What is the Problem with the Periodisation of Indian History that James Mill offers?

By Shivank Goel|Updated : September 5th, 2022

The problem with the periodisation of Indian history that James Mill offers is that he divided Indian periods of history on the basis of the religion of the rulers, i.e. Hindus and Muslims. This was unfair as several other religions also existed at the time, along with Hindu and Muslim. Also, all the rulers at that time did not necessarily share the same faith, which is why this classification based on religion was completely incorrect.

James Mill was also of the opinion that all the Asian societies were less civilized than that of Europe. He was in favour of British rule over India.

James Mill and His Periodisation of Indian History

James Mill was a political philosopher and economist of Scottish origin. He was known for his heavy three-volume work on 'History of British India'. As per his observations, India was in dire need of British rule, and it was only the Britishers who could make India a civilized country.

He believed that before British rule, India was a place of darkness, taboos, superstitions, religious intolerance and ignorance. He was of the view that the British should take control of all Indian territories to make it progress and further civilisation by introducing laws and instilling European manners.

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  • James Mill was a Scottish economist and political philosopher. He is known for his 3 volume work on ‘History of British India’.

  • James Mill was of the opinion that all Asian societies were not as civilized as Europe and that India needed British rule to make progress and find enlightenment.

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