Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jonathan Petropoulos

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2019 Aaryaman Sheoran


The combination of nationalism and colonialism has remained understudied in academia, despite the important interaction between the two phenomena. European ideas bled over into their colonial empires and began to fill the power vacuum created by colonial enterprises. This study analyzes the impact of British colonialism on the development of national identity in British India and Nigeria.

British influences included large scale economic disruption, cultural reform through ‘westernizing’ the population and abolishing local customs, and creating a new set of institutions to replace traditional power centers. Inevitably, these factors created a nationalist surge across both the Raj and Nigeria, as new elites demanded political freedoms; national institutions and economic nationalism supported these demands. This study examines the importance of all three of these categories and tries to understand the importance of each in forging a unified national identity where there previously had been none.