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Video - Why India stayed poor until independence


Our final video in the school series "Why isn't the whole world developed?" in partnership with CAGE Research Centre, is available now.

This week's video focuses on the economic impact of colonialism in India. The video charts the different stages in the colonisation India as power transferred from the Mughal Empire to the East India Company and finally to sole British control by 1858.

Within the video, Professor Bishnupriya Gupta talks through the process of forming her hypothesis and the reasons why she had to delve further after finding evidence since seemed to challenge her original thoughts. In particular, this video is useful for charting the legacy of the British Empire into the modern day.

Who is the resource aimed at?

This week’s video can be used to support Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 History. This video would be useful to pull together a number of key topics from Key Stage 3 such as the Industrial Revolution, the growth of the Empire and decolonisation.

How can the resource be used?

This video could be paired with the following article about Shashi Tharoor’s book Inglorious Empire. - What the British Did to India | History Today 

Student could also colour code the timeline below of the British colonisation of India into the different political phases. Then add the research from the video to explain the changing economic situation during this time and how other events contributed to this.

How does the resource link to the curriculum?

For GCSE History, this video specifically links with the following specification points. AQA GCSE History- Paper 2 Section A Option C Empires Migration and the People -the social, political, cultural and economic impact of empire on Britain and India.-The end of Empire-The legacy of Empire: the CommonwealthIt could be used to prepare students for answering questions on the long term significance of imperialism in different parts of the Empire.

  • AQA A-level- Paper 1 Option J The British Empire c1857-1967

  • EdExcel A-level -Paper 3, Option 35.1: Britain: losing and gaining an empire, 1763–1914

How long will the activity take?

Depending on how many of the resources you use, you can make this activity take up more or less time. Take a look at the suggested learning activities below.


Teacher's notes

Teacher's notes - video 5
Download PDF • 157KB

Associated resources

Timeline worksheet - video 5
Download PDF • 200KB

Short paper - Why India stayed poor until independence
Download PDF • 383KB

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