Why did the armies of the british east india company win consistently against armies of the then Indian rulers?

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UPSC Previous Year Question Year Civil Services (MAIN) examination 2022

Why did the armies of the british east india company mostly comprising of indian soldiers of indian soldiers – win consistently against the more numerous and better equipped armies of the then Indian rulers? Give reasons.

Answer in 150 words

Model Answer

The British East India Company’s armies, which were largely composed of Indian soldiers, were able to consistently win against the larger and better equipped armies of Indian rulers for several reasons:

  1. Superior tactics and technology: The British were able to effectively utilize modern tactics and weaponry such as superior firearms and artillery to gain the upper hand in battles.
  2. Division among Indian rulers: The Indian rulers were often divided and did not have a unified front against the British, which weakened their resistance.
  3. Effective diplomacy and alliances: The British were able to forge alliances with local rulers and gain support from different factions, which helped them in their military conquests.
  4. Financial resources: The British East India Company had significant financial resources, which allowed them to hire and equip large armies and to bribe local rulers and leaders.
  5. Professional military: The British had a professional military structure, which allowed for more effective command and control of their troops, whereas Indian forces were often poorly organized and lacked a clear chain of command.

These factors combined allowed the British East India Company to establish control over much of India and maintain it for several centuries.

Note: Kindly comment your answer if it is more insightful.

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