Westborough History Connections

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

History and the Westborough Seal

  • History and the Westborough Seal – This Westborough History Connections article discusses how and why Westborough’s town seal was changed in 1967, Eli Whitney and the consequences that resulted from his cotton gin invention, and some uncomfortable content discovered while researching the seal.

The Fight for Women’s Suffrage in Westborough

How Does History Connect Westborough and India? Blog Series

Past Westborough History Connections Programs on Westborough TV:

Westborough and India

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@cwmars.org to get involved.

–Anthony Vaver, Local History Librarian, Westborough Public Library
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Westborough-India Connection Reading List

The following books are all available at the Westborough Public Library and are located on the Westborough History Connections Bookshelf (located outside of the Westborough Center for History and Culture).

Global Trade and the British Empire

  • The Silk Roads : a new history of the world / Peter Frankopan (909-FRANKOPAN)
  • The decline and fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 / Piers Brendon (909.097-BRENDON)
  • The rule of empires : those who built them, those who endured them, and why they always fall / Timothy H. Parsons (325.3-PARSONS)
  • Behemoth : a history of the factory and the making of the modern world / Joshua B. Freeman (338.64409 FREEMAN)
  • Empire of things : how we became a world of consumers, from the fifteenth century to the twenty-first / Frank Trentmann (339.4709 TRENTMANN)
  • Empire of cotton : a global history / Sven Beckert (338.47 BECKERT)
  • Selling empire : India in the making of Britain and America, 1600-1830 / Jonathan Eacott (382.609 EACOTT)
  • Captives : Britain, Empire and the world, 1600-1850 / Linda Colley (325.36 COLLEY)
  • Cities of empire : the British colonies and the creation of the urban world / Tristram Hunt (941 HUNT)
  • The rise and fall of the British Empire / Lawrence James (909.0971 JAMES)
  • The taste of empire: how Britain’s quest for food shaped the modern world / Lizzie Collingham (338.1941 COLLING)
  • A thirst for empire: how tea shaped the modern world / Erika Rappaport (641.3372 RAPPAPORT)
  • A social history of tea: tea’s influence on commerce, culture, & community / Jane Pettigrew (On order as of 11/19/18)

British Indian History

  • Gandhi : the man, his people, and the empire / Rajmohan Gandhi. (B-GANDHI-GAN)
  • Gandhi & Churchill : the epic rivalry that destroyed an empire and forged our age / Arthur Herman (325.54-HERMAN)
  • Gandhi and the unspeakable : his final experiment with truth / James W. Douglass (B-GANDHI-DOU)
  • Indira : the life of Indira Nehru Gandhi / Katherine Frank (B-GANDHI-FRA)
  • Great soul : Mahatma Gandhi and his struggle with India / Joseph Lelyveld (B-GANDHI-LEL)
  • Daughter of empire : my life as a Mountbatten / Lady Pamela Hicks (B-HICKS-HIC)
  • Indian summer : the secret history of the end of an empire / Alex von Tunzelmann (954.03-VON TUNZELMANN)
  • A traveller’s history of India / SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda (954-TAMMITA)
  • Ants among elephants : an untouchable family and the making of modern India / Sujatha Gidla (305.568-GIDLA)
  • India conquered : Britain’s Raj and the chaos of empire / Jon Wilson (382 WILSON)
  • Inglorious empire : What the British did to India / Shashi Tharoor (943.03 THAROOR)
  • The chaos of empire : the British Raj and the conquest of India / Jon Wilson (954.03 WILSON)
  • Women of the Raj : the mothers, wives, and daughters of the British Empire in India / Margaret MacMillan (954 MACMILLAN)
  • Raj : the making and unmaking of British India / Lawrence James (954.03 JAMES)
  • An era of darkness : the British empire In India / Shashi Tharoor (954.03 THAROOR)

British American History

  • An empire on the edge : how Britain came to fight America / Nick Bunker (973.3-BUNKER)
  • The rebellion begins : Westborough and the start of the American Revolution / by Anthony Vaver (973.2 VAVER)
  • Independence lost : lives on the edge of the American Revolution / Kathleen DuVal (973.3-DUVAL)
  • The dawn of innovation : the first American Industrial Revolution / Charles R. Morris ; illustrations by J.E. Morris (338.0973-MORRIS)
  • The first American revolution : before Lexington and Concord / Ray Raphael (973.3-RAPHAEL)
  • The spirit of 74 : how the American Revolution began / Ray Raphael and Marie Raphael (973.31-RAPHAEL)
  • American tempest : how the Boston Tea Party sparked a revolution / Harlow Giles Unger (973.3-UNGER)
  • Paul Revere’s ride / David Hackett Fischer (973.3-FISCHER)
  • The shoemaker and the tea party : memory and the American Revolution / Alfred F. Young (973.3-YOUNG)
  • Rebecca Dickinson : independence for a New England woman / Marla R. Miller (B-DICKINSON-MIL)
  • The unknown American Revolution : the unruly birth of democracy and the struggle to create America / Gary B. Nash (973.3-NASH)
  • American creation : triumphs and tragedies at the founding of the republic / Joseph J. Ellis (973.3-ELLIS)
  • The idea of America : reflections on the birth of the United States / Gordon S. Wood (973.3-WOOD)
  • A struggle for power : the American revolution / Theodore Draper (973.3-DRAPER)
  • Revolutionary summer : the birth of American independence / by Joseph J. Ellis (973.3-ELLIS)
  • 1776 / David McCullough (973.3-MCCULLOUGH)
  • Founding myths : stories that hide our patriotic past / Ray Raphael (973.3-RAPHAEL)
  • A people’s history of the American Revolution : how common people shaped the fight for independence / Ray Raphael (973.3092-RAPHAEL)
  • Revolutionary mothers : women in the struggle for America’s independence / Carol Berkin (973.3-BERKIN)
  • American heroes : profiles of men and women who shaped early America / Edmund S. Morgan (973.2-MORGAN)
  • Independence : the tangled roots of the American Revolution / Thomas P. Slaughter (973.311-SLAUGHTER)
  • Revolutionary characters : what made the founders different / Gordon S. Wood (973.3-WOOD)
  • The marketplace of revolution : how consumer politics shaped American independence (973.31-BREEN)
  • Revolutionary founders : rebels, radicals, and reformers in the making of the nation / edited by Alfred F. Young, Gary B. Nash, and Ray Raphael (973.3-REVOLUTIONARY)
  • Revolutionaries : a new history of the invention of America / by Jack Rakove (973.3-RAKOVE)
  • Slave nation : how slavery united the colonies and sparked the American Revolution / Alfred W. Blumrosen and Ruth G. Blumrosen (973.31-BLUMROSEN)
  • Founding mothers : the women who raised our nation / Cokie Roberts (973.3-ROBERTS)
  • The founders and finance : how Hamilton, Gallatin, and other immigrants forged a new economy / Thomas K. McCraw (330.973-MCCRAW)
  • Portrait of a woman in silk : hidden histories of the British Atlantic world / Zara Anishanslin (970.03 ANISHANSLIN)