Imperialism is the expansionist policy of dominating and exploiting the life of another country or region in one’s own goals. These goals may include using the region as a source of raw materials or a cheap labor force. Apart from that, imperialist countries may use the regions they dominate as export markets to support their own domestic economy. Finally, imperialism often intertwines with military interests, such as building military and naval bases to project influence abroad. One of the more common historical manifestations of imperialism is colonialism, but it is important to remember that stronger countries may dominate the weaker ones without colonizing them. Imperialism is often justified by the notions bringing civilization and enlightenment to the less advanced societies.
British imperialism in India left a profound impact on the region, both economically and politically. In terms of economy, the British rule has largely reduced India to being an agricultural country even though it was an important center of industrial production up to the late 18th century. It happened because, during the early stages of the industrial revolution, Britain enacted protectionist policies designed to safeguard its own industries at the expense of those of India. The second economic impact was that much of the taxes collected in India were spent elsewhere in the interests of the metropolis rather than India itself. As for the political impact, British imperialism limited the opportunities for the local population to participate in politics. The highest posts in the colonial administration were invariably preserved for the British for the reasons of loyalty and racial prejudice. As a result, even the Indian elites, much less the common folk, had limited influence on the political life of British India. Thus, the impacts of British imperialism in India amounted to depriving the region’s population of its economic power and political independence.