.No one could imagine, even the British, who initially came to India as traders, that they would be able to occupy India making its inhabitants subjects under their rule and domination. India had prior to the arrival of the British and other Europeans been one of the most prosperous regions in the world, with many natural resources and well-established trade.
The British traders obtained the license to establish the East India Company from King James 1st in 1600, and the Company’s first ships arrived in 1608. They established numerous trading posts along the east and west coasts of India, leading to considerable growth of English communities thriving around the areas of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras.
Not only did Britain aim to expand territories, many other European nations as well including, France, Denmark and Portugal had also been making advances to access the resources of other African and Asian countries. This imperialistic stance and expansionist policy, as well as the demand for new goods, materials and trade routes, .was often attributed as outcomes of the impact of the industrial revolution taking place across Europe.
The French soon after began to establish outposts, heightening the tension between Britain and France as the East India Company wanted to monopolize all trade. Several wars between the two imperial powers finally resulted in Frances defeat and Britain was able to gain the upper hand. As a result, the French soon lost most of their colonies. With France now gone, Britain was able to establish a firm foothold in India and by the 1850s Britain controlled most of the Indian subcontinent. However, British rule turned increasingly unpopular (Singh 1990).
The first major revolt against the British rule occurred in 1857 when the soldiers of the British .Indian Army carried out a mutiny and offered their services to the Mughal Emperor.