Colonies Vs Britons
Colley describes the sentiments of the Britons at the center of the empire, saying they believed, “India was not a colony, and whites were discouraged by the Company from settling there. Those soldiers who did see out their time were promptly shipped back to Britain…” (Colley, 336). This was a stark difference to how the British Empire dealt with American colonies, where British soldiers were stationed and formed relationships with the Native Americans or whomever else could be manipulated into fighting alongside them. In an attempt to further discourage settling within India, the men in the military that were stationed there were not allowed to bring any family members. However, this act ended up having the opposite of its intended result, further isolating the few men as they were surrounded by Indian people and their culture. This drove these men to either seek escape or find comfort in the reality of their new life within …show more content…
This desire for a better life is similar to what drove people to America. However, Britons intending on doing this in India had to be convincing of their imperial support and secretive of their true intentions. This happened more often as British control expanded because the need for British soldiers increased, leading the British military to lower their standards for the men joining. Men saw the expansion of the British Empire as their chance to improve their lives elsewhere. Since there was never a big pool of men to choose from, the British were still limited in their abilities to post enough men along the border of these vast lands. With little ability to supervise these men, Indian culture was highly influential in their daily lives. Furthermore, the likelihood of defection was likely increased due to the use of sepoys, Indian soldiers under the direction of the British military. This gave the British men even more firsthand access to Indian culture.
Overall, the British Empire was able to learn from its experiences and change its tactics for expansion. While not repeating the failures of the past seems like the intelligent course of action, this did not guarantee Britons their desired course for the future of the empire. Britons were still becoming captive, a words whose definition was constantly in flux