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- ABC News The colonial period of India lasted from the 16th century to 1947 and it was a period of great change. During this period, Britain had control over India and the country saw a large influx of British people, laws and culture. The British Raj, which was the name given to the British rule in India, had a major impact on the country and its people. The British Raj brought with it many changes, both positive and negative, to India. On the positive side, the British brought new technology, new forms of transportation and communication, and improved infrastructure. They also introduced new forms of education, economic reforms, and legal systems. On the negative side, the British imposed their own laws and culture on the Indian people, which caused social and political unrest. In addition, many of the British policies were exploitative and oppressive, leading to poverty and inequality. The legacy of the British Raj still affects India today, and the country is still struggling to overcome its colonial past.