01. Introduction
02. Grammar/Activities:
03. Reading Section
04 Listening Section:
05. Speaking Section:
06. Writing Section:
07 Practice TOEFL tests

Listening Test 1.7


Professor – British involvement in India during the 18th century can be divided into two phases–one ending and the other beginning at mid-century. In the first half of the century, the British were a trading presence at certain points along the coast. From the 1750s, they began to wage war on land in eastern and southeastern India and to reap the reward of successful warfare which was the exercise of political power, notably under the rich province of Bengal. By the end of the century, British rule had been consolidated over the first conquests and it was being extended up the Ganges valley to Delhi and over most of the peninsula of Southern India. By then, the British had established a military dominance that would enable them in the next 50 years to subdue all the remaining Indian states of any consequence, either conquering them or forcing their rulers to become subordinate allies. At the beginning of the 18th century, English commerce with India was nearly 100 years old. It was transacted by the East India Company which had been given a monopoly of all English trade to Asia by ___ at its foundation in 1600. Through many vicissitudes, the company had evolved into a commercial concern only matched in size by its Dutch rival. Some of 3,000 shareholders subscribed to a stock of 3,200,000 pounds. A further 6 million was borrowed on short-term bonds. Twenty or 30 ships a year were sent to Asia and annual sales in London were worth up to 2 million pounds. Twenty-four directors elected annually by the shareholders ran the company’s operation from its headquarters in the city of London. Towards the end of the 17th century, India became the focal point of the company’s trade. Cotton cloth woven by Indian weavers was being imported into Britain in huge quantities to supply a worldwide demand for cheap, washable, lightweight fabrics for dresses and furnishings. The company’s main settlements, Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta, were established in the Indian provinces where cotton textiles for export were most readily available. These settlements had evolved from factories or trading posts into major commercial towns under British jurisdiction, as Indian merchants and artisans moved in to do business with the company and with British inhabitants who lived there. The East India Company’s trade was built on a sophisticated Indian economy. India offered foreign trade as the skill of its artisans in weaving cloth and winding raw silk. Agricultural products for export, such as sugar, the indigo dye or opium, and the ___ merchants and rich bankers. During the 17th century at least, the effective rule maintained by the Mughal emperors throughout much of the subcontinent provide a secure framework for trade. The company’s Indian trade in the first half of the 18th century seems to be established on a stable and profitable basis. Those who directed its affairs in London could see no case for military or political intervention to try to change the status quo. The British did, however, start to intervene in Indian politics from the 1750s and revolutionary changes in their role in India were to follow. This change of course can be best explained partly in terms of changed conditions in India and partly as a consequence of the aggressive ambitions of the local British themselves. Conditions in India were certainly changing. The Mughal Empire was dissintegrated and was being replaced by a variety of regional states. This did not produce a situation of anarchy and chaos as was once to be assumed. Some of the regional states maintain stable rule and there was no marked overrule economic decline throughout India.