The Empire of India, by which we mean nearly the whole of India, is subject to Great Britain, either absolutely or as tributary states. In area India is larger than all the Pacific states and territories, and it has (despite the terrible ravages of the famine of 1899 and 1900, which carried away millions) more than three times as many inhabitants as the United States. Next to the Chinese Empire, India is the most populous government of the world. The country, as a whole, is remarkable for its high, snow-covered peaks, hot climate, and large population. Agriculture and stock-raising are the principal industries. Its low plains in the north are the most fertile in the world, the west and south being occupied by desert tracts.

India was settled by the Aryans about 1400 B. C. They were Brahmins, but unlike the Brahmins of the present time in their religious teaching and practices. Their language was the Sanskrit. The people are divided into castes. They believe in the transmigration of souls. Gautama or Buddha, about 500 B. C, introduced a form of religion which, after a long struggle with Brahman ism, was overcome in India and transplanted into China, where it has degenerated into a debasing form of idolatry-Queen Elizabeth chartered the East India Company in 1600 A. D. The vast empire, which had grown by its conquests, was transferred to the British Crown in 1858.

The exports are cotton, opium, rice, wheat, and jute. Cattle, camels, buffalos, sheep, and goats are numerous. The inhabitants subsist, principally, upon rice, fish, and tea.

Calcutta is the capital and the largest city in India, and the most important city in Asia. Bombay, on the western coast, and Madras, on the eastern, are important cities.

Queen Victoria was made the Empress of India in 1876, and Edward VII., her son and successor on the British throne, is its present Emperor.