Westborough History Connections

“Westborough History Connections” is a rolling series of programs where we will explore how Westborough connects to regional, national, and international historical trends.

In the coming year (2018-2019), we will work together to figure out the following question: “How Does History Connect Westborough and India?” The short answer is that both Westborough and India once fell under the British Empire and then we both rebelled and gained our independence. The long answer is more complex–and fascinating!

Starting in the early 17th century, England instituted an aggressive plan to expand its world economic interests in both North America and East Asia. During this expansion, both New England and India became part of the British Empire, one of the most powerful and expansive empires in history. But the people in these two areas of the world ultimately rebelled against the British colonial system that ruled over them, with Westborough serving as a leading participant in the revolution that played out here in Massachusetts.

Throughout the year we will explore the similarities and differences that both the American colonies and India experienced under British rule, the decisions the British made that impacted both sides of the world, and how we each carried out our revolutions. We will also look at how global trade connected India and North America to each other—all with an eye towards how these global trends impacted Westborough in particular.

Together, we may discover other ways that history connects Westborough and India, but I need your help. Throughout the year, I will be posing questions, reviewing books, and creating programs that attempt to answer this question. But do you have something more that you would like to contribute? Do you have an idea for a program, or would you like to give a talk or hold a discussion circle about some aspect of this question? Would you like to help me create an exhibit or gather documents for the archives that help tell this story? Please e-mail me at avaver@town.westborough.ma.us to get involved. Also, visit the Westborough History Connections Facebook page to interact and share your ideas.
–Anthony Vaver