India’s revolution was most successful. India met their goals more than the other revolutions in China, Russia, and Ireland. Through the revolution, India fought with Britain in a nonviolent way with the guidance of Gandhi, and still ended up accomplishing all of their goals to become an individual country. Britain had complete control over India, and India was sick of it. Britain and India had made a compromise; if India gave up their men to fight for Britain’s army in World War I, in return for their service the British government promised reforms that would eventually get India to have self-government. During the war, India pushed the British more and more and their demands led to the declaration in Parliament favoring the “increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration, and the gradual development of self governing institutions” (1). To India, they thought that this was high progress and would eventually lead to self rule. But they knew it was too good to be true. In 1918, the Indian troops returned back home from war. India was excited that they have returned, for now they expected Britain to go through with their promise of granting India self-rule.
When the British didn’t grant their promise, the angry nationalists showed acts of violence to show their hatred for the British rule. To curb dissent, the British passed the Rowlatt Act in 1919. This act stated that the government could take jail protesters without trial for as long as two years (2). This angered the people of India greatly and even more so than before, that as a way to protest they gathered ten thousand Hindus and Muslims and flocked over to Amritsar, the capital of Punjab in 1919. Not knowing the British had banned public meetings, the Indians prayed and listened to public speeches. The British commander General Reginald Dyer ordered his troops to attack the Muslims and Hindus without any warning. The shooting went on for ten minutes, killing over four hundred Indians and injuring over one thousand. This was known as the Amritsar Massacre, and was the final straw for the Indians. The Indians craved independence, and were ready to fight for it. India’s revolution was most successful because they met their goals through civil disobedience, had the guidance of Mohandas Gandhi to break Britain’s economy, and fought in a non-violent ways to finally get self rule.
A LEADER STEPS UP
The Amritsar Massacre gave a chance for a man to step up to the plate and lead India into this revolution. Mohandas K. Gandhi was a universal man, who could relate to everyone in some way whether that be religion or political views. The Indians looked up to him for his strong attitude resisting the British, because he stood up for his rights, as well as others. When the British failed to punish the officers who killed and injured Indians in the Amritsar Massacre, Gandhi took it as a challenge. Gandhi urged the people of India to follow passive resistance, otherwise known as civil disobedience (3).
This is when the people refused to follow any rules brought on by the British. This included refusing to buy British goods, pay British taxes, and vote in elections. Gandhi also had Indians weave their own cloth, and this successfully boycotted the British out of one of their sources of wealth. The British economy began to fall, and this angered the British. Throughout the 1920s, the British arrested thousands of Indians who had participated in Gandhi’s requests. Gandhi’s secret weapon of civil disobedience was finally paying off. Britain’s jails started overflowing, they struggled to keep trains running, and also took a toll on factories operating. Britains economy just keep getting worse, and declined from there.
A MARCH TO REMEMBER
In 1930, Gandhi came up with the idea to defy the hated Salt Acts. These British laws stated that India could only buy salt that was sold from the government and had to pay sales taxes on salt as well. Gandhi made up a plan to oppose to this act. Gandhi lead the Indians two hundred and forty miles to the seacoast. When they got there, they started making their own salt by collecting sea water and evaporating it to use for their own, without having to pay taxes from the government. India was standing up for themselves, and were starting to achieve their goals. This is when the British began to crack, and India kept pushing through.
HURTING WITHOUT VIOLENCE
India achieved independence by civil disobedience. Their non-violent ways lead them to victory, where instead of physically hurting the British, they took a stand and hurt them where it hurts the most- their economy. Through Gandhi’s guidance, India took a stand and destroyed Britain’s economy, by refusing to buy British goods, pay British taxes, and vote in elections. Britain had crashed, and they could not battle their fight any longer. Compared to other revolutions, India was more at a superior level in accomplishment because in the end, the got the job done without having armies or violence involved. In Russia’s revolution, they were the most violent compared to India’s revolution. The rulers in Russia were known as the Czars, and refused to give up power. Their leaders included Alexander III and Nicholas II. Alexander III turned Russia into a police state, teeming with spies and informers (4). To establish a uniform in Russian culture, Alexander III oppressed other nation groups with Russia, forcing them to live their lives as Russians.
He made Russian the official language of the empire and forbade the use of minority languages in schools. Alexander III also targeted Jews specifically, saying they could not buy land that Russian’s lived on, strict quotas in Universities, and Jewish citizens basically had their lives destroyed by other Russians, and the empire did nothing about it (5). Another ruler, Nicholas II resisted change in 1894. The people in Russia could not take this inequality any longer, and decided to finally take charge and make a change. Russia was at an all time low, and Russian citizens finally evolved into a revolution. Instead of thinking the situation through like India did, Russia went straight through and wanted change as soon as possible. On January 22nd, 1905, about 200,000 workers and their families approached the Czar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.
