The first known permanent settlements in India appeared over 9,000 years ago, and gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilization, dating back to 3300 BCE in western India. It was followed by the Vedic Civilization which laid the foundations of Hinduism and other cultural aspects of early Indian society. From around 550 BCE, many independent kingdoms and republics known as the Mahajanapadas were established across the country.
The empire built by the Maurya dynasty under Emperor Ashoka united most of modern South Asia except the Tamil kingdoms in the south. From 180 BCE, a series of invasions from Central Asia followed including the Indo-Greeks, Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians and Kushans in the northwestern Indian Subcontinent. From the third century CE, the Gupta dynasty oversaw the period referred to as ancient India's "Golden Age." While the north had larger, fewer kingdoms, in the south there were several dynasties such as the Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Cheras, Cholas, Pallavas and Pandyas, overlapping in time and space. Science, engineering, art, literature, mathematics, astronomy, religion and philosophy flourished under the patronage of these kings.
The Sanchi stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh built by emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCFollowing the invasions from Central Asia, between the tenth to the twelfth centuries, much of north India came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate, and later the Mughal dynasty, who gradually expanded their reign through large parts of the Indian subcontinent. Nevertheless, several indigenous kingdoms flourished, especially in the south, like the Vijayanagara Empire. From the sixteenth century onwards, several European countries, including Portugal, Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom, started arriving as traders, later taking advantage of the fractious nature of relations between the kingdoms, to establish colonies in the country. By 1856, most of India came under control of the British East India Company. A year later, a nationwide insurrection of rebelling military units and kingdoms, known locally as the First War of Indian Independence (known as the Sepoy Mutiny elsewhere) broke out, which failed even as it seriously challenged British rule. India thus came under the direct control of the British Crown as a colony of the British Empire.
In the late 19th century "British India" took its first steps toward self-government with the appointment of Indian councillors to advise the British viceroy, and the establishment of provincial Councils with Indian members; the British subsequently widened participation in legislative councils. Beginning in 1920, Indian leaders such as Mohandas K. Gandhi (also known as Mahatma (Great Soul) Gandhi) and Subhas Chandra Bose transformed the Indian National Congress into a mass movement to campaign against British colonial rule.
In March 1930, Gandhi launched a new satyagraha against the tax on salt, highlighted by the famous Salt March to Dandi from March 21 to April 6, 1930, marching 400 kilometres (248 miles) from Ahmedabad to Dandi, Gujarat to make his own salt. Thousands of Indians joined him on this march to the sea. This campaign was one of his most successful and most violent, resulting in the imprisonment of over 60,000 people and death of an estimated three hundred protestors at the hands of nervous British and African Colonial troops which had been brought in to keep the peace. Among the dead however was the famous Gandhi himself.
A picture of Gandhi taken just moments before his death.
Soon after his death protests, violent and peaceful swept the nation. British and Colonial troops were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of protests, and quickly began the process of liberating the crown jewel of the United Kingdom’s colonial empire. While many called for the process to be halted, continued violence in India would make the process even more violent.
Finally in early 1935, the United Kingdom quietly handed power over to the Indian Government. While it was hoped that India would remain close to the United Kingdom as many former colonies had, Indian nationalists quickly seized power and rejected any cooperation with the UK that was not ‘in India’s best interests, and her interests alone’ and began embarking on a course to build India into a military might.
The Indian Army on its first official parade celebrating India’s independence.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1936 1.3b HOI2 normal/normal, edited to let me play as an independent India.