British Empire
The rise of the British empire - India
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Map of India produced in 1857
(Catalogue ref: FO 925/2575 pt1 & pt2)
  • This map was produced in 1857 for a British company. It was based on surveys made by the British East India Company in the 1700s and 1800s.
  • Map making is much more than simply noting down where places are. Maps can tell historians a great deal about the aims and motives of the people who paid for the map to be made.
  • This map lists all of the British possessions in India. This suggests that the map was designed to show the rest of the world that India 'belonged' to Britain. Any government which rules a territory needs accurate maps of that land to rule it properly.
  • This map also suggests the importance of trade, by highlighting railways, ports and rivers.
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