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The phrase is attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, the British prime minister from 1874 to 1881. His policies spurred the expansion of the British Empire, in which he called India "the brightest jewel in the crown". In 1876, Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India, and British monarchs retained the title until 1947.

India had valuable resources that Europe wanted to exploit, like mineral ores and textiles. Even more importantly, it was both a huge source of cheap labor and a large market for British goods. As its largest colonial territory, India was the most important of the overseas possessions of the British Empire.

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India was the centerpiece, the "Jewel in the Crown" of the empire. Trade with and eventual political dominance over India was what provided Britain with large parts of it's wealth in the 1700-1900's. India provided huge resources and massive markets for British factories and goods. It provided tax income, natural mineral wealth, and a population who were inducted into the British armies and civil services. Indian Clerks and Soldiers worked and fought around the Empire.

Much of the early Empire was built around India, areas conquered or "influenced" in order to provide routes to India, or protection for India. A framework like the metalwork around a diamond in a crown.

The central diamond in the British State Crown is called the "Heart of India" and is one of the largest diamonds in the world, if not the largest.

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India was the jewel in the British Empire because at that time India was rich in spices, silk, indigo, gold, cotton and other products. India was both prosperous and rich. Traders who came to India gained riches. At that time pepper which was very famous and valuable in India was known as the black gold in the British empire.

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11y ago
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13y ago

India contained many spices, jewels, and valuables. By having control of that nation they got all of those things from it along with trade and commerce. because of that they thought it was their most valuable territory.

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11y ago

Very Simply, India was rich with resources, manpower and space compared to England, a nation which made its way into the sub-continent during the course of the 1800s and beyond, and she exploited India's resources and people, and left behind herself a very great deal of economic ruin and human suffering. England was able to finance its conflict with Napoleon with taxes raised in India.

India was rich with much that England could not produce as cheaply, or at all, because England could treat Indians worse than English people, and because the could pay them little compared to what they had to pay English people. Silk, indigo and fine cotton were among the main commodities that England got from India, part of which, that the English did not sell to other European nations nor consume itself, the English sold back, as manufactured goods (textiles), to Indians.

Realistically, India was the Jewel in the British Crown because India gave so much for relatively little English effort, and the English people profitted very greatly.

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11y ago

India became independent in 1948 from Great Britain

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Q: Why did Great Britain consider India part of their empire?
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What nation once ruled India?

The British granted independence to India on 15th August 1947.


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