Why was India considered the 'jewel in the crown'?
Jewel In The Crown
India was considered the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ for the British Empire due to India's resources and location. Britain exploited India's natural assets. In the picture to the left, the British are metaphorically "milking" the raw materials out of India. They traded Indian pepper, cotton, Chinese silk, porcelain, fine spices, tea, and coffee. During the Industrial Revolution, Britain needed raw materials and new markets, which India had. India’s value of raw cotton exports increased from 10 million rupees to 60 million rupees in 1849 to 1869 and to 410 million rupees in 1913. India also imported more because of their growing exports: “The value of finished cotton products imported into India rose from 50,000 in 1814 to 5.2 million in 1829 and 30 million rupees in 1890”. These statistics meant that Britain took millions of rupees of raw materials and then sold the transformed materials back to India.
Being considered the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ also meant that India was strategically placed. India is in between England and China so it was perfect for the silk trade. England wanted to trade with China, and India is on the way to China as seen on the map below. The Silk Road had an inlet into India, which made it easy to trade with China. England also built reinforced posts along the coastlines. These posts helped them feel more secure. Being strategically placed and fielding raw materials meant that India was considered 'The Jewel in the Crown'.
The Trading Game - Get a dice and play the game
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0167gq4 - Why was India Important?