not least among the losses being the partial destruction of village corporate life and the spread of specticism among the intelligentsia – but there can be little doubt which way the balance lies. A further fifty years may have to elapse, Sir Percival suggests, before a final assessment of the impact of the British is possible. In the meantime the present book may be confidently recommended as the most authoritative and objective examination of the history and influence of British administration in Indian, which has yet appeared; a book, furthermore, that may be expected to achieve the status of a standard work.

chapter |2 pages


section |1 pages

The Historical Back Ground

chapter Chapter I|8 pages

Hindu India

chapter Chapter II|12 pages

Muslim India

chapter Chapter III|9 pages

The New Crusade—The Portuguese and the Dutch

chapter Chapter IV|12 pages

The East India Company

chapter Chapter V|10 pages

English and French Rivalry

chapter Chapter VI|8 pages

The Growth of British Power

chapter Chapter VII|8 pages

Developments in Southern India

chapter Chapter VIII|8 pages

Expansion—The Second Phase

chapter Chapter IX|7 pages

Expansion—The Last Phase

chapter Chapter X|6 pages

The Mutiny

section |1 pages

The Administrative Impact

chapter Chapter XI|10 pages

Ancient Indian Administration

chapter Chapter XII|3 pages

Mediaeval Indian Administration

chapter Chapter XIII|10 pages

Mughal Administration (1)

chapter Chapter XIV|11 pages

Mughal Administration (2): Revenue

chapter Chapter XV|11 pages

British Administration—The Dual Authority

chapter Chapter XVI|4 pages

The Growth of Parliamentary Control

chapter Chapter XVII|8 pages

The Growth of District Administration

chapter Chapter XVIII|14 pages

British Revenue Administration

chapter Chapter XIX|10 pages

British Famine Administration

chapter Chapter XX|14 pages

The Growth of the Services

chapter Chapter XXI|12 pages

The Restoration of Law and Order

chapter Chapter XXII|10 pages

Suttee 1

chapter Chapter XXIII|9 pages

The Administrative Impact

section |1 pages

The Political Impact

chapter Chapter XXIV|8 pages

Indian Nationality

chapter Chapter XXVI|10 pages

The Growth of Indian Nationalism: (2) Early Organisation

chapter Chapter XXVII|9 pages

The Battle for the Freedom of the Press

chapter Chapter XXVIII|5 pages

The Deterioration of Relations

chapter Chapter XXIX|6 pages

The Indian National Congress: The First Twenty Years

chapter Chapter XXX|11 pages

The Rise of Terrorism

chapter Chapter XXXI|11 pages

Indian National Congress: The Second Phase

chapter Chapter XXXII|6 pages

The Rise of the Muslim League

chapter Chapter XXXIII|9 pages

Steps Towards Self-Government

chapter Chapter XXXIV|16 pages

India Under Dyarchy

chapter Chapter XXXV|7 pages

Towards Partition

chapter Chapter XXXVI|9 pages

The Second World War

chapter Chapter XXXVII|4 pages

The Transfer of Power

section Section IV|1 pages

The Economic Impact

chapter Chapter XXXVIII|2 pages

The Economic Problem Stated

chapter Chapter XXXIX|11 pages

Disruption of the Indian Economy

chapter Chapter XL|7 pages

Currency Problems

chapter Chapter XLI|12 pages

Land Revenue

chapter Chapter XLII|14 pages

The Economic Policy of the Company

chapter Chapter XLIII|10 pages


chapter Chapter XLIV|5 pages

The Improvement of Agriculture

chapter Chapter XLV|8 pages

Development of Communications

chapter Chapter XLVI|12 pages

The Growth of Industry

chapter Chapter XLVII|13 pages

The Growth of the Major Industries

chapter Chapter XLVIII|10 pages

The Managing Agency System

chapter Chapter XLIX|9 pages

Industrial and Financial Policy in India Under the Crown

chapter Chapter L|8 pages

The Economic Effects of British Rule

chapter Chapter LI|9 pages