World History AP
23 September 2002
Qualities that Make an Empire
An empire is defined as "A political unit having an extensive territory or comprising a number of territories or nations and ruled by a single supreme authority."(Dictionary.com). Over the course of history, many civilizations through conquests overtook inferior civilizations to the extent of forming an empire. The British, Roman, and Byzantine empires succeeded at achieving the recognition of obtaining the ultimate goal of becoming an empire.
The British Empire in India was one of the most successful European to Asian conquests. Britain took over most of what is now called India and populated it with armies and settlers. European imperialism, the race of European countries to map out and claim land for their own had begun. Along with India, all of southern Asia to Northern Australia was claimed for several venturous European countries. After the British fought off the protective Hindu's and Muslims, they developed a system of government and trade (The British East India Company). England set up a government structure in India consisting of both natives and British officials. Unfortunately, this government was one sided in that the natives received the low-level bureaucratic jobs, while the British officials held higher level occupations. The people of India knew that inequalities resulted from this system. From this unchallenged government specific tasks for local farmers resulted: the planting of tea, coffee, and opium. Smaller, regional province governments were created to answer to the major British-run Indian government. Alliances were formed with governments from Afghanistan to the Aral Sea to prevent a Russian invasion. The supreme authority of India was Queen Victoria of England who controlled all of what became of the territory of India. The indigenous Indians recognized her as the supreme ruler of infinite wealth and opportunity. The...