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British Raj (1858-1947) was a country located in present-day India, Pakistan, Burma, and Bangladesh. Ruled by the United Kingdom in the aftermath of the First Indian War of Independence, British Raj was an extremely-wealthy asset of the British that they treasured until they gave the countries independence in 1947.

History

British India was incorporated directly into the United Kingdom in 1858 in the aftermath of the First Indian War of Independence, as the British East India Company's disrespect of Hindu and Muslim traditions and their cruelty led Queen Victoria I of Britain to take personal control over the EIC's interests. The United Kingdom transformed India into a colony of theirs, and it became a region directly ruled from London. India was united with Britain's territory in the former Sikh Empire (present-day Pakistan) as well as the small enclave of Bangladesh in the former Mughal Empire, the conquered Kingdom of Burma, and some islands off the coast of India.

Britain began to modernize India as they took over. Railroads and telegraph lines were constructed and buildings were constructed in British architectural format, although the majority of British Raj remained Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh rather than convert to Protestantism. The Muslim League was formed to help British rule remain in India, and the people mainly acquiesced under the British administration. Viceroys were appointed to govern the country in the place of the Queen, and the Queen personally chose them. 

India's exports were bountiful for the British: they included spice, diamonds, gold, ivory, rice, and iron. Indian rice plantations were later destroyed to be replaced by industrial buildings, causing the millions of Indians to starve while the British imported cuisine from Britain or from the few remaining farms. India's indigenous peoples were not treated as well as the whites, and Indian discrimination in South Africa led to Mahatma Gandhi beginning a campaign to give the Indians rights, and later, independence. India provided most of Britain's troops in the Middle East theatres of World War I and World War II, as it was closer to the Ottoman Empire (WWI) and North Africa (WWII) than Britain was. 

After World War II's end in 1945, nationalism across the British Empire increased and Gandhi's followers continued to protest for an independent India. In 1947, Lord Louis Mountbatten gave India its independence, and many of Britain's former Princely States (mainly Hindu) chose to join the Indian Union. The Muslim states of the northwest mainly aligned with Pakistan, although many remained in India. Burma also became independent, although Bangladesh would have to win its independence from Pakistan in a war in 1971.

Culture

India was divided between British provinces and vassal Princely States. British India's administrated areas alone had 231,160,000 people in 1907, not including the large populations of the Princely States. India's main religions were Hinduism and Islam, with the southern areas mainly Hindu and the northern and northwestern regions mainly Muslim. Buddhism had a large influence in the Orissa & Circars and Bengal regions of eastern India, as it was closer to its origins in China. In Punjab and Kashmir, Sikhism was a major religion. Punjab had an overwhelming majority of Sikhs, while Kashmir also had Muslim and Hindu influence. The Maratha Confederacy of the 1700s made efforts to add more Hindu influence on the northern provinces as they advanced into the 1720s-1750s, where their people began to gow not only religious unrest, but also unrest against the reforms of the new government, mainly industrial. British Raj splintered into many Hindu and Muslim states upon independence, and this explains why Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India exist, and also why they dispute the Kashmir province, with a Muslim majority but a Hindu ruling class.

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