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Britain: British Empire C. 1919-69 - The Growth Of Indian Demands For Independence

Students of GCSE History will learn about the British Empire. One area they will look at is the growth of Indian demands for independence from Britain in the first half of the 20th Century.

After 1919 Indian demands for independence from the British Raj increased. They saw further growth in the 1930's and 1940's and eventually the post-war British government granted independence to both Pakistan and India in 1947, having failed to avoid partition between a Muslim and a Hindu state.

See how much you have learned about the growth of Indian demands for independence from the British Raj by playing this quiz.

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  1. In which other area, apart from India, was Gandhi active as a radical lawyer, protesting against racial discrimination, before his return to India?
    Gandhi had grown up in India, but he had gone to London to train as a barrister. After his education he did not return immediately to the land of his birth
  2. In 1930 Gandhi led a famous "March to the Sea" to protest about a government tax on a particular commodity. What was this commodity?
    The violent reaction of the police on this occasion played into Gandhi's hands. Gandhi urged his followers never to answer force with force, but always to behave non-violently
  3. Jawarhalal Nehru led a mainly Hindu party seeking to compel Britain to offer independence to India. What was the full name of this party?
    Gandhi and Nehru hoped that it would be possible for both Hindus and Muslims to work together in the same party to end British rule in India
  4. In 1931 Gandhi managed to sign a deal with the then Viceroy (Governor) of India. The agreement did not last. Who was this viceroy?
    The British were anxious to keep Gandhi out of prison, and to make progress towards Indian self-government. But they were not yet prepared to confer full sovereignty
  5. A Muslim League was founded in 1935. Which Muslim aristocrat was responsible for this?
    The foundation of this organisation made it more difficult for Indians to present a united front against British rule
  6. Churchill sent a left-wing Labour figure to India in 1942 to urge Gandhi especially to support the British war effort, as India seemed increasingly vulnerable to a Japanese attack. Who was this envoy?
    The Indian nationalist leaders had great respect for the British Labour Party. Gandhi had met many of its members during his visit in the early 1930's. However this mission was unsuccessful
  7. Gandhi became more militant as the war went on. Later in 1942 he began a campaign to force the British to leave. What was the name of this campaign?
    Gandhi realised that the British were in a weak position: squeezed between advancing Japanese armies to the east, and growing nationalist fervour in India itself
  8. On the other hand another Hindu, Subhas Chandra Bose, set up an army to fight on the same side as the Japanese. What name was given to this army?
    This was never a large military force. Many more Indians joined up in the British forces
  9. Who replaced Wavell as Viceroy, instructed to pull the British out of India on honourable terms?
    The new Labour Government was determined to leave India, and the new Viceroy was given a narrow timescale within which the evacuation should be concluded
  10. Which princely state in the far north of British India was not a part of the 1947 terms, and remains a bone of contention between India and Pakistan to this day?
    Most parts of the former Raj were clearly dominated either by Hindus or by Muslims. This province had substantial numbers from each community

Author: Edward Towne

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