DU SOL BA 3rd Year History of India Notes Chapter 1 The First Century of Colonial Rule
What were the causes of the defeat of the French in India against the English ?
Analyse the factors resulting in the defeat of the french against the English in the Carnatic wars.
Describe briefly the different phases of the Anglo French struggle for supermacy in India. What was the out come of it ?
Causes of the conflict between the French and the Britishers.
The French company appeared as a serious rival of the English Company in 1749, although it was inferior to the latter in manyrespects.
- The position of the English Company was superior to that of French Company. The former had not only more money but also its trade was more vast and enlarged.
- The sea power of the English was superior to that of the French. The merchant fleets of the English were bigger and made regular voyages.
- The French Company was backed by the Government, the English Company was a pri vate concern. The French Government did not take much interest in the affairs of the Company.
- The English Company could get fresh supplies of arms and men on account of their navy but this was not possible for the French Company.
The First Carnatic war (1746-48)
- The main causes of the war was the Commercial rivalry of the English and the French Companies in India. Both English and the French wanted to turn the other out of India to establish their monopoly.
- The close contiguity of their possessions in Southern India was an important factor which brought the English and the French into constant conflict against each other.
- The French Governor Dupleix aimed at the complete expulsion of the English from Indies. This policy led to the strained relations between the two nations.
- The war of Austrian Succession which broke out in Europe became the immediate cause of war. The French and the English fought against each other in the war of Austrian succession and consequently a war broke out between the two nations in India also.
Chief Events : Realising that the French position was not very strong Dupleix, the French Governor of Pondicherry approached Anwar ud. Din the Nawab of Carnatic. The Nawab asked both the English and the French Companies to maintain peace in his Kingdom. The English accepted the directions of the Nawab. In the meantime La Bourdonnais Governor of Mauritius reached the Coromandal Coast along with a feet in July 1746. Thus the French and the English troops faced each other for sometime. The French besieged Madras.
They were now in a stronger position. The English requested the Nawab to help them. But Dupleix coaxed Anwarud Din, the Nawab of Carnatic by telling him that he would handover Madras to him. The French captured Madras in September 1746. La Bourdonnais took a bribe of one lakh pagodas and restored Madras to the English on promise to pay £ 40,000 to the French Company. But this arrangement was not acceptable to Dupleix and he recaptured Madras. He refused to handover Madras to the Nawab. Thereupon, the Nawab sent an army to compel the French to transfer Madras to him.
Battle of San Thomas (1746)
A small French force defeated the army of the Nawab at San Thomas (also called the battle of Adyar). This engagement though small in comparison with others may be considered as one of the most important and decisive battles in India. The victory of the French over the native army for the first time proved the superiority of Europeans over the traditional Indian methods of warfare.
Importance of the Battle of San Thomas or Adyar
- The Battle of San Thomas for the first time demonstrated the superiority of disciplined infantry over cavalry.
- The charm of the Mughal invincibility was broken.
- The victory influenced French influence in the native Courts and encouraged them to drive away the English from India.
Thus the battle of Adyar gave a considerable advantage to the French and the prestige of Dupleix could not rest contented with this victory and for the next eighteen months he directed his attention to Fort St. David which was twelve miles south of Pondicherry. However, the English successfully repelled the French attack. The English laid siege ofPondicherrybutthe French foiled their attempts. The English were compelled to lift the seige and with draw. It has been described as a “conspicuous success for Lupleix and conspicuous failure for the English”.
Treaty of Aix-la-chapalle (1748). The first Carnatic war came to an end with the termination of hostilities in Europe. The treaty of Aix-La-Chapalle (1748) brought the Australian War of Succession to a conclusion. Under the terms of this Treaty Madras was handed back to the English must to the disgust of Dupleix. Thus Dupleix’s work was undone. The French had committed a serious mistake by abandoning the sure in India for the uncertain in America and lost that also.
Effect of the First Carnatic War –
1. It transferred the Europeans from peaceful settlers to strong political powers. As remarked by Prof. Dodwell. “In outward appearance the Treaty restored the two powers to the position they held before the outbreak of hostilities; but in reality a great change had come in. ” It makes an epoch in Indian history. It demonstrated the overwhelming influence of sea power. It also displayed the superiority of European methods of war over those followed by Indians. It revealed the political decay that had eaten into the heart of the Indian state system. It changed the character of the commercial companies. “From vessels the Europeans had jumped almost to the position of the liege lords”.
2. Both the French and the French saw an opportunity of increasing their power. The First Carnatic war exhanced the prestige and reputation of the French military and the value of disciplined troops. Dupleix started landing his troops to native princes and thereby started calculated interference in the native politics.
