Why did India win her independence?
Reasons for success? Work backwards!
- The rising nationalism – created pressure for the British. It made running the empire politically and economically very challenging and increasingly not cost-effective.
- Pressure from above – the INC and ML created large scale national pressure with campaigns and acts of non-violent protest.
- Pressure from below – subalterns
- War – capital investment decline during both wars – particularly WW2. India went from a debtor to a creditor.
- British strategy of gradual devolution of power, granting representation to Indians and the Indianisation of the administration gathered a momentum and India was on a path to self-government.
- The timing of Independence is related directly to WW2 – the demands it put on Britain left them politically and financially exhausted. The election of a Labour government in 1945 – a party who had a tradition of supporting Indian claims to self-rule.
- US Foreign policy pressurizing the end of western subjugation and imperialism, seemed only a matter of time before India gained its freedom.
Additional Reading - Extension resources