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India History

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History[edit | edit source]

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, dates back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto Indian lands about 1500 BC; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in the 12th were followed by those of European traders, beginning in the late 15th century.

By the mid- to late 18th century, Britain's Honourable East India Company had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. The Honourable East India Company controlled virtually all trade with India and performed all the functions of government until the Government of India Act of 1858, when full control was assumed by Queen Victoria as Empress of India.

Indian armed forces in the British army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism led to independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan.

A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Despite impressive gains in economic investment and output, India faces pressing problems such as the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife.
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Significant Events in the 19th & 20th Centuries[edit | edit source]

1846 - 1885 Historians consider India's modern age to have begun sometime during this time period
1917 - Approximately one million Indians served in World War I
1947 - Mountbatten Plan partitions the British Indian Empire into the states of India and Pakistan
1950 - Vital to India's self-image as an independent nation was its constitution which put in place a secular and democratic republic
1971 - A third war between India and Pakistan results in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh

Ancient Empires[edit | edit source]

Years Event
2500 -1600 BC Indus Valley Culture
1500 -500 BC Migrations of Aryan-speaking tribes; The Vedic Age
1000 BC Settlement of Bengal by Davidian-speaking peoples
600 BC Territorial states emerge: Magadha, Kosala, Kuru, and Gandhara
500 BC Most of northern India inhabited
563 -483 BC Life of Siddartha Gautama - the Buddha; founding of Buddhism
320 BC −550 AD Gupta Empire: Classical Age of a united India (confined mostly to the north)
326 BC Alexander the Great's Indus Campaign, fusing several Indo-Greek elements
326 -184 BC Mauryan Empire; reign of Ashoka (269-232 BC); spread of Buddhism: First Indian imperial power
180 BC -150 AD Shaka dynastics in Indus Valley
100 BC −300 AD Deccan Indian Kingdoms: Power decentralized in the hands of local chieftains
606 -47 North Indian empire of Harsha
711 Arab invaders conquer Sindh, establish Islamic presence in India
750 -1150 Pala Dynasty
1150 -1202 Sena Dynasty

Growth of Islam[edit | edit source]

Years Event
997 -1027 Mahmud of Ghazni raids Indian subcontinent from Afghanistan
1202 Turkish conquerors defeat Sena Dynasty and overrun Bengal
1206 -1398 Delhi Sultanate
1336 −1527 Southern Dynasties in India establish rule
1398 Timur sacks Delhi
1414 -1450 Sayyid Dynasty; renewal of Delhi Sultanate
1451 -1526 Lodi Dynasty

The Mughal Period[edit | edit source]

Years Event
1526 Babur lays foundation of Mughal Empire; wins First Battle of Panipat
1556 -1605 Akbar expands and reforms the empire; Mughals win Second Battle of Panipat
1600 East India Company granted British Crown charter with exclusive rights to India
1605 -1627 Reign of Jahangir; in 1612 East India Company opens first trading post (factory)
1619 English East India Company establishes outpost at Surat on the northwestern coast
1628 -1658 Reign of Shah Jahan
1658 -1707 Reign of Aurangzeb, last great Mughal ruler
1707 -1858 Lesser emperors; decline of the Mughal Empire

British Period[edit | edit source]

Years Event
1757 Battle of Plassey - British victory of Mughal forces in Bengal; British rule in India begins
1835 Institution of British educaiton and other reform measures
1857 -1858 Revolt of Indian sepoys (soldiers) agains East India Company
1858 East India Company abolished and Queen Victoria becomes Empress of India (the British Raj); begins with Government of India Act; formal end of Mughal Empire
1869 The creation of the Suez canal radically reduces journey time from India
1885 Indian National Congress formed
1892 Dadabhai Naoroji first Indian to win a Parliamentary seat in England
1897 Ayah's Home established in Aldgate, London
1916 Congress-League Scheme of Reforms (Lucknow Pact) signed
1935 Government of India Act of 1935

Independent India[edit | edit source]

Years Event
1947 Partition of British India; India achieves independence and incorporates West Bengal and Assam;
Jawaharlal Nehru becomes prime minister of India. Pakistan is created and incorporates East Bengal and territory in the northwest.
1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act limits the migration of South Asians to England
1968 "Rivers of Blood" Speech: Enoch Powell calls for forced return of immigrants settled in England

Internet Research Links[edit | edit source]