- 13th April 1919
- Followed a period of unrest in India brought on by the failure of the British to offer any reward for Indians and their support during WW1.
- 18th March-Rowlatt Acts were passed, led to Gandhi to start a Hartal(day of fasting/stoppage of work)
- Gandhi's pacifist ideas were ignored and in Amritsar 5 Brits were killed in a riot.
- General Dyer banned all public meetings. when a meeting was called on the 13th April he made no attempt to cancel it.
- Dyer ordered Gurkha troops to fire on an unarmed crowd in a enclosed space in the holy city of Amritsar.
- Troops fired killing 379 people and injuring more than 1200
- 500 students and teachers were arrested.
- Many Indians who had been loyal to the British lost faith in British justice and joined the campaigns for independence.
- Dyer was asked to resign but a debate in the House of Lords decided he had 'saved India'
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Gandhi's Second Campaign
- Began in 1930 when he organised a 'March to the Sea' to make salt.
- Took place in March and April. The journey took 24 days.
- On arriving at the sea, Gandhi took a few grains of salt from the sea, in doing sohe was breaking British salt laws.
- The march was part of Gandhi's non-violent campaign against British rule.
- Gandhi was arrested and imprisoned in 1930-31
- 5,000,000 Indians all over the country were making sea salt and selling it in towns and cities.
- It became a symbol of defiance against British rule. Boycotts of British cloth and alcohol followed.
- Within months 60,000 Congress members had been arrested.
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The Round Table Conferences
- Held in London in 1930-32
- Included representatives of all British political parties and of all political opinion in India.
- The Dyarchy wasn't working and the Simon Commission had been proved a failure.
- Communal differences were becoming increasingly serious in India.
- Labour saw India as a possibly victory at a time when it was under pressure at home.
- As a result of the Round Table Conferences, the Government of India Act 1935 was introduced.
- For the first time, Indians played a significant part in the government of their county, but Britain still retained main controll.
- India was split into 11 provinces-each had a legislative assembly and a provincial government. The provinces would control most policies with the exception of foreign affairs. Legislative assemblies would be mostly Indian.
- Central parliament in Delhi with 2 chambers.
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Congress and the Government of India Act
- Congress rejected the Gov of India Act because it wanted a complete break from Britain,didn't believe British intended to give complete independence.
- Didn't want special provisional for minorities which might limit its future.
- 1931-35, Nehru spent most of his time in prison for refusing to obey orders preventing him attending Congress meetings.
- Nehru returned in 1937 to lead the campaign in the first elections to the new parliament after the GoI Act.
- Nehru wanted Congress to take part in elections but then refused to participate in the assemblies.
- 1937- Under the GoI Act, Congress won 715 seats out of 1,585.
- Congress took power in 8states but only after a statement from govenors saying they wouldn't intervene.
- Nehru opposed the decision to take office but accepted it.
- When the first parliament met in 1937, Gandhi was replaced as leader of Congress by Jawalaharla Nehru.
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The Impact of war on India and Britain-Muslim Leag
- When war broke out in 1939, Muslim League backed Britain's declaration of war on Germany and supporteed the Gov. throughout.-Gave Jinnah the opportunity to press for a seperate Muslim state.
- In March 1940, Jinnah spoke of a Muslim state for the first time, adopting the name Pakistan, which meant 'Land of the Pure' which was an acronym of the 4 provinces of North-West India.
- Jinnah used the situation as a way of winning the support of the British. The League increased membership to more that 2 million.
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Congress and War
- September 1939-Gandhi urged the British Gov. to negotiate with Hitler and use peaceful methods.
- Nehru had just returned from Europe and believed India should support Britain against fascism, but at her own choice.
- Congress supported Nehru's decision but was angred at the Viceroy's decision to go to war without consulting anyone. The Congress state gov. resigned in protest of the Viceroys decision.
- In July 1940 Congress asked that a National Gov. should be set up as a reward for Indian support during the war.
- When the Viceroy failed to give a reply, Congress decided to recommence Civil Disobedience.
- Nehru and nearly 1,700 leading members of Congress were arrested in 1940.
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The Cripps Mission
- April-Sir Stafford Cripps was sent to India with a offer of full dominion status and the right to withdraw as soon as the war was over.
- Also suggested that any province that didn't want to join the new India should be allowed to become independent on its own.
- 1942- Nehru and Congress rejected the offer of full dominion status at the end of the war.
- They demanded immediate cabinet gov. with full power, and decisions taken by Indians in India. Britain refused.
- Congress also wanted a united India and wasn't prepared to consider independent provinces. Congress decided instead to support Gandhi's non-violent 'Quit India' campaign.
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Quit India Campaign
- August 1942
- Gandhi demanded immediate independence and threatened mass non-violend action if his demands weren't met.
- He demanded that the British left India immediately although armed forces fighting the Japanese could stay.
- Demonstations began in many Indian cities, peaceful at first but often turning violent. Police stations, gov. officies, railways and telephone lines were all attacked. Supplies for the army fighting the Japanese were held up.
- Many Congress leaders were arrested including Gandhi until 1944.
- Congress was declared illegal and funds were siezed and for the next 2 years barely exisited.
- Nehru was arrested again and imprisoned until 1945. He was released after the Labour Party won the July 1945 general elections and immediately announced plans for a dominion status.
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WW2 changing the political situation in India
- Until 1939 Congress was the dominant force in Indian politics. In 1937 it won a clear victory in the elections after the Gov.of India Act of 1935.
- Muslim League was a relatively minor organisation. The war gave the League its first opportunity to win the backing of the British for a separate Muslim state-Pakistan.
- Muslim League grew in size. By 1945 it had 2,000,000 members.
- During the war the Indian Army remained loyal to the British and many middle class Indians supported the British against the Japanese, but once the was ended there was less support for the British.
- Under Japanese rule, Nationalist movements had begun in many areas of South East Asia, troops returning to India brought these ideas back with them.
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