3. Dupleix now seriously thought of setting up the French Empire in India. The events of war showed that the Europeans were equal to take a decisive part in Indian affairs and that they had little to fear from any armises that Indian princes were likely to bring against them.
Second Carnatic War (1749-54) –
1. Strained Anglo French relations in India. The Treaty of Aix-La- Chapella did not put an end to the Anglo-French rivalry in India. The influence of the French rapidly increased in the Deccan particularly after the defeat of the Nawab’s army. The French decided to take an active part in the war between Mohammad Ali and Chanda Sahib in the Carnatic.
2. Disputed Succession at Hydrabad and Carnatic. With the death of Nizam Asif Jah in 1748 a contest started between Muzaffar Jung and Nasir Jung for the throne of Hydrabad. A similar contest arose in Carnatic between Chanda Sahib the son-in-law of Dost Ali and Anwar-ud-din the Nawab of Carnatic. The two conflicts were soon merged into one and in the following years there were many political alliances and counter alliances being formed in quick succession.
Dupleix saw in this fluid political situation an opportunity to advance his political schemes. He decided to support the candidature of MuzafFar Jung and Chanda Sahib. The English inevitably found themselves ranged on the side of Nasir Jung and Anwar-ud-din. A stounding successes attended the plans of Dupleix. The combined armies of MuzafFar Jung Chanda Sahib and tire French deFeated and killed Anwar-ud-din at the battle of Ambur in August 1749. Nasir Jung lost his life in the encounter of December 1750.
Muzaffar Jang became the Subadar of Deccan. Dupleix was appointed governor of all the Mughal territories south of the river Krishna. TheNizam surrendered some districts in the Northern Circars to the French. A French army under Bussy was stationed at Hydrabad. Chanda Sahib became the Nawab of Carnatic in 1751. Thus Dupleix was at the height of his political power.
MuzafFar Jung gave £ 50,000 to the French Company and a Jagir worth the income of £ 10,000 to Dupleix. The English were naturally alarmed and upset by the rapid increase of French influence in the Deccan. At this juncture Clive who was a writer in the Company’s services inarched against Arcot the capital of Carnatic. Chanda Sahib fled away and was killed by the Raja of Tanjore.
Thus the whole of Carnatic passed into the hands of the English and Muhammad AJi became the Nawab of Carnatic. The French beseiged Trichinopoly for the second time but with no success. Dupleix tried to recover position but failed because he was recalled to France in 1754. His departure was followed by the Treaty of Pondicherry which ended the second Carnatic war.
Terms of the Treaty of Pondicherry (1755) –
- Both the Erfglish and the French agreed not to interfere in the affairs of the native princess.
- They agreed to renounce all Mughal dignities and offices.
- Both the English and the French retained their respective positions.
- The English received a town in Northern Circar which Bussy had managed to secure.
- Bussy continued to remain in the Deccan and the English were to support Salabat Jung.
- The French were not to make any attempts at overthrowing Muhammad Ali, the Nawab of Carnatic.
The Results of the Second Carnatic war
- The East India Company regained the supc. nacy which it had lost in the Deccan during the First Carnatic war.
- Both the French and the English agreed not to interfered in the politics of the Indian princes. This agreement did not last long.
- The second Carnatic war brought Clive to the fore front.
- The French lost the supermacy in the Deccan.
The Third Carnatic war (1758-1763)
Causes of the War
- The peace brought about by the Treaty of Pondicherry proved to the very short lived. The seven years war broke out in 1756 in Europe and soon after the fighting in India also.
- Count de Lally was sent by the French Government with instructions to oust English Tom India.
- Lally arrived in Southern India at the end of April 1758. He attached and captured St. David.
Events of the War –
- After capturing St. David Lally prepared to March on Madras. But the French Admiral D’ Ache refused to co-operate with him. In the meantime English Squadron arrived to reinforce Madras. Lally Summoned Bussy from the Deccan. It was a blunder Salabat Jang now allied himself with the English and gave them Northern Circars. It was a great blow to the French power in India.
- In 1759 Lally laid a seige to Fort St. George but failed. He was forced to retire to Pondicherry. He was defeated by die English in the battle of Wandiwash in January 1760. Thus battle sealed the fate of the French in India. It shattered to the ground the splendid dream of Dupleix. Bussy was taken prisoner.
- The English then conquered Kavaikal in April 1760.
- Lally was forced to Surrender Pondicheery in January 1761.
- The Fortress of Jinji was captured in April 1761.
- Lally was recalled to France, condemned and executed.
- The seven years was came to a close by the Treaty of Paris in 1763.
This also brought to close the Third Carnatic war
The Treaty of Paris (1763). According to the terms of the Treaty the places which belonged to France before 1751 were restored to France. But they were not all allowed to fortify these places. The French lost their supermacy in Carnatic. The English became supreme in India.
Results of the Third Carnatic war –
- It ended the military and political power of the French in India with the termination for the Anglo French contest of Supermacy in India, the power of England’s last European rival in India was broken.
- The British were now firmly established in India. The French east India Company was dissolved in 1770. It had lost capital of 162 million frances between 1725 and 1769.
- The Carnatic wars ended for ever the French competition in the Eastern trade as well as the bid for territorial domination.
- Of the four nations that had contested for mastery in the East, the English were now left in the field free to push their plants without a rival.
- These wars had established the superiority of European army in the Deccan.
- The Nizam valued their friendship and the Nawab of Carnatic had become a non-entity in their hands.
- Large tracts of the Nothern Circars had come into their possession.
Causes Of The Failure Of The French And The Success Of The British In India –
Following are some of the main causes which were responsible for the failure of the French and the success of the British in India :
1. Commerical Superiority and better Financial Position. The trade carried on by the English Company was far greater than the French Company. According to an estimate the value of the sale of Indian goods in England between 1736-1756 was £ 41,200,000 and that of the French goods was £ 11,450,000. The superiority in trade has naturallymade the financial position of the English Company far better than that of the French Company. The financial position of the French Company had worsened so much so that during the closing years of the Third Carnatic war the Company was not able to pay their troops regularly.
2. Private character of the English Company, The English Company was a private enterprise. This created a spirit of self reliance among the people. They knew that if they worked hard, they would be able to get profits and if they slackened they were to beruined. The result was that the English Company became prosperous. Its condition was so sound that it could give loans to the Government.
On the other hand, the French Company was merely a department of the Government. It lacked self-reliance and completely depended upon the Government which in itself was rotten during the 18th Century. The corruption in the French Government was reflected in the French Company. Moreover the French Government guaranteed a certain percentage of profit to the shareholders. This was also responsible for the destruction of initiative among those who were incharge of the French Company. On account of its private nature, the English Company gained in another way. The changes at home did not affect the fortunes of the English Company in India.
3. Naval Supremacy of the East India Company. Another cause of English success was their naval supermacy. On account of this, the English could send help to India whenever it was required. There was none to check them on the way. It was this factor that cut off the link between the French possession in India and France. The French had to avoid the Englishmen, on the way while coming to India. The result was that sometimes months and years were spent on the way. This happened particularly in the case of Count Lally. Although he started very early from France so as to be in India in time, he reached India very late on account of his forced halts on the way.
4. Better English Naval Base. The English were lucky to have Bombay as their naval base. It was a suitable part for keeping and repairing of their ships and could bring them at anytime. The French naval base which was it* the Isle of France was very far off Thus they were at a disadvantageous position. They failed to take any speedy action during the Carnatic wars.
5. English Company was backed by English Government. The English Company was fortunate to have the backing of the English Government which took keen interest in the affairs of the Company. Some of the Directors of the Company were members of Parliament and could exercise influence on the Government.
6. Better and more able men in the service of English Company and Co-operation among English Officers and the Superior generals of the Company. Lord Clive was a soldier as well as a Statesman. Dupleix was also a statesman but he was not a soldier. Therefore, he was no match to Clive. Lawrence, Sir Eyre Coote etc., were other able Englishmen in the service of the Company. Lally or Bussy was no match to Sir Eyre Coote. The officers of the Company Co-operated fully with one another.
7. Appreciation of the work of Company’s employees by the English Government. The English Government appreciated the work of the able and efficient employees of the Company. This served as a great incentive and created great zeal and enthusiasm among the employees. But the French Government did not appreciate the services rendered by the French Government did not appreciate the services rendered by the French officers in India. Dupleix was badly treated. He was prosecuted and died a penniless person.
8. Superior Settlements of the English. The English were lucky in having
Calcutta, Bombay and Madras as their settlements. The position of the French was not good on this score. Their most important settlement was pondicherry. If they lost Pondicherry they lost everything. The English were certainly in an advantageous position in this respect. ‘
9. French entry into India from the Deccan, a wrong quarter. The French had entered India from a wrong quarter. They entered India through the Deccan which was not fertile. While the English made their entry into India through Bengal which was one of the richest provinces of the country.
According to Dutta and Sarkar, “In fact Plassy decided the fate of the Carnatic struggles and it was the resources of Bengal that the English Company fought most of its wars andfounded its domination”.
10. Recall of Dupleix. The recall of Dupleix in 1754 by the French Government was a blunder. Dupleix was a competent person and could Lave done something to retrieve the position of the French. His recall created a vacuum which could not be filled and France could not send a competent person to take his place.
11. Mistakes of Lally. Count de Lally come to India as the French Governor General