By D. A. Low
At the eve of the 50th anniversary of Indian independence Anthony Low examines anew the precise personality of probably the main momentous fight of the 20th century. He indicates how the fight used to be conditioned through the anomaly of the British place, decided to carry quick to their Indian empire but reluctant to supply unyielding resistance to their nationalist competitors. Britain and Indian Nationalism makes a massive contribution to the historiography of contemporary India, to Britain's relatives with its empire, and to the background of decolonization within the 20th century.
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Additional resources for Britain and Indian Nationalism: The Imprint of Amibiguity 1929-1942
Canning, British Policy towards Ireland 1921-1941, Oxford 1985; N. Mansergh, The Unresolved Question. The Anglo-Irish Settlement and its Undoing 1912-1972, New Haven 1991. 62 The significance of these contemporaneous encounters for our present story is not only that they constituted the very much broader context within which the Indo-British conflict came to be fought out and that they serve to explain the origins of many of the expedients the British employed in India - 'Responsible Government', 'Federation', 'Dominion Status', 'the signing of a Treaty .
57 Parallel to this there had been a much more extensive development within the British empire at its core. During the course of the middle and later nineteenth century most of the British 'white' colonies had secured full control over their own internal affairs by means of the introduction of 'Responsible Government'. Along with the making of the federations of 57 The confrontation, of course, rumbled on till it reached its fateful denouement at Suez in 1956. On the earlier story see J. Darwin, Britain, Egypt and the Middle East.
At the core of this whole structure stood the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - whose Royal and Merchant Navies bestrode the seas; whose Imperial General Staff masterminded its imperial military strategy; whose capital constituted the world's principal commercial centre; and whose currency dominated the world's financial systems. Here, besides the War Office, the Air Ministry and the Admiralty, there stood four great offices of state - the India Office, the Colonial Office, after 1925 the Dominions Office, and, in respect of such places as the Sudan and Egypt, the Foreign Office (along with, in certain instances, the Bank of England too).