British colonialism was a well-established facet of Western history. The British have been especially notable in colonizing countries within Africa as well as India. In terms of India, the ramifications of their actions have had a significant impact on the social and political structure from the 19th century to modernity. Many scholars have alleged that brutalities set forth by the British and the discriminatory practices enforced onto the Indian population were entirely new. However, while the violence incurred cannot be ignored, the actual governance and structural changes were heavily influenced by the Hindu caste system already established within India. The Hindu caste system is a centuries-old practice that designates followers into five, family-determined, class denominations from highest to lowest: Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (rulers and warriors), Vaishyas (merchants, landowners, skilled workers), Shudras (farmworkers, servants, and unskilled workers), and Dalits (out-casts). The given thesis focuses on the perceptions and interactions of the British in 19th century India as well as the structural changes enforced by the British. Numerous nineteenth-century texts such as Up the Country by Emily Eden and India in 1848 by Arthur Mills, M.P. Murray were centered on the environment and day-to-day changes of India in the form of travel/informational readings. Both texts are utilized in this argument to highlight how the caste system was a contributing factor in British administration, contrary to the general perception of scholars. More importantly, Up the Country, offers a glimpse of the realities within northern India, where the British had the strongest control and is utilized to draw parallels between the caste system and British actions during the 1800s. The effects of discrimination and inequality continue to have a considerable effect on the Indian population to this day. However, the British have hastily been given total blame for such ramifications without considering the role of Indian societal principles in these disparities.
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