History KS3 / GCSE: Why was India so valuable to the British Empire?

India was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire.

As well as spices, jewels and textiles, India had a huge population.

Soldiering was an honourable tradition in India and the British capitalised on this.

They regimented India's manpower as the backbone of their military power.

Indian troops helped the British control their empire, and they played a key role in fighting for Britain right up to the 20th century.

This clip is from the series Empire.

Teacher Notes

Students could make a list of the different ways in which India supported the British Empire.

They could then complete some independent research about these different aspects before hosting a debate about whether the British were a positive or a negative influence in India.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History. This topic appears in KS3, KS4 and GCSE in England and Northern Ireland. Also KS3 in Wales and National 4 and National 5 in Scotland.

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