- The war made running the empire too expensive for the Raj
- The British war debt was £2,730million
- Exports to India were not as profitable for Britain as they had once been for example during 1928-9 Britain made £83million, during 193-6 Britain made £39million and this figure carried on dropping
- An enormous program of reconstruction had to be paid for
Basically the economic benefits of having India were outweighed by the cost of the Empire and the war debt.
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The British Public
- The voting population wanted money spending in their own country, hence Labour were voted into power in 1945
- There was public demand for better health and education systems notably the NHS, this would cost Britain a lot of money
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The Atlantic Charter 1941
- Churchill and Roosevelt agreed on the basis of their cooperation including support for 'sovereign rights and self determination'
- Churchill later informed the HoC that this didn't apply to the British Empire
- Roosevelt was furious
America was now putting pressure on the British to appease the Indian demands.
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Britain's position in the War
- Especially in the first half of the war, Britain's position was desparate they needed to start appeasing demands to gain suppport in the war effort
- India supplied a huge amount of resources, men and money to the war effort and their repayement called for something that would benefit the Indian population
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The Bengal Famine 1943
- The harvest failures of 1942 and 43 were aggravated by shortages of food and resources caused by the war
- It is estimates the famine caused 1-3 million deaths
- Wavell struggled to get Britain to ship grain to India
- Wavell commented to Amery: "The Bengal famine was one of the greatest disasters that has befallen any people under British rule and has done a great deal of damage of our reputation here"
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