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How did India become a British Colony?

The ills of British Raj in India are well documented; historians - both Indian and British - have also left large literature [ ref ] regarding the revolt of 1857. Popular perception has it that the British defeated a motley band of Indian princely states who came together under the titular regime of Bahadur Shah Zafar - the last Moghul. This description while technically accurate hides in itself a very important disgrace - as to how did the British get to the point where they became the common opponent to all the princely states. Surely, the East India Company's (EIC) conniving use of their relations with certain Indian states, its treachery and opportunism in using 'laws' like Doctrine of Lapse - brought them to a position of control in several parts of India, but this was not sufficient for a foreign entity whose officers had once prostrated in front of India's monarch, to gain control over large parts of India. The main events which brought EIC (the pre