"No era is more pertinent to understanding how present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh evolved than the nearly 200 years of British rule. This colonial period was a time of deep change and transformation-for India and for the world. These 24 engrossing lectures offer you new perspectives on the history of European imperialism, on world economic history, on the features of British colonialism, and on the rich cultures of the Indian subcontinent. Over the course of this remarkable saga you'll explore: - how the English East India Company, a commercial trading entity, established a presence in India and took the reins of power in one of the strangest political transformations in world history; - how the monumental Mughal Empire, builders of the Taj Mahal and longstanding Muslim rulers in India, gradually came apart in the face of British conquest; - how Britain extended its rule across the subcontinent, built a huge economic machine in India, and ultimately exacted a heavy price from the Indian people; and - how India finally achieved independence in 1947, through one of humanity's most noteworthy examples of resourceful and philosophically sophisticated leadership. You'll trace the economic motives that brought the British and other Westerners to India, like how the emergence of the English as a stereotypically tea-drinking society was directly related to the Indian colonial economy. You will also take stock of the incredibly lavish lifestyles of India's maharajahs, and how the British leveraged alliances with them. And you'll grasp the fundamental moral contradiction of the Raj, the conflict between Britain's economic interests and the human needs of the empire's Indian subjects, and more. In A History of British India, you'll relive a crucial era in international relations, one with deep and lasting implications for our contemporary world. "
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