Why Nepal was never colonized by the British

Published by Hyginus on

Image credit: Wikipedia

The British were colonial masters to many countries, however, the Gorka kingdom of Nepal is an exception.

Britain as at 1922 had a quarter of the World under it’s empire. The British empire territories in parts of North America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Africa. They had fractions of territories in Central and South America. 

However, one territory the British tried and failed to get was Nepal.

Nepal consisted of the Kathmandu Valley region in the 1700sand had neighboring Kingdoms of which Gorkha was the most powerful.

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The King of Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan Shah, in 1743 was eager to expand his kingdom to the Kathmandu Valley region. After conquering the nearby kingdoms, Prithvi had difficulty in defeating the Kathmandu Valley. He eventually conquered the Kathmandu Valley, naming the south border Nepal.

Prithvi tried to protect the kingdom from the British control. As at that period, the British were in charge of India and had formed the British East Indian Company. However, the British would go on to battle for the Nepal territory.

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The Brits had an ambition to take control of the hilly Nepal kingdom north of India.

This situation led to the Ango-Nepalese war between 1814-1816.

During the war, the Britains attacked the Gorkali army on five fronts. The Brits lost on three fronts. However, the Nepal western boundaries were breached by the British India company.

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Nepal were forced into signing a treaty with the Brits (Treaty of Sugauli) in 1816.

The treaty did not favour Nepal as they lost 33% of it’s land to British East Indian Company.

The controversial treaty also meant Nepal permitted a British representative in it’s internal affairs. On the good side, this treaty did not allow a British rule over Nepal’s territory.

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