History KS3 / GCSE: Rulers and ruled in the British Empire

Men like Charles Stuart, of the East India Company, didn’t fit the stereotype of Empire builders as arrogant, racist oppressors.

Jeremy Paxman describes how earlier settlers adopted Indian clothing, customs and traditions.

They also married Indian women or took Indian mistresses, leaving some 150 million people in the country today who have at least some British blood in their veins.

This clip is from the series Empire.

Teacher Notes

Students could be asked to consider whether Britain should be proud or ashamed of its imperial past?

Or is the story of the Empire too complex to be described with these simplistic labels?

Were the pupils surprised by the story of Charles Stuart and of the attitude of the Anglo-Indians in the clip?

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History. This topic appears in KS3, KS4 and GCSE in England and Northern Ireland. Also KS3 in Wales and National 4 and National 5 in Scotland.

More from Empire

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Was the British Empire a force for good? (Part 1)
Was the British Empire a force for good? (Part 2)
What can cricket tell us about the British Empire?
What legacy has the British Empire left behind?
What was the role of money and trade in the British Empire?
Why does the British Empire matter?
Why was India so valuable to the British Empire?