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Britain was able to dominate the Indian sub-continent, that includes modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from the mid-eighteenth century. The British were able to effectively rule the sub-continent for almost two centuries, until 1947, with relatively little opposition and unrest. How was Britain, several thousand miles away and with a much smaller population come to dominate an entire sub-continent? The reason for this was as a direct result of a unique series of circumstances that allowed Britain to establish its authority over hundreds of millions of people. Among these factors were the decline of the Mughal Empire, a lack of unity among the local inhabitants, no real rivals, technological advantages and a clever policy of retaining local elites in power and gaining their cooperation.
'''Attractions of British Rule
Many Indians proved willing to accept rule and they did no try to oppose or rebel against the British presence in their lands, for they recognized the benefits of their rule. For decades, war had been endemic <ref>Bandyopadhyay, Sekhar. From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India (New Delhi and London: Orient Longmans, 2004), p. 59</ref>" . However, the areas that came under the direct and indirect influence of the British tended to be more stable. They discouraged those local rulers who were under their influence to restrain from attacking their neighbors and as a result, the level of violence in the country began to decline. This persuaded many to accept the British even though they were aware of their exploitation of their lands. With the growing stability trade and economic activity increased over years of decline and this ensured that many local elites cooperated with the British <ref> Spear, p. 98 #.</ref>". Furthermore, the British tolerated all the various creeds and beliefs in India. They did not seek to impose any religion or ideology on the Indians and in a sense they revived the tolerant policies of many Indian rulers such as Ashoka and Akbar the Great. This reconciled many Indians, especially Hindus to the British Raj.<ref>Peers, Douglas M. ''India under Colonial Rule 1700–1885'' (Harlow and London: Pearson Longmans, 2003) p. 163.</ref>. Furthermore, the British adopted a light-touch approach to government and they did not interfere with Indian customs and way of life. In fact, many Indians had no direct contact with the British in the early decades of their rule and this meant that there was relatively little popular opposition to their rule. These all helped to ensure that the British were able to rule a vast and diverse territories.