The British Campaign in Afghanistan 1839-1842

The British campaign against Afghanistan was prompted by fear, began with hubris, squandered advantages, decayed into folly, and ended with tragedy. Many other military campaigns, and endeavors in life, are the same. 

India was the crown jewel of the British Empire, providing raw materials such as cotton for the growing British economy. Queen Victoria had just taken the throne (20 June 1837) of “this vast empire on which the sun never sets, and whose bounds nature has not yet ascertained.” The British East India Company was in de facto control of much of modern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, except for in the United States, British arms had prevailed for a century, and the Industrial Revolution (mid 1700s to mid 1800s) was transforming the British Lion into the first European superpower since Rome.

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