One of the earliest human civilizations arose in the Indus River valley and ancient India was a great center of early humanity and an early center of global trade and cultural transfer being on the edge of the Hellenic world in the wake of Alexander the Great’s conquests and just southwest of China. India had early contacts with the Roman world as well as extensive contacts with Persia and then Muslims from the west and Mongols from the north. India quickly became among the world’s most diverse and sought after regions and in the 1500 and 1600’s the Mughal Empire became the subcontinental hegemon. It was at this time that Europeans began coming to India in search of trade. In the 1700’s the Indians, British, and French squared off time and time again for control of regional trade and often this battle spilled over into outright political conflict. The French and Indian War saw the breaking of the French in India as well as the decline of the Mughal Empire and its replacement with various small states under the titular control of the Mughal Emperor, small independent states, and the loose Maratha Confederation. With India weakened by infighting and Britain as the dominant European state in the region the British East India Company flexed its muscles and became the hegemon of the region, finding itself in control of vast swathes of coastal and Ganges River territory.
1799 to 1830
In 1799 during the Franco-American War, American marines shocked India with the capture of the French factory towns that were the last vestige of the French Empire in India. In the early 1800’s these towns were formally annexed by the United States beginning the era of American India. Britain still held the upper hand and tolerated the tiny American presence but American diplomats, headlined by Thomas Jefferson’s post-presidential tour of India, began encouraging an organized alliance of Indian rulers against the British. These efforts paid off during the War of the Sixth Coalition when the United States and the Congress of India led the War of Indian Independence ending with the expulsion of the British East India Company from the subcontinent (and the transfer of Bombay to the Americans).
The post-independence world for India did not go well. The organization and alliances that endured with the common British threat fell apart to infighting and politicking in the absence of a common threat. Rulers invited European trading companies back to their midst further exasperating the situation. To pay off war debts and maintain standing armies the various states needed to keep now large taxes were levied on the lower castes or on whichever religion was the ostracized religion of the state. This pressure coupled with ineffective governance and enlightenment ideals brought to India from the Europeans and Americans led to the nightmare of India: the Bharati Wars.
The Bharat state arose from a revolution in Hyderabad by the Hindu majority against the Muslim Nizam, led by Paravastu Chinnayasuri. The revolution ignited the lower classes of India and the Hindu population as a whole, most of whom lived in states ruled by Muslims, a leftover curiosity from the days of the Muslim Mughal Empire. Numerous states fell and royal families executed as southern India fell to Bharatism. However the unsustainable practices of the Bharati state and the petering out of the revolution/expansion cycle and an organized response by a coalition of free Indian states, Americans, Europeans, and anti-Bharatists acting underground in the Bharati state eventually led to the checking of Bharati expansion capped with the American defense of Bombay and Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Punjab leading an organized response and victory over the Bharati army at Segour, one of the bloodiest battles in world history . The death of Singh and the subsequent “Proclamation of Purity” which was in essence Chinnayasuri’s declaration of war on non-Hindus led to the allied invasions of Bharat under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte who had been brought in to command allied troops and win the war. The counterattack on Bharat culminated with the Battle of Hyderabad and the death of Chinnayasuri ending the Bharati Wars.
1830 to Present
In the wake of the wars, numerous reforms occurred to accommodate the changed socio-political situation in India but like before infighting and squabbling resumed with wars occurring on the Indian periphery as frontier states turned outward to reassess states like Jammu and Burma who had taken advantage of the wars to gain power and build their empires while no one was looking. The most famous of these conflicts was the Bengali-Burma War in which Burma defeated Bengal furthering discontent within that state, fracturing the post-war Confederation of India over the issue, and turning Mysore away from India and towards the United States.