These citizens carried a petition, demanding better working conditions, more personal freedom, and an elected national legislature . At this time, Nicholas II was not currently in the palace, but his chiefs and police were. They were ordered to fire at the crowd, killing between 500 to 1,000 unarmed citizens. Russian’s quickly came up with the name “Bloody Sunday”. After Bloody Sunday concurred, it provoked a wave of endless strikes and violence. Russia was dragged into World War I unprepared by Nicholas II, and made Russia’s economy fall drastically (6). Unlike India, Russia thought that hurtful strikes and violence would make a statement in the Czar’s eyes. Because of Russia’s revolution, many people were killed in the process. In India, people were punished and put in jails, but never fought physically with Britain like Russia was. India also built up their advantage of finally getting self rule, while at the time Russia still had a bad economy. India successfully won their revolution, with not violence like Russia, but with civil disobedience.
SUCCESS AT LAST
Through Gandhi’s guidance and non-violent ways, India was finally achieving their goals. India took the risk of rebellion, and even though many Indian citizens were arrested often, their plan was working. The British economy was finally crashing. In , and was at rock bottom. With India’s clever ways of using civil disobedience and nonviolence, they were more successful than other revolutions in Russia, Ireland, and China. In 1935, the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act. This granted India self-rule and limited democratic elections. All of India’s hard work was finally paying off. With this act finally passed, India worked on gaining full independence, and slowly started achieving their number one goal- becoming an independent country against Britain.
India’s revolution was most successful. India had a goal to gain self rule and no longer be dangled underneath Britain’s hand. Throughout this revolution, India made effective choices by fighting with Britain, but in a nonviolent way. With the guidance of Gandhi, India ended up accomplishing all of their goals to become an individual country and no longer be under Britain’s rule. By 1930, the leader of India’s revolution, Gandhi, decided that the time is right for civil disobedience directed at the heart of British interests. Gandhi decided to take a stand against the Salt Acts. What they did was processed their own salt, which angered Britain, because they were not purchasing salt through Britain. India was also nonviolent. Instead of physically hurting Britain which would result in turmoil, India used smarter choices and used civil obedience, not violence. Unlike Russia, India did not have to go through the pain and loss that Russia had to go through Bloody Sunday. India did not want to end up the way Russia did. By the end of Russia’s revolution, their economy was broken and supplies were scarce.
The Czar’s of Russia were also very threatening, trying to scare Russian citizens with violence. Gandhi believed that the could overcome the British without using violence, and that is just what India did. At the end of their revolution, they were successful. Great Britain finally granted India self-rule after how broken Britain’s economy was from the civil disobedience. India was finally successful, being granted the Government of India Act. This act provided local self-government and limited democratic elections. Even if India did not have complete independence, they slowly starting reaching their way to the top to having full independence.
If we were having these issues in the present, we would have handled it the same way India did. Violence is never the answer. Risking your life or a loved one’s life, is never the way to resolve problems. To resolve problems you must think creatively and effectively. With a leader such as Gandhi, us modern citizens could overcome such an issue. Civil disobedience was a key strategy used in India, and could also be used today. It would be a tough road, but I know we could achieve our goals just like India in gaining independence. India’s revolution was most successful because they met their goals, had the guidance of Mohandas Gandhi, and fought in a non-violent ways.
1. Beck, R. B. (2005). Revolution and Nationalism, 1900-1939. Modern World History: Patterns Of Interaction (p. 405). Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell.
2. Beck, R. B. (2005). Revolution and Nationalism, 1900-1939. Modern world history: patterns of interaction (p. 406). Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell.
3. A Force More Powerful. (n.d.). A Force More Powerful. Retrieved January 11, 2013, from http://www.aforcemorepowerful.org/films/afmp/stories/india.php
4. Beck, R. B. (2005). Revolution and Nationalism, 1900-1939. Modern World History: Patterns Of Interaction (p. 405). Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell.
5. Revolutionaries, p., & Dictatorship, s. t. (n.d.). SparkNotes: The Russian Revolution (1917–1918): Key People & Terms. SparkNotes: Today’s Most Popular Study Guides. Retrieved January 11, 2013, from
6. Beck, R. B. (2005). Revolution and Nationalism, 1900-1939. Modern world history: patterns of interaction (p. 389). Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell.