Administration of East India Company

The structure of Government and the Economic Policies of the East India Company, 1757- 1857

Beginning of direct British Rule in India

The life of a British Army officer during the early days of direct British rule in India

Clive as founder of British Indian Empire

  • Clive fought Battle of Plassey & England victory in this battle prepared the background for emergence of British Indian Empire in time to come.
  • Clive played important role in victory of England in 2nd Carnatic war. His successful seize of arcot in 1751 turned table against French.
  • Clive signed treaty Allahabad through which company received Dewani right of Bengal, Bihar & Orissa. This treaty had legitimated England conquest of Bengal.
  • During his 2nd tenure (1765-67) as government of Bengal. Clive initiated number of steps to create an efficient administrative structure.
  • He established dual government in Bengal in which company enjoyed all power without any responsibility.
  • In 1765, he created society of trade to established companies monopoly over spices tobacco salt pepper etc.
  • In 1766, he suppressed white mutiny (muting of European soldiers).
  • These success & efforts made by Clive played an important role in emergence of British Empire.


Limitations of Character/Act of Clive

  • Clive was extent greedy, he suppressed private trade of others but he himself indulged in his private trade.
  • He was corrupt.
  • Clive misused his official capacity to make personal gains.
  • The system of dual government established by Clive resulted in all round degeneration of Bengal.


Subsidiary Alliance System

  • In history of establishment of British Rule in India, the England used a number of politico-military & diplomatic measures to strengthen the foundation of their authority and to wipe out various challenges. Among these instruments, the subsidiary alliance system wars of greatest significance.
  • This system helped company in countering internal as well as external challenges. It was having politico-military as well as economic dimensions.


Evolution of Subsidiary Alliance System

  • This system was based on idea of supporting a friendly native rule in his wars & battle.
  • This idea was creation of mind of French government duplex because he was 1st in Europe to provide military assistance to friendly Native System during succession dispute of Hyderabad & Carnatic.
  • From French the idea was adopted by English Company & gradually it evolved into full-fledged system.
  • History evolution of Subsidiary alliance system can be divided in four phases.
  • During the 1st phase, company supported friendly native ruler in wars & battles.
  • During 2nd stage, company started playing bigger role in wars & battle of Native State.
  • In 3rd stage, native ruler was asked to supply money not maintain Company started fighting wars for him on its own.
  • The 4th stage, native ruler asked to keep a permanent subsidiary force in his capital. The small state was asked to pay for un-keep of force. Bigger state was asked to surrender a part of its territory yielding revolution equal to cost of maintaining subsidiary force.
  • Gradually other provision like surrending foreign relation & maintain an England resident in capital of Native System were added.
  • It revolved into full-fledged system under Lord Wellesley.


Provisions & Principles of Subsidiary Alliance System

  • A permanent subsidiary force was stationed in capital of Native State.
  • An England resident was to stay Native State.
  • Native ruler was to surrender his foreign relation to English Company.
  • He was not to enter into offensive or defensive alliance & was not to sign any war/peace without permission of company.
  • No European country wasn’t having friendly relation with Britain, was not employed without permission of the company.
  • Company was not to interfere in international affair of Native State.
  • The company was to protect Native State from all kinds of threat and enemies.


Benefits to English Company

  • Subsidiary alliance system was torsion horse tactics. It gradually & discretely disarmed Native State. The capacity of Native State to oppose English Company was taken away & clock of paramount were put over Native State.
  • Once native ruler signed System Alliance, there was no way to come out of it.
  • Native rulers were used to become dependent on mercy of company. Only friendly Native Rulers were allowed to exist the non-friendly Native Ruler were replaced.
  • This system enabled company to maintain large force without encoring any additional cost.
  • This force could be used any time against all sorts of energy at shortest possible notice.
  • Force stationed at places of greatest significance i.e. capital of Native state.
  • Subsidiary alliance system resulted in complete degeneration in native state. This destruction was visible in political admin socio-cultural as well as economic life of Native State.
  • Through the provision of the government of India act 1858, the East India Company was taken over by British crown, as a result of which the direct British Rule commenced in India.
  • Here after every Indian decision as taken by British government directly. India was clearly a part of British Indian Empire.
  • In 1877, Queen Victoria was proclaimed as the empress of India this direct British Rule continued till 1947 when British paramount lapsed.


Policy of Ring – Fence

  • The 1st phase in the history of British Rule was characterized by the policy of Ring-Fence.
  • This phrase was coined by English scholar William Lee Warner who analyzed the history of the evolution of British India Empire in his book “Indian Native States”.
  • Beginning with the East India Company victory in the battle of Plassey in 1757, the English gradually emerged as a political power at that time they were not much more powerful Indian states that could have threatened the very existence of East India Company in India.
  • During the period of (1757-1813), the company used friendly Indian states to create a safety ring around its territories so that conflict with Indian states could be avoided & if any conflict takes place the support of friendly buffer state could be ensure.
  • In North India Awadh was used as buffer to keep Marathas away from Bengal.
  • In South India, Hyderabad & Carnatic were used as buffers to keep Marathas & Mysore away.
  • The policy of ring fence represented a well calculated approach.
  • The East India Company knew that if its territories are attacked the invader would be coming through a friendly buffer state in such a scenario the fight will takes place in the territories of buffer state & the East India Company territories remained safe in war & destruction.
  • The policy of ring fence allowed East India Company to strengthen its political foundation in India it was abounded by Lord Hasting because by this time the East India Company had emerged the strongest politico-military power in India.



Dual government of Bengal (1765-1772)

  • In this dual government English Company was enjoying all the politico-military economic authority in Bengal. The Nawab of Bengal was maintained as nominal/titular head.
  • In Feb 1765, when Mir Jafar died, Nazm-Ud-Daula was allowed to only on condition of transferring. Nizamat fun to English company i.e. fun of maintain army & admin criminal justice.
  • Through treaty of Allahabad signed by Clive with Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II in Aug 1765, the company got Diwani rights of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa i.e. rights to collect revenue & admin civil justice.
  • As a result of this transfer, company emerged a real power in Bengal. The Nawab was just symbolic head. This arrangement remained in force till 1772.


Impact of Dual Government

  • Establishment of dual government resulted in extent exploitation of Bengal company used the politico-military authority to exploit peasants, craftsman & traders. As a result of this agrarian got ruined & Indian handicraft industry started declining.
  • Situation of anarchy development in Bengal because the Nawab had no power with him to look after responsibility of maintaining law & order. He couldn’t punish incompetent officer enjoying support of company.
  • Dual Government put Bengal in severe crisis, Bengal was strutted by severe famine in 1769 which resulted in death of 1/3rd
  • The company started draining out Indian resource to Bengal. The wealth plundered by company in Bengal was used to finance Indian trade as well as battle in India.

Regulating Act of 1773





  • The regulating act of 1773 was enacted by British parliament to bring English Company under government regulation. It was necessity because the character of company had changed quite significantly during the previous few decades.
  • By this time, the company had emerged as political power in India. It was no longer just commercial entity.
  • Bengal, Bombay & Madras were the 3 main centers of English Company in India. These 3 presidencies were headed by 3 separate governors. The status of governors was equal. They were directly controlled by code of directors from London because of equal status, there was lack of co-ordination among the 3 governors a mechanism was required to development admin hierarchy.
  • Due to excessive indulgence in politico-military act, company commercial act was adversely affected. While company’s officers returning London with their pockets full of gold company was facing situation of financial bankruptcy. There was a need to curve the arbitrary fun of company.
  • In 1772, company applied for loan of 1 million pound with home government. This provided an opportunity to British parliament to enact a load to regulate fun of company.


Provisions of Regulating Act

  • The governor of Bengal was made Governor General of Bengal. He was given supervisory control over Bombay & Madras press in matters of peace & war.
  • To eliminate the possibility of arbitrary behavior of Governor General a colligate form of government was created.
  • An executive council of 4 members was established. All the decisions were to be taken by Governor General in Calcutta through a majority vote.
  • Governor General was given just an extra casting vote.
  • A supervisory control was to be established at Calcutta. This was created in 1774.


Significance of Provisions of Act

  • This started the procedure of admin centralization in India which was very necessary to ensure co-operation & co-ordination among various presidencies.
  • Regulating act imparted parliamentary recognition to conquest of India because British parliament approved control of English Company over Indian territories.



  • Position of Governor General in the arrangement created by regulating act was too weak to be effective.
  • Governor General was at mercy of his executive council (English Company). Any 3 members of executive council could form a group & could impose their decision on Governor General because of this serious problems were encountered in fun of Governor General in Calcutta.
  • Regulating act of 1773 created supervisory control but didn’t define its jurisdiction.
  • Because of this, a constant conflict witnessed between Governor General in council & supervisory control because both were claiming superiority over each other. Both of these institutions were claiming power of provincial civil court.


Rectification of Limitations

  • The jurisdiction of supervisory control was defined clearly by British parliament the amending act of 1781.
  • It was explained that supervisory control will deal with matters concerning Europeans with territorial limits of Calcutta.
  • Through pits India act 1784, the strength of Governor General executive council was reduced from four of three.
  • In this new arrangement the Governor General required the support of just 1 member to have his decision being imposed.
  • Through amending act 1786, the Governor General was given the authority to take any decision without following the provision of majority vote in council by taking personal respect of action.
  • The charter act 1793 extended the special power given to Cornwallis to every Governor General in future. At time of his appointment, Cornwallis was given the power of commander in chief as well.

Anglo – Maratha Wars

The Maratha Empire around 1760 (in yellow)

First Anglo-Maratha war (1775-1782)

  • In 1772, Peshwa Madhav Rao died. He was capable leader. After disastrous defeat of Maratha in 3rd battle of Panipat, he revived Maratha power successfully within short time of 10 years. His death left behind big vacuum & power struggle commenced in Maratha land.
  • Madhavrao was succeeded by his younger brother Narayanrao but his uncle Raghunathrao wanted to become Peshwa. He got Narayanao murdered. This pushed Maratha nation into a civil war.
  • Supporters of Narayanrao placed his infant son Madhavrao Narayanrao on throne & fought the war against Raghunathrao.
  • In this war, Raghunathrao got defeated.
  • Having lost international conflict Raghu sought help from Bombay government to gain the throne.
  • Bombay government waiting for such an opportunity because by this time, the Bengal & Madras government of company had transformed themselves into important political power. In western India Company was just commercial entity because Marathas were very powerful. This international conflict of Marathas provided an opportunity to the Bombay government to realize it political ambitious.
  • Treaty of Surat was signed between Bombay government & Raghunathrao in 1775 through which company agree to assist Raghunathrao in getting the crown.
  • When the news of conflict reached Calcutta, governor general Warren Hastings strongly condemned the decision of Bombay government to indulge in fight against Marathas. He sent his representative Cap Pappon to sign peace with Marathas & under these circumstances treaty of Prander was signed in 1776. Through this war became to end, company recognition Madhav Narayanrao as Peshwa, Raghunathrao was pensioned officer and company was to get Island of Salsette. Within few months of signing treaty of Purander the news of French participation in war of American Independence reached India.
  • Numbers of French commanders were in Maratha service as well as in service of other state of India. Warren Hasting was apprehensive that all these French could join hand with Maratha to challenge company.
  • To prompt such a threat, treaty of Purander thrown in dustbin & war was declared on Marathas once again.
  • This war continued with up & down on both side till 1782.
  • In 1779, the Marathas defeated English forces in battle of Wadgaon & company had to signing a very humiliating peace in form of convention of Wadgaon but war had continued.
  • Gradually company had realized that Maratha power was still intact even after disaster of Panipat and untimely death of Peshwa Madhavrao.
  • In 1782, treaty of Salbai was signed between company & Marathas.
  • Through this treaty, Madhavrao Narayanrao recognition as Peshwa the company agreed to give up cause of Raghunathrao in threaten company received Island of Salsette & Elephanta.
  • In immediate term, treaty of Salbai neither honorable nor advantageous to English Company because its provisions were quite similar to treaty of Prander signed in 1776.
  • Company had to recognition Madhav Narayanrao as Maratha Peshwa and company had to give up cause of Raghunathrao.
  • Even after fighting for 6 more years, suffering huge financial burden and the loss of Soldiers Company gained nothing significant.
  • Company had to agree to peace on terms of equality that was quite humiliating for company because it was expecting an easy victory over Maratha.
  • Top that was thrown into dustbin had to re-agree upon because treaty of Salbai wasn’t different from it.
  • In the long run treaty of Salbai proved to be highly beneficial to English Company.
  • In 1780, Haider Ali had declared war on English Company. Company was finding it difficult to face Mysore & Maratha simultaneously. By signing peace with Maratha Company could concentrate all its energy against Mysore to save it existence.
  • The treaty of Salbai guaranteed English Company the support of Maratha against Mysore because both agreed to help other with this support company could wipe out challenge of Mysore by defeating Tipu in 3rd & 4th Anglo-Mysore wars.
  • The treaty of Salbai gave company 20 years of peace with Marathas. During this period company could consolidate itself in Bengal as well as in other parts of India. By the time 2nd Anglo-Maratha commenced in 1803, company had even captured Delhi.
  • 1st Anglo-Maratha was fought by English Company by 1775-1782 during this period British were facing many challenge both in India & outside.
  • In 1772, English Company reached on verge of Bankruptcy Company had to apply loan from home government. This application gave an opportunity to British government to impose restriction act of company loan was given along with enactment of regulating act due to which company lost its freedom.
  • At that time, Company had more enemies than friends in Britain because overarch class of companies official returning London from India was disliked by traditional British elites.
  • When company was somehow tackling the challenge of Marathas with up & down, Haider Ali declared war on company in 1780 because of these multifarious challenges British fought 1st Anglo-Maratha at a time of their fortune were at lowest abb.

Anglo-Mysore War (1790-92)








  • The 3rd Anglo-Mysore war was fought during 1790-92, when English Company led by Governor General Cornwallis attached Tipu Sultan.
  • This war was continuation of traditional hostility prevailing between English Company and state of Mysore.
  • They had already fought two wars on both the occasions, fight was started by Mysore.
  • In the 1st Anglo-Mysore war, Haider Ali was victorious; company had to accept a humiliating treaty of Madras in 1769.
  • The 2nd Anglo-Mysore war had ended on terms of equality as per treaty of Mangalore in 1784.
  • After 2nd Anglo-Mysore war, Tipu Sultan initiated a number of steps to strengthen state of Mysore Economic & admin reforms were implemented a guns factory was established at Dindigul to strengthen armed forces.
  • Tipu tried to seek external assistance from Turkey (1784-84) and France (1787) against East India Company by sending his representative there.
  • This act of Tipu, greatly alarmed Governor-General Cornwallis. Cornwallis was waiting for an opportunity to declare war on Mysore to wipeout challenge from Tipu forever. He was assured support of Nizam of Hyderabad & Marathas against Mysore.
  • In April 1790, Tipu attacked his neighboring state Travancore which was Company’s protected state & it was used as an excuse by Cornwallis to declare war on Mysore.
  • This war was not unavoidable, it was offensive attitude of Cornwallis resulted in war had Cornwallis wanted conflict can easily avoided.
  • Tipu was an independent, sovereign ruler, he have every right to strengthen himself through internal reforms & external assistance. English Company was doing the same so it is not correct to say that Tipu Sultan aggressive act were the cause of war.


Impact of War
  • The 3rd Anglo-Mysore war came to end with treaty of Shrirangapattanam in March 1792. As per provisions of treaty almost help of territories of Mysore were taken away by English Company. A huge war indemnity of Rs 3Cr was imposed on Tipu. His two sons were taken as hostage as guaranty for his good behavior in future.
  • Most of these gains were pocketed by English company.
  • A small territory was given to Nizam of Hyderabad on bank of river Krishna.
  • A small territory Marathas on bank of Tungbhadra which they refuse to accept. That’s why Cornwallis commented without making our find stronger we have made our enemy weaker.


Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805)







  • In March 1800, Nana Fadnvis In word of Col. Palmer with him departed wisdom & moderation from Maratha land.
  • Nana was a great statement; he understood nature of challenge of English Company.
  • He kept the internal difference of Marathas in check because he knew that English would use this international different to subjugate Marathas.
  • With the death of Nana Fadnvis, these international differences started spilling out.
  • In April 1801, Peshwa Bajirao II (1798-1817) got Vithoji, the brother of Jaswantrao Holkar murdered.
  • This triggered a fight between Holkar & Peshwa. Peshwa lost battle & took shelter with English Company. He signed treaty of Bassein with company to get back his throne with English support.


  • Treaty of Bassein was a subsidiary alliance treaty it contained all provisions of subsidiary alliance.
  • Peshwa agreed to keep a permanent subs force in his capital at Poona. Further a up keep of this force the city of Surat & territory yielding revenue of Rs 26 lacs/annum were to be surrendered to English Company.
  • An English resident was to stay at Poona.
  • Peshwa had to surrender his foreign relation to English Company. He was not allowed to enter any offensive defensive alliance & was not allowed to sign any war/peace without permission of company.
  • No Frenchman was to be employed in Maratha service.
  • The provisions of treaty of Bassein subjugated the entire Maratha kingdom to company because theoretically Peshwa was the head.
  • This resulted in expansion of territories controlled by 3 times because Maratha kingdom was extent large.
  • Treaty of Bassein transformed company from being commercial entity in western India into biggest political power in one instant.
  • Treaty of Bassein paved the way for 2nd Anglo-Maratha war because Maratha realized its implication of provisions, they attacked company. The defeat of Marathas 2nd Maratha-Anglo (1803-1805) subjugated them effectively to English Company.
  • Since treaty of Bassein voluntarily accepted by Peshwa Bajirao II without any pressure of persuasion it’s timed as a just and politic measure.
  • Direct & indirect implication of treaty of Bassein paved way for British Indian Empire because once the Marathas fail under British control, there was hardly any other important native power left in India.


Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1818)

  • The Pindaris were highway robbers. There were former Maratha soldier & after 2nd Anglo-Maratha war they lost traditional professions.
  • Maratha army used to have 2 component i.e. regular forces & irregular forces.
  • Regular forces maintain by state these soldiers were given arms, horses along with salary.
  • Pindari formed irregular troops, they used to bring their own horses and weapons, they didn’t receive any salary from state, and they used to get opportunity plundered the conquered territory after war.
  • After 2nd Anglo-Maratha war, when Maratha accepted subsidiary alliance system, they had to disband their forces having lost their traditional professions pindari took highway robbery.
  • With arrival of Lord Hasting as Governor General in 1813, the nature of British in India changed quit significantly.
  • His emphasized idea of British paramount.
  • The activities of Pindari were posing a direct challenge to British paramount. He planned a campaign to wipeout Pindari.
  • In 1816, a military campaign organized against Pindari, company was expecting full Maratha support during anti-Pindari campaign but since Pindari was former soldier, Maratha commanders were emotionally attached to them. Marathas didn’t support anti-Pindari campaign whole heartedly. This Maratha attitude angered Lord Hasting.
  • After completion of anti-Pindari campaign, Lord Hasting asked Maratha to sign new treaty providing greater control when Maratha commander them. Hunt of Pindari got merged into 3rd Anglo-Maratha war.
  • Maratha got defeated in this war, Peshwaship was abolished. Peshwa was exited to Bithur (Kanpur) & small Maratha kingdom left with capital of Satara.

Britain controlled India after the Anglo-Maratha wars


Annexation of Sind


General Napier in Sind
  • The state of Sind was annexed by English Company in 1843 in spite of various promises of respecting the unity and integrity of Sindh. The circumstances created by England defeat in 1st Anglo-Afghan war were responsible for annexation of Sind.


Nature of Anglo-Sind Relation

  • For the first time company entered Sind in 1775 and setup 1st factory at Thatta.
  • This factory had to be abundant in 1792 due to commercial factors.
  • In 1809, a treaty of friendship was signed between English Company and Amirs of Sinds.
  • By this treaty, both agreed to respect unity and integrity of each other & also agreed not to shelter enemies of each other.
  • In 1820, company signed another treaty of friendship with Amirs of Sind & once again both promised to respect the unity & integrity of each other.
  • In 1832, Governor General William Bentick send Henry Pottiinger message to Sind by using his superior military strength he force Amirs of Sind to sign new treaty.
  • Through this treaty, company gained number of commercial privileges in Sind but now also English Company promised to respect unity & integrity of Sind.
  • In 1838, tripartite treaty was signed by English Company, Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab & Shah Shuja of Afghan. Through this treaty Shah Shuja was placed on Afghan throne. Here also all the three parties promised to respect unity & integrity of Sind.
  • As per provisions of these treaty English Company wasn’t to carry its troops into Sind but when Anglo-Afghan war commenced company carried troops to Afghan through Sind in violation of all treaties.
  1. Amirs of Sind didn’t reaction very strongly though they object the passage of England troops through Sind.
  • In spite of all these promises, Sind was annex by Charles Napier in 1843.


First Afghan War and Annexation of Sind

  • During 1830’s, Russian spreading their influence in Afghan, so that British Indian Empire could be threaten.
  • To counter this Russian influence Shah Shuja was placed on Afghan throne in 1838.
  • Since Shah Shuja was puppet of English Company, a popular revolt broke out against him & England had to fight war in Afghanistan. In this war English Company got badly defeated.
  • The defeat of company in Afghan shattered its prestige; the myth of England invisibility was broken.
  • Russian influence in Afghan increased enormously.
  • Having failed to counter Russians on Afghan border, it was necessary for company to strengthen defense on Afghan-Sind border. Sind was passing through international crisis it could fall easily under Russian influence because of this; Sind was annexed by valeting promises.
  • Defeat of English Company in Afghanistan embolden rebellions in India as well many Indians started believing that they can also prevail against English Company.
  • Elements of dissension invisible in rank of Madras army & in camp of Sindhiya.
  • These challenges could be counter only by restoring the myth of England invisibility.
  • To achieve this object a conquest was requited. At that time only Punjab & Sind were outside from company control.
  • Ranjit Singh was no more (died in 1839) but Punjab was still quite powerful. Sind was passing through internal disorders. It was an easy target and therefore it was annexed by Charles Napier that’s why its commented Annexation of Sind was political & moral sequence of 1st Afghan war.

Annexation of Punjab

Empress of India: Queen Victoria

  • The state of Punjab was annexed by Lord Dalhousie in 1849 by defeating Sikh forces in 2nd Anglo-Sikh war fought during 1848-49.
  • This annexation of Punjab was not an isolated phenomenon but in reality it was expansion of Victorian imperialism.
  • With coronation with Queen Victoria, a new phase of imperialism commenced in British history. Offensive wars & battles were fought all over the world to carry out expansion of British Empire. The war against Punjab was part of same design.
  • Lord Dalhousie was great imperialist. He followed policy of annexing every such native state that he could do one ground or other. Punjab was enjoying great economic & strategic significance Governor General Dalhousie waiting for an opportunity and this opportunity was provided by Dewan Mulraj of Multan.
  • In April 1848, Mulraj rebelled and killed some English officials. Immediately war was declared on Punjab & by defeating Sikh it was annex to British Imperialist.



Governor Generals under British Rule

Governor General/Viceroy Period Points to remember
Warren Hastings 1774 – 1785 First Governor General in India. (He was the appointed as the Governor General of Fort William, but he exercised control over East India Company officials all over India.) He was impeached in England for his wrong-doings, namely The Rohilla War, Trial and execution of Nand Kumar, Case of Raja Chait Singh and Begums of Oudh.
Lord Cornwallis 1786 – 1793 Permanent Settlement, an agreement between the East India Company and Bengali landlords to fix revenues to be raised from land was introduced during his period.
Lord Wellesley 1798 – 1825 He introduced the Subsidiary Alliance, under which the Indian ruler agreed to keep British forces in his territory. The first state to accept the Subsidiary Alliance was the State of Hyderabad.
Lord William Bentick 1828 – 1835 First to be designated as the Governor General of India in 1828. He outlawed the practice of Sati and also introduced English education in India.
Lord Dalhousie 1848 – 1856 He introduced the infamous ‘Doctrine of Lapse’. He also brought Railways and Telegraph to India. He is also known as the maker of modern India.
Lord Canning 1856 – 1862 He was the Governor General during the mutiny of 1857. He was appointed the first Viceroy after the war.
Lord Mayo 1869 – 1872 He was the Viceroy of India, who was killed by a convict in the Andaman Islands. The first census of India was conducted which did not however include some territories in India.
Lord Lytton 1876 – 1880 The Delhi durbar or the Imperial Durbar in which Queen Victoria was proclaimed Kaisar-i-Hind was held during his period on 01 Jan 1877. Vernacular Press Act, 1878, for better control of Indian newspapers was passed during his tenure.
Lord Rippon 1880 – 1884 He introduced the dual system of governance. The first complete and synchronous census of British Territories in India was conducted in 1881 during his period. He was also associated with Ilbert Bill which sought to allow Indian judges to try British offenders. He is hailed as the Father of Local Self Government in India.
Lord Dufferin 1884 – 1888 The Indian National Congress was formed during his period.
Lord Curzon 1899 – 1905 Partition of Bengal and launch of Swadeshi Movement.
Lord Hardinge 1910 – 1916 The Capital of India was shifted from Calcutta to Delhi during his tenure in 1911. George V, the King of England visited India to attend the Delhi durbar in 1911. An assassination attempt was made on his life by Rash Bihari Bose and others.
Lord Chelmsford 1916 – 1921 The Jalianwalan Bagh tragedy of 1919 occurred during his period. Montague Chelmsford reforms, Rowlatt Act, Khilafat movement are other events associated with his period.
Lord Reading 1921 – 1926 Chauri Chaura incident occurred during his period. Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned for the first time in India.
Lord Irwin 1926 – 1931 His period is associated with First Round Table Conference, Simon Commission, Gandhi Irwin pact and the famous Dandi March.
Lord Willingdon 1931 – 1936 Second and Third Round Table Conferences were held during his period. Communal award was given by British PM Ramsay Macdonald and the Poona Pact between Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar was signed during his period.
Lord Linlithgow 1936 – 1943 Cripps Mission visited India and the Quit India resolution was passed during his tenure.
Lord Wavell 1943 – 1947 Simla conference and Cabinet mission are associated with his period.
Lord Mountbatten March 1947- August 1947 Last Viceroy and first Governor General of free India. Partition of India was done on June 3, 1947.India Independent Act was passed on July 4, 1947 by British parliament. As per the Act India became independent on August 15, 1947.


He was succeeded by C. Rajagopalachari, who was the last Governor General of free India.

Phase of Planned Expansionism (1813-1858)

  • With the arrival of Lord Hasting (1813-23) governor of Bengal, the nature & character of British activities in India underwent a fundamental change.
  • The activities of East India Company were no longer a reaction to the prevailing circumstances the elements of planning & vision of an extensive British Indian Empire had started becoming visible in the activities of East India Company.
  • The wars & battles fought here after were not compelled by circumstances but the East India Company fought these wars to complete the map of British Indian Empire.
  • Their wars & battles were offensive & expansionist in nature.
  • Lord Hasting emphasized the idea of British paramount he demanded the recognition of East India Company of sovereign power.
  • Lord Hasting refused to meet Mughal Emperor Akbar II without the terms of equality.
  • In 1827, Lord Amherst (1823-28) became the 1st Governor General to meet Mughal Emperor on equal term.
  • Till this time the Governor General used to address himself as a loyal servant to Mughal Emperor in spite of fact that the East India Company was much more powerful than Mughal Emperor.
  • In 1835, the race of Mughal Emperor was removed from coins issued by East India Company it was replaced by the face of British crown.
  • The East India Company fought number of offensive wars & battles to complete the conquest of India.
  • In 1816, a war was fought against Gorkha of Nepal.
  • In 1816-17, 3rd Anglo-Maratha war was fought, the Peshwaship was abolished & the Maratha were effectively subjugated to East India Company.
  • In 1831, Mysore was annexed by Governor General W. Bentick on the charges of poor governance.
  • 1st Anglo-Afghan war was fought by Lord Auckland during (1839-42).
  • This process of the expansion of British Indian Empire was carried to its climax by Lord Dalhousie (1848-56). He was greatest imperialist in the history of British Rule in India he used every possible method.
  • Within a short period of 8 years, the British Indian Empire was almost doubled by the expansionist policy & Dalhousie.

The Governor General before Dalhousie followed the approached of annexing only those native stats which could not be left out due to the needs of British security. Dalhousie reversed this policy he tried to annex maximum possible number of native states. He left out only those native states which he could not annexed on any ground.

Progress of Education

Warren Hastings

  • During period of British Rule, a new education policy was adopted by the British to serve their colonial needs. Initially, this was promoted by the company’s official in their private capacity & later on the government of company took step towards promotion of education in India.
  • After winning a battle of plassey & battle of buxar, the company had emerged as imparted political power. But for almost 50 years (1765-1813) company as an organization didn’t take any step for promotion of learning. Company was busy in exploiting Indian resources; it wasn’t concerned about welfare & progress of Indians.
  • In 1781, Governor General W. Hastings established Calcutta Madarsa.
  • In 1791, Sanskrit College was set up at Banaras by Jonathan Danken, the company’s resident at Banaras.
  • This institution not for spread of learning among Indians, but these were established to teach Indian language & literature to company’s European officials.
  • Calcutta Madarsa established to impart knowledge of Persian & Arabic language to company’s officials.
  • Sanskrit college was set up to impart learning of Indian language, laws, literature & religion.


Formulation of Education Policy

  • For the 1st time in 1813, the company was asked to keep aside a sum of Rupaiya of 1 lac/annum for promotion of learning in India by British.
  • This sum was not spent for 20 years because there were no unanimity among companies officials about the syllabi & medium of instruction.
  • In 1813, Governor General Lord W. Bentick set up a committee known as company on public instruction under the chairmanship of Lord T.B. Machaley to advice government about the syllabi and medium of instruction.
  • This committee was having 10 members.
  • Members of company on public construction divided into 2 groups known as the anglesite & orientalist. Both these group were having strength of 5 members.
  • The anglesite group led by Chales Trevelian was in favor of imparting western learning in English medium.
  • The orientalist group led by H.T Princep was in favor of imparting traditional Indian learning in vernacular medium.
  • Since both the group were having equal strength, a serious anglesite orientalist controversy development.
  • Lord Machaley, chairman of company was in favor of promoting western education. He supported anglesite group on 2nd Feb 1835, Machaley Company submitted its recommendation to Governor General. This scheme suggested by Machaley was presented in form of report known as Machaley minute.
  • Report of Machaley committee was discussed by Governor General in council & on 7th March 1835, an education resolution was adopted which formulated company’s education policy.
  1. This policy declared that western education shall be promoted in vernacular medium at primary level & English medium at higher level.
  2. Principle of downward filtration was adopted as guide to downward promotion of education. It was decided that western education should be imparted to small section of people living at top of pyramid & gradually western knowledge will automatically percolate downwards.

Aims and objective behind Education Policy











  • British Education Policy was guided & inspired by the British colonial interest.
  • Machaley committee recommended promotion of western learning in India, so that market of western good, could be expanded.
  • Lord Machaley had himself commented that the main aim of company’s Education Policy was to create a class of Indians that would be Indian in blood and color but European in test.
  • Western educated Indian was expected to prefer western goods.
  • Another object behind spread of western learning was to habituate Indians in western way of thinking and to western institution.
  • Machaley had emphasized that the western education would help in strengthening foundation of European institution in India. And the result of that British interest in India would remain same even after end of British Rule.
  • A class of educated Indian (English) to-
  • To communicate with Native State.
  • To fill lower administrative position because it was practically impossible to appoint European everywhere. The European Employee was far more costly than Indian counterpart.


Impact of British Education Policy

  • British Education Policy was aimed at safe guarding & promoting British interest but unconsciously & unintentionally spread of western education in India resulted in growth of awakening.
  • Indians came into contact with liberal & progressive ideas of west through western education. The ideas of enlightenment were adopted by Indian intelligentsia. As a result of which Indian could see exploitation & suffering being carried out British colonial ruler. This realization played an important role in growth of nationalist awakening & India’s struggle against British Rule commenced.


Economic Dimensions of British Rule

Land Revenue Settlements

Permanent Settlement
  • Permanent settlement introduced by Governor General Lord Cornwallis in 1793 in Bengal, Bihar & Orissa.
  • The settlement represented culmination of series of experiment carried out by company in the field of land revenue.
  • Company got right to collect revolt in Bengal, Bihar & Orissa (treaty of Allahabad) in 1765.
  • By this time, the medieval land revenue settlement had degenerated. There was no proper record of agricultural production & record of revolt being collected by peasants because of this, company had to take steps to develop new land revenue settlement.
  • English Company was a trading body. Its rule was colonial, the company’s officials were motivated by desire to collect maximum possible amount of revenue so that company could accumulate maximum wealth & could make maximum profit. This colonial outlook also persuaded the English Company to introduce new Land Revenue settlement.
  • In 1765, dual government was established in Bengal. It remained in force till 1772.
  • During this period, company appointed Indian official as Nayab Deewan for Bengal & Bihar Md. Reza Khan was appointed as Nayab Deewan for Bengal Raja Deeraj Narayan appointed as Nayab Deewan for Deewan. In 1766, he was replaced by Raja Sitab Rai.
  • These Nayab Deewan collected revolt with the help of Zamindar 10% of total revenue collected was given to Zamindar for their services and 90% was received by company.
  • This arrangement couldn’t fun properly because of continuous conflict between Indian Nayab Diwan & company’s European officials.
  • It was abundant in 1772 by W. Hasting (Government of Bengal, Governor General in 1773 after).
  • In 1772, Quinquennial settlement (5 years settlement) was introduced in Bengal by W. Hastings.
  • In this system Zamindars were given the rights to collect Land Revenue for period of 5 years. The amount of revolt to be deposited by Zamindars with English company was decided through auction/highest bidding.
  • This system resulted in extreme exploitation of peasants & complete destruction of agriculture in Bengal because Zamindars tried to collect maximum possible revolt from peasant within period of 5 years as they were not sure of continuation of their Zamindari rights after 5 years.
  • It was abounded in 1777.
  • At time of his appointment as Governor General of Bengal, Lord Cornwallis was instructed by British PM younger pit to find a permanent solution of problem of Land Revenue in Bengal.

Discussion was stated by Cornwallis in his executive council & during this discussion 2 views emerged.

  • Sir John Shore was of the opinion that Land Revenue settlement should be made with Zamindar by recognition them as owner of Land James Grant put forward opinion that company should be recognized as owner of land. Lord Cornwallis himself was Zamindar in Britain, so he favored John Shore’s idea.
  • In 1789, Sir John Shore prepared a report known as “Shore Minute” on the basis of this report, Decennial settlement (10 years settlement) in 1790. This settlement was declared as permanent in 1793.
  • In this settlement, Zamindar recognition as owner of land.
  • Land rights enjoyed by peasant proprietors since ages were taken away.
  • The Zamindari rights were conferred through auction method.
  • The highest bidder were given right to collect Land Revenue.
  • 89% of bid amount was to receive as Land Revenue by company, 11% was to be retained by Zamindar by way of his remuneration.
  • Zamindars were supposed to make arrangement to issue Patta & Qabuliyat. But in reality, there was no arrangement to ensure that Zamindar have issued Patta & Qabuliyat.
  • The Permanent settlement was introduced in Bengal; Bihar & Orissa in beginning later on its temporary form were extended to Agra region, Punjab & in central provinces.
  • In 1793, Sunset law was enacted.
  • This law provided that if a Zamindar faiths to deposit the agreed amount of Land Revenue by the Sunset of last day fixed for the purpose, then his Zamindari rights could be taken away.
  • In 1799, Lord Wellesley enacted a new law known as “Haptam”.
  • This law empowered Zamindars to evict/remove peasant without following any judicial legal procedure if they failed to deposit rent on time.
Patta & Qabuliyat– Under Patta system, the area sown, types of crops cultivated and revenue share was duly written on paper. The Qabuliyat system involved a deed agreement between the peasant and the government. Qabuliyat system aimed at discouraging the Jagir system.
Expectation from Permanent Settlement
  • At time of introduced of permanent settlement, it was expected that it will benefit the company as well as peasants. It will result in general prosperity.


Expectation for Company

  • Company was expected to get fixed, stable, secure income because Zamindar was to deposit the agreed years.
  • Company was to do nothing as all responsibility were handled by Zamindar himself.
  • It was expected that company’s officials will get liberated from responsibility associated with collection of revolt. These officials could be employed in other important responsibility.
  • Zamindars were expected to act as pillars for company because their existence was dependent on continuation of British Rule.
  • Company was expected to remain safe from reaction of peasantry because company was to remain behind scene.
  • The amount of Land Revenue was fixed in perpetuity/forever but company wanted to mobilize more resources in future by imposing taxes on trade & commerce.


Expectation of Zamindars

  • Under this system, Land lord was expected to benefit very much because amount of Land Revenue was fixed forever. The Zamindar could increase their income by development infrastructural facility.
  • Any increase in production brought about through the investment & efforts of Zamindar was expected to benefit them.


Expectation for Peasants

  • Permanent settlement was expected to benefit as well because they were supposed to pay only the bid amount as land rent to Zamindar.
  • Peasants were expected to remain safe from exploitation of Land lord because the feature of Land lord & safety of Land lord was permanently dependent on peasantry.
Outcomes of Permanent Settlement
  • Permanent settlement was introduced with high hopes it was expected to benefit every stockholder but since it was product of colonial regime it could never been beneficial to common Indians.
  • At time of inviting bids, Lord Cornwallis increased urban element to participate in auction process so that existing agrarian replaced by a new structure loyal to company.
  • These urban elements were given the belief that Zamindari rights were of great economy value and would help them in becoming richer.
  • These urban elements didn’t have any idea of actual production they put forward impractically high bids to outsmart traditional Land lord. At time bid amount was even more than total production & because of this fundamental settlement produce disastrous result. Most of Land lord failed to pay the agreed amount of revenue on time.
  • None of expectation associated with permanent settlement could be fulfilled.
  • Company failed to get any fixed, stable, secure income. The company’s official remained busy in outing the Land lord who failed to pay revolt on time & making fresh arrangement for such land.
  • Instead of becoming pillar for company the dis-budget list Land lord became its strongest enemies. Many of Land lord raised banner of revolt against British Rule.
  • Most of new Zamindar had no interest in Land. These urban elements continued to stay in cities. They tried to collect land revenue through agent or sold their Zamindari rights to other parties because of this absentee Landlordism & sub infatuation became essential feature of permanent settlement.
  • The class of urban Land lord had persuaded Zamindari rights to make quick profit; they didn’t invest anything in development of agriculture. They tried to collect as much as possible from peasantry as a result of which peasant suffered immensely & agriculture got ruined.
  • The situation improved to some extent after 1819, because of this time most non-serious Zamindar had been ousted & serious Zamindar had taken step to increase agriculture production by development infrastructure by extending cultivation because of that some peace & tranquility development in permanent settlement areas after 1819.

The wisdom behind permanent settlement could become visible only after 1819 became gradually the Land lord had become supporter of British Rule. Their support was crucial in suppressing revolt of 1857.


Ryotwari System
  • Ryotwari System was introduced by Sir Thomas Munro in 1820 in Madras presidency. In 1825, it was introduced in parts of Bombay presidency by Mountstuart Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay.
  • The earliest expectation related to Ryotwari Settlement was carried out by Alexander Read during 1790-99 in the territories received by company from Mysore through the treaty of Shrirangapattanam.
  • These expectations constituted 1st state of Ryotwari System in India & full-fledged system introduced by Thomas Munro & Elphinstone represented 2nd
  • After 1855, 3rd stage of Ryotwari System was development to remove the evils prevailing in 2nd This reformed system replaced old arrangement in Madras as well as Bombay presidency.


Why was Ryotwari System introduced?
  • Failure of permanent settlement in fulfilling expectation attached to it, forced company to develop Ryotwari System as an alternative.
  • Some of the officials of company believed that mistake was committed by company introducing permanent settlement because company’s income from Land Revenue could never increase in future. They were against extension of this system.
  • The influence of utilitarian philosophy was also responsible for introduction of Ryotwari System. The utilitarian were against monopolist in practice, they believed in idea of lairize fare.
  • In permanent settlement, Zamindar enjoyed monopoly because of this utilitarian were against it.
  • Madras government was chronicle short of fund; it wanted a revolt arrangement in which income from Land Revenue could increase periodically.
  • Thomas Munro was of the opinion that Ryotwari System was a traditional Indian settlement. It was most suitable to Indian condition.


Important features of Ryotwari System
  • The peasants were ordered as owner of land & revolt agreement was made within.
  • Land Revenue was to be assisted through survey & measurement.
  • Total production was to be determined through sample cutting.
  • The fertility of soil & types of crops being cultivated were taken into account. The Land Revenue varied from 1/3rd to 2/5th of the production.
  • The peasants were allowed to pay revolt either in cash or in kind. If the peasant felt that the amount of Land Revenue was too high peasant could refuse cultivation on that piece of land. This land offered to other peasants on the same term & if nobody agreed the land was left fellow/uncultivated but condition won’t modified.


Limitations of Ryotwari System
  • The system of survey and measurement was cumbersome because of this; it was not followed in practice. The total production was decided through rough estimation by company’s estimation. This estimation deliberately inflated because of this actual burden of Land Revenue on peasant was more than 80-90% of production hardly anything left with them with their survive.
  • Most of peasant started abandoning cultivation. In 1855, a land survey carried out in Madras presidency. It was found that only 14.5 m land was cultivated & 18 m acre fertile land was lying fellow.
  • Since agriculture was abundant, the production of food declined sharply as a result Madras strutted by famine repeatedly. More than 5 m lives were lost during the great famine of 1876-78.
  • Land lost market value because agriculture not profitable.
  • Poverty, unemployment & hunger became widespread in Ryotwari System areas.
  • After survey of 1855, the limitation of Ryotwari System (use of rough estimation) was removed to some extent. The burden of Land Revenue got reduced, now the money lenders & big peasants started snatching the land small peasantry. As a result of this, big Land lords emerged in Ryotwari System as well because there was no maximum limit to hold land.
Mahalwari Settlement
  • Village headman had to collect revolt from individual peasants. The peasants were owner of land.
  • The burden of Land Revenue was distributed among them.
  • In case of failure of peasant in paying Land Revenue in time, the village headman used to allow his land to another peasant.
  • The burden of Land Revenue was more than 80% of production.
  • This settlement was introduced in 1822 in parts of Bombay presidency & in 1833 in Awadh & Agra region.


Commercialization of Indian Agriculture

  • The term commercialization refers to cultivation of cash crops in place of food crops.
  • In the beginning decades of 19th century, the British promoted commercialization of Indian agriculture.
  • The food crops like wheat & rice got replaced with the cash crops like indigo, cotton, tobacco & sugarcane cash crops like tea, coffee & rubber were also consciously promoted by facilitating entry of European capital. This provision continued to gain momentum throughout 19th
  • Imposition of cash economy forced Indian peasant to cultivate those crop that could be sold easily in market. Because of this, peasant had started cultivation of cash crop.
  • Excessively heavy burden of Land Revenue also forced peasant to cultivate cash crop because production was expected to be more for these crops.
  • Introduction of contract system of agriculture in Indian also gave boost to commercialization of Agriculture.
  • Charter Act 1833, allowed European to purchase immovable property in India. They could enter into contract with individual farmer to get specific crop cultivated.
  • The needs of British industries were also involved in commercialization of Indian agriculture. Raw materials like indigo & cotton to be exported British as to industry.
  • The need to balance China trade forced company to grow opium in India.
  • Cash crops were also increased because these could be easily exported & Indian wealth could easily be drained out.


  • Emphasis on production of consequences resulted in decline of food grain production, this in term responsible for widespread hunger & recurring famine in 19th
  • Consequences like indigo ruined fertility of soil.
  • Many of peasants got trapped in debt because they had to take loan from local money to purchase new seeds & implements.
  • Stability of rural economy got seriously affected because price of consequences in India were linked to international market.
  • The fall in cotton prices in 1870 were responsible for Deccan riots.
  • The commercialization of Agriculture increase exploitation of Indian peasant because of consequences was controlled by European. Indian peasant never received a proper return.
  • Consequences of Agriculture facilitated drain of wealth because this crop could easily export.
  • Drain of wealth
  • Decline of handicraft
  • Famine
  • Phases of colonialism


Drain of Wealth







  • Drain of wealth refers to unidirectional outflow of a portion of India’s National product from India to Britain for which India received nothing in return.
  • With the victory of English Company in the battle of plassey, the process of Drain of Indian wealth commenced & this outflow continued to increase throughout remaining period British Rule in India.
  • Drain of wealth was the outlook of the colonial character of British Rule.
  • British misused the political power to exploit Indian resources and to carry Indian wealth to Britain.


Mechanism of Drain

Indian Investment

  • It refers to system in which company used Indian resources to purchase Indian goods. These goods were exported to proceed of the trade out.
  • Prior of battle of plassey, company used to bring bullion to balance Indian trade.
  • During 50 years prior to battle of plassey, the company brought bullion worth 20 million pounds.
  • This scenario changed fundamentally after 1757 after company started Indian resources to buy Indian goods.
  • These resources mobilized by company by misusing political influence & domination to exploit Indian artisan & craftsman.
  • Craftsmen were forced to sell their goods at very low prices.
  • The craftsmen were forced to purchase raw material at very high prices.
  • Craftsman need to work for company at very low wage & at a time without any wage at all.
  • Zamindari rights & Dewani rights were also used by company to mobilize resources in India.


Home charges

  • Home charges refer to the expenditure carried out by English Company up to 1858 & British government after 1858 in London on behalf of India.
  • The component of Home Changes were-
  • Dividend paid by company to its shareholder.
  • Interest paid by company on loan rose on London.
  • Salary & pension of officials working in London on behalf of British India.
  • Pension of officials who worked in India but retired to London.
  • The cost of civil & military purchases from London.
  • The Home Charges comprised the most important component of the drain of Indian Work.
  • About 10-13% of Indian revolt was drained out as Home charges up to 1857. This % increased to 24% during 1897-1901. In 1921-22 it was as high as 40%.


European Finance Capital

  • Charter Act 1833 allowed Europeans to purchase immovable property in India. The entry of European Finance Capital was increased by providing pre-financial treatment.
  • This capital was invested in railways, plantation industry, banks, insurances & port etc. All these European ventures were managed through interlocking of agency (crossholding of ownership). These ventures supported each other & kept Indians out. This monopoly control was used to make maximum profit & this profit was drained out.


Consequences of Drain of Wealth

  • Drain of wealth deprived India of a significance portion of Indian resource. As a result no capital formation could take place.
  • In absence of capital, India couldn’t see Indian Resource.
  • The Drain of Wealth resulted in accumulation of huge capital in Britain & availability of capital gave to boost to British Indian Resource.
  • The process of drain of wealth was extremely exploitative.
  • Peasant craftsman the merchants of every other section of population suffered immensely.
  • Drain of wealth eroded purchasing power of Indians, as a result of this Indian handicraft industry lost market. At time Indian didn’t have money to buy food grain; this was important reason behind recurring famine.
  • The wealth drained out from India returned later as European Finance Capital. Entry of this capital further intensified economy-exploitation of Indians.
  • Drain of wealth not only resulted in extreme hunger poverty & recurring famine but at same it resulted in character degeneration of Indians. The extreme economic difficulties forced Indians to indulged wrong activities.
  • The drain theory put forward by Dadabhai Naoroji, M.G. Ranad, and R.C. Datt exposed true colonial character of British Rule. Indians could gradually realize that British Rule was essentially exploitative. The understanding of true character of British Rule intensified spirit of nationalism.


Decline of Indian Handicraft
  • India was biggest manufacturing nation in world till middle of 18th Indian products were in great demand in European market. Huge quantity of Indian goods was carried by European Company’s. In words of Peter, the great of Russia, “Commerce of India is Commerce of World”. Indian share was 17% in world trade.
  • The popularity of Indian handicraft good could be realized from fact that British parliament enacted law 1710 & 1720 to prohibit use of Indian cloth.
  • This great manufacture lost its industrial base almost completely by middle of 19th This declined was outcome of direct/indirect effect of British Rule.
  • The drain of wealth eroded the purchasing power of Indians as a result of which the demand of HC market got reduced.
  • Because of drain of wealth, no capital was available for the investment to improve the health of Indian Handicraft industry.
  • Destruction of native court by British took away the patronage of Handicraft & seriously reduced market of their goods.
  • The native courts were big consumers of luxury Handicraft product. The native ruler used to patronize artisan & craftsman.
  • The policy of one way free trade imposed on India doomed the faith of Indian Handicraft industry.
  • High tariff banners were erected to block the entry of Indian goods in British market. On other hand, duty free entry allowed to British market made goods. This unnatural competition gave death blow to Indian Handicraft industry.
  • The policy of westernization of India persuade by British changed the consumption pattern because western educated Indian middle class preferred western products. The demand of Indian goods got reduced drastically.
  • Exploitation of Indian artisan & craftsman forced many of them to abundant many of additional activity. Indian craftsman were exploited to such extent that many of them had cut their thumb to escape from suffering.
  • Railway also played an important role in decline of Indian Handicraft.
  • The railways were developing in Indian scheme of minimum guaranteed return. A minimum return of 5% guaranteed by government on the capital invested on development of railways. Government gave land for railway development free of cost rail owners were given complete freedom to determine fair & other similar activities Indian railway was unique existence of private venture at public risk. The venture built at huge cost to India was used to exploit India economically.
  • The railways were used to connect ports with the market so that maximum possible quantity of British goods could be exported to remotest Indian corners.
  • Railways were used to connect port with filed so that maximum possible quantity of raw material could export. This export of raw material increase cost to Indian Handicraft & they lost their competitive edge.


 Consequences of Decline of Indian Handicraft

  • Decline of Indian Handicraft gave death blow to urban economy & de-urbanization was witnessed in India.
  • Migration of Art & Craft villages resulted excessive pressure on land.
  • Large scale unemployment witnessed because people lost their additional occupation. Ruralization of Indian economy was took place as urban component disappear as result of deindustrialization.
  • Poverty, hunger, famine became essential feature of Indian economy as a result of decline of Handicraft industry.


Famine (Death by hunger)
  • Famine refers to situation of large scale death due to starvation cause by non-availability of food material for long period of time. The non-availability of food material continued for such long period so that physical capacity of people started degenerating and death in masses followed.



Non-availability of food material




Food is not available in market                                            Lack of purchasing power

  1. Destruction of Indian agriculture Extent heavy burden of Land Revenue no

By Land Revenue system                                               surplus left with people.

  1. Commercialization of agriculture Burden of other taxes such as salt

(Tax/income tax)

  1. Export of food materials Drain of Wealth
  2. Block marketing & holding Destruction of Handicraft industry

Monopolizing of British

  1. Lack of exportation facilities
  2. Apathy of government


Consequences of Recurring Famine during British Rule





  • Recurring famine more than 40 major famines took place in 200 years.
  • In 1769, a severe famine struck in Bengal, 1/3rd people of Bengal was wiped out.
  • In 1833, the infamous Guntur famine took place, 40% people was wiped out.
  • During 1860-61, North India struck by severe famine resulted in death of lacs of people.
  • In 1866, the infamous Orissa famine took placed 13 lac people killed.
  • During 1876-78, almost whole of India was struck by severe famine maximum impact witnessed in Madras parliament because 58 million were affected & more than 5 million lost.
  • During 1896-97, almost whole of India were struck by famine 34 million people were affected & 5 million people lost life.
  • During 1899-1900, once again many parts of India struck by famine 20 million affected & more than 1 million got killed.
  • The last major famine was in 1943-44 in Bengal, 1.5 million people lost their life.


Famine Policy during British Rule

  • During 100 years of Congress rule in India, the British never expected responsibility of helping famine affected people. No steps of any kind initiated to remove the circumstances responsible for famine. Millions kept on dying & British remain busy in exploiting Indian resources.
  • After 1860-65 famine government appointed Col. Baird Smith committee to look into causes of amine & to suggest remedial measure, but nothing was done.
  • In 1867, George Campbell commission was appointed, this committee suggested that-
  • Government should take step to employment.
  • Famine affected people.
  • Famine relief measure should be undertaken. It blamed official system for famine.
  • Sir Richard Strachey commission was appointed 1878, Commission recommended-
  • Land Revenue should be cancelled at time of famine.
  • Irrigation facility should be developed. Famine court should be formulated to undertake relief measure. Famine relief fund should setup so that relief measure could be initiated.
  • In James Lyall commission appointed but not significant recommendation put forward.
  • Lord Curzon appointed Anthony Mcdonnell commission in 1900. This commission recommended-
  • Exportation facility should be developed.
  • Agriculture bank should be created.
  • Famine code should be reviewed.
  • Famine commission should be appointed.
  • Government should adopted moral strategy while under famine relief measures.
  • In 1944, John Woodhead commission appointed-
  • All Indian food council must be established.
  • Department of food & agriculture should be amalgamated / merged.

Steps should be taken to increase production.

  • In spite of this various commissions & committee’s famine continue to remain a recurring phenomenon. The death & devastation caused by this famine was continued unabated because famine policy & the relief measure were the production of colonial regime & Congress Rule couldn’t benefit the masses & character was float.


Dalhousie as Maker of Modern India (1848-56)

  • Governor General Dalhousie initiated number of measure during his short tenure that helped in emergence of Modern India in many ways.
  • In 1852, department of post and telegraph was created for development of Modern postal system and telegraphs.
  • 1st telegraph line was opened to connect Calcutta to Agra.
  • In 1853, 1st railway line was opened between Mumbai & Thane.
  • In 1854, public work department was created.
  • Post office act was unacted in 1854 to development Modern postal system.
  • For development of education wood’s dispatch was implemented.
  • In 1855, department of public instruction was established for promotion of learning.
  • In 1856, widow re-marriage act unacted.
  • Dalhousie annexed number of native state by using doctrine of lapse, misbehavior through war to complete map of India.