Nov 14, 2020 in History

American History

American History

From the week, I learnt that colonial India and 18th century America have several similarities, especially in regard to science, technology, and medicine. Currently, the terms science and technology for both nations have changed significantly due to the broadening of knowledge that includes both theoretical and practical aspects. In spite of their relative status, these two nations had much to work on in their respective worlds. This essay compares two countries during the aforementioned times based on what was learnt throughout the week


In India, the British East India Company was the biggest contributor to the scientific revolution due to the fact that it was already doing well in other locations such as Masulipatam, Madras, and Surat. The company rule in India began after the Battle of Plassey that had taken place in 1757 (Arnold, 1987). Among the popular sciences at the time were geology, botany, and zoology. For the company, it was important to remain in control to prevent other colonial masters from undermining its authority while in India. As a result, it ensured strict regulation concerning people who accessed India for scientific expeditions.

On the other hand, the US was receptive to immigration willing to expand its manufacturing and increase productivity of labor (Hamilton, n.d.a). However, the company also recruited specialists from all over the globe to expand their scientific interests in India, especially towards the end of the company rule. The invention of printing press was invaluable as well for dissemination of scientific theories and adoption of practices. Later, the Asiatic society was formed by Britons and charged with enlightening forms of religious institutions and governments, interest in geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, and some other subjects such as rhetoric, grammar, and morality. Additionally, the society examined trade, manufacturing, and agriculture; painting, architecture, and music among other arts (Johnson et al., 1987). Similarly, Hamilton (n.d.a) recommended the establishment of an operations board to promote them accordingly. The expansion of botany in India was largely due to its connection with medicine. In particular, the British were very much interested in establishing a cost-effective option for the expensive imported drugs. They achieved it by creating botanical gardens, starting from Calcutta. Most of the inventions, especially in the 18th century, contributed to the growth of slavery and agriculture in the US as well as in India. One such invention was the cotton gin in 1793 (Arnold, 1987).

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This was extended to some agricultural techniques such as gang system which was particularly applied on the West Indies sugar plantation, cotton fields after the civil war, and prison farms until the 20th century. Furthermore, around the 18th century, America was dedicated to development of the manufacturing institutions with the aim of expanding labor opportunities for various classes (Hamilton, n.d.b). Overall, Britain also controlled most of the scientific activity taking place in the Western nations.It is important to note that while there were a number of Indians with Western education, majority of them were only inducted into different scientific institutions from 1829. On the contrary, the US made several provisions for indemnifying manufacturing, inspiring both local population and immigrants to enter into trade (Hamilton, n.d.a). Additionally, while Britain conquered India by fear, 18th century America was able to control its people by creating a large republic (Madison, n.d.). Another scientific endeavor was the use of trigonometry in mapping India. Steamships and canals then allowed the expansion of geology, especially at the beginning of 1830, with the survey of Indias mineral wealth (Arnold, 1987).

In conclusion, around the 18th century, America related to colonial India in expansion of science and technology. However, while America was receptive to emigration, Britain was hesitant as it was afraid that its authority would be compromised. Finally, both leaderships sought solutions to reduce costs. While the British planted botanical gardens to expand medicine, America indemnified manufacturing to encourage entry.


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