In the period 1905-47, there emerged in British India a mass anti-imperialist movement that eventually won the country's independence and laid the foundations of independent India's democracy (as well as the political foundations of independent Pakistan). Though it was characterized by many competing, even opposed strands, the greatest leader of India's anti-imperialist movement is indisputably Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known to history as Mahatma Gandhi. This class will trace Gandhi's early political life in the British colony of South Africa as well as the prehistory of India's mass anti-imperialist movement before entering into a sustained treatment of that movement in the period 1918-1947.
In 2017, India will celebrate 70 years of independence. This course covers the leading social and political developments and dynamics of this largest democracy on earth over the course of its entire post-independence history. Specifically, after tracing the country's formation in the anti-imperialist struggle of 1918-1947, the course will address the consolidation of democracy in the country's early decades under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and his Congress Party; it will then move on to discuss the emergence of the current political landscape beginning in the 1970s.
In the eighteenth century, simultaneous with the American crisis that led to the American War of Independence, the British Empire was dramatically changing half-way around the world in Eastern India. Through a selection of primary and secondary courses, this course examines the transformation of the British Empire as a force in world history, one that resulted from decisions made to embark upon a new form of imperialism in the East.