Why was India so valuable to the British Empire?
India was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire. As well as spices, jewels and textiles, India had a huge population. Soldiering was an honourable tradition in India and the British capitalised on this. They regimented India’s manpower as the backbone of their military power. Indian troops helped the British control their empire, and they played a key role in fighting for Britain right up to the 20th century.