• John Paxton
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The Indus civilization was fully developed by c. 2500 b.c., and collapsed c. 1750 b.c. An Aryan civilization spread from the west as far as the Ganges valley by 500 b.c.; separate kingdoms were established and many of these were united under the Mauryan dynasty established by Chandragupta in c. 320 b.c. The Mauryan Empire was succeeded by numerous small kingdoms. The Gupta dynasty (a.d. 320–600) was followed by the first Arabic invasions of the north-west. Moslem, Hindu and Buddhist states developed together with frequent conflict until the establishment of the Mogul dynasty in 1526. The first settlements by the East India Company were made after 1600 and the company established a formal system of government for Bengal in 1700. During the decline of the Moguls frequent wars between the Company, the French and the native princes led to the Company’s being brought under British Government control in 1784; the first Governor-General of India was appointed in 1786. The powers of the Company were abolished by the India Act, 1858, and its functions and forces transferred to the British Crown. Representative government was introduced in 1909, and the first parliament in 1919. The separate dominions of India and Pakistan became independent within the Commonwealth in 1947 and India became a republic in 1950.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1985

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  • John Paxton

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