Pax Britannica – The Zenith of the British Empire

Pax Britannica – The Zenith of the British Empire

Further extensions of the electoral principle were made in 1909, but the British government was making such political concessions too late to satisfy the demand for self-government which increasing numbers of Indian nationalists were making.

Although the British government still insisted upon the sharing principle, notably that at the provincial level authority be shared between British officials and elected Indian representatives, in 1919 further political powers were transferred to Indians. By this stage Indians, after assisting in Britain’s war effort, and after hearing widespread discussion of national self-determination at the Versailles Conference in Paris, were demanding an equal status with the Dominions. British repression, as at Amritsar in 1919 when hundreds of Indians were shot, only fanned Indian discontent higher. Gandhi was helping to frustrate British administration by leading a non-co-operation campaign and schemes of civil disobedience. The British government made further concessions in 1935, but still not sufficient to satisfy Indian demands. Similar status to the white settlement countries was simply promised, whereas Indians felt it should be instituted forthwith. The British government, however, was still able to withstand a concerted opposition from Indian nationalists although the demand for independence had been growing through the twentieth century. By promising separate representation to Muslims, and other groups, the British were able to forestall independence, with Hindus and Muslims generally unable to co-operate fully in their demands for political power. Yet the Indians, although divided, were making the British presence difficult to maintain. By their nationalist strivings the Indians had pushed the course of political development faster than most British authorities had ever contemplated. The Indians were asserting that they too could exercise a full political maturity equally with the white settlers of the British Commonwealth.

1. L.VILLARI, The Expansion of Italy. (London: Faber & Faber, 1930), p. 7.
2. F.S. NORTHEDGE, The International Political System. (London: Faber & Faber, 1976), p. 208
3. Ibid.
4. ibid.
5. ibid., p. 222.
6. ibid., pp. 222-223.
7. ibid., p. 223
8. J. MORRIS, Farewell the Trumpets. (London: Faber & Faber, 1978), p. 24.
9. ibid., p. 25.
10. ibid.
11. Ibid.
12. ibid., p. 26.
13. ibid.
14. ibid., p. 27.
15. W.R. JOHNSTON, Great Britain, Great Empire. (Queensland: Queensland U. P., 1981), p. 97.
16. D. JUDD and P. SLINN, The Evolution of the Modern Commonwealth 1902- 80. (London: McMillan, 1982), p. 4.
17. ibid., p. 5.
18. ibid.
19. ibid., p. 6.
20. W. D. MCINTYRE, Commonwealth of Nations. Origins and Impact, 1869- 1971. (Minneapolis: Minnesota U. P. & Oxford U. P., 1977), p. 35.
21. W. R. JOHNSTON, op. cit., p. 107.
22. ibid., p. 108.
23. ibid.
24. ibid., p. 109.
25. ibid.
26. ibid., p. 110.
27. ibid., p. 118.
28. ibid., p. 121.
29. ibid.
30. ibid., p. 122.
31. ibid., p. 123.
32. ibid., p. 124.
33. ibid.

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