Lesson 20 – The Impact of World War One on India (1914-1919)
- Council reforms and the reunification of Bengal gave heart to the moderate leadership of the old Congress and to most Bengal Hindus, but jolted the Muslim League from its moderate loyalist stand.
- When Britain declared war against Germany, India was immediately notified by Lord Hardinge that she too, was at war. Many British landowners patriotically signed up with the British Armed Forces for the conflict and often left their holdings in the hands of Indian overseers.
- Disillusion set in early. As soon as the first casualties were returning from the western front, it became apparent to India that the war would bring death in distant lands for many of her sons long before fulfilling and dreams of freedom.
- An even greater source of wartime disillusionment and growing tension between India and Britain was the Ottoman’s Empire’s decision to join the Central Powers. Muslims were much closer to the Ottoman Empire culturally than England.
- Gandhi’s victory over the Indigo planters of Champaran in 1917 brought him popular acclaim as the champion of India’s peasants.
- Immediately after he returned home in 1918, Montagu hammered out his “Report on Indian Constitutional Reform” which embodied the principles of “complete popular control” as much as possible in India.
- The Armistice did not bring peace to India; there were numerous outbreaks of disease imported from the European theater of war for which many natives of the Indian population did not have a natural defense against.
- The Armistice also brought continued repression and a catastrophic epidemic. The British took every opportunity to take advantage of the Indian misfortunes by solidifying whatever hold they still had in Indian society.
- Millions of less famous Indians turned at this time from loyal supporters of the British raj to nationalists who were no longer content to follow its orders or to trust in the “fair play” of its officials.
- How did the reunification of Bengal affect Hindus and Muslims?
- How did Britain’s involvement in WW 1 affect India?
- How quickly did the Indians become disillusioned with WW 1?
- How did WW 1 affect Muslim loyalties?
- How did Gandhi become recognized in India?
- How did Montague progress with Indian constitutional reform?
- How did the Armistice affect India?
- What was the result of British martial law?
- HOW DID WW1 IMPACT ON INDIA?
- WHY WAS THE ISLAMIC POPULATION OF INDIA CONTINUALLY DISENFRANCHISED?
Additional Internet Research Links For This Lesson:
India during WW 1