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How did geography affect the political and economic development of India?

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The Himalayan Mountains serve as India's northern border. This was important to keeping Chinese and Mongol invaders out of the country. India's climate is also good for growing various crops, including spices. India's spice trade was very important for fueling European demand for exploration during the Renaissance. India's coastal location and close proximity to Africa and Southeast Asia also tied it to various trade networks, thus allowing the country to become rich in terms of trade. This trade would also make India a target for European exploitation, starting with the Portuguese in the 1500s and ending when Britain granted the nation its independence in 1947.

India has a long-contested border with Pakistan, another former British colony. The two nations contest the ownership of Kashmir. This region continues to serve as a flashpoint between the two nuclear-armed powers.

The Indus and Ganges rivers are very important in Indian culture. Their floods are often disruptive, but they also...

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