The British had been strengthening and expanding their power slowly since 1803, when the East India Company took over vast areas of India. Three centuries prior to that the Mogul Empire, which was built by the Muslim invaders from Turkey and Afghanistan, had dominated most of the land. However, the mighty empire became weak due to civil wars and was finally overtaken by the British who seized the opportunity to expand their own colonies. The Indian subcontinent had been governed for twelve years by the British who had gained full political control when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi came into this world on October 2, 1869 (Clement 21). Mohandas was born into a wealthy family of the Vaishya caste, which belonged to one of the lower Hindu castes. The Hindus believe in four class structures within society; first being the Brahmins, literate priests and teachers, the military Kshatryas, the Vaishyas or merchants, to which Gandhi belonged. The fourth, Sudra, was composed of peasants and craftsmen. Finally, millions of Hindus who were deemed the untouchables belonged to no caste at all. .
However, even though being in one of the lowest casts, Mohandas" early life was a normal one, filled with events that characterized a typical Hindu family. As Hindu law dictated, Mohandas married at the age of 14 to Kasturbi, who was 13 at the time. The young couple were no more than two children without the simplest understanding of what marriage truly entailed. During his teenage years, Mohandas continued his pursuit of education. Eventually he decided to study law in England, in hopes that, one day, he might be able to inherit his father's old position as prime minister of his home town, Portbandar (Severance 23). Upon obtaining his law degree, Mohandas returned to India with the goal of establishing his own law firm. However, the task proved much more difficult than he had anticipated due to the various injustices Indians were subjected to under British social and political rule.