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THIRTEEN MILESTONES TO PARTITION - Kindle eBook by Roderick Matthews

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Kindle eBook by

Roderick Matthews


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© 2008 All Rights Reserved


India was the first country in the modern world to decolonise itself, after a sustained campaign of self-assertion that lasted from 1905 to 1947. Over that period a combination of political reasonableness and massive popular mobilisation persuaded the British that they were no longer welcome, that the intellectual underpinning of Empire was unsafe and that the country would soon be ungovernable. A glance at the accounts ledger was enough to persuade the post-war British political leadership that the Raj was a project best abandoned.

A rapid departure duly followed. In the event the final form that Indian independence took was left to the Indian politicians. The British may have had their preferences but they had lost the political initiative by 1945 and had probably lost the ability to impose anything on anybody in India several years before that. Only Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, consistently demanded Partition, and it is still a matter of some discussion as to how exactly he managed to obtain the division of the country when he stood in a minority position without formal coercive force at his disposal. The exact nature of the resulting Partition stands to this day as an egregious mixture of political pragmatism and intellectual confusion.

This eBook traces the roots of that eventual settlement, highlighting thirteen events that tended to promote a permanent partition of British India, as opposed to the ‘mere’ granting of a form of unitary Independence.

Roderick Matthews, Historian, Obtained a First from Balliol College, Oxford in Modern History. Studied Medieval History under Maurice Keen. Studied Tudor and Stuart History under Christopher Hill, Master of Balliol College. Studied European History under Colin Lucas, later Master of Balliol College and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University. Studied Imperial History under Professor Paul Longford, Rector of Lincoln College.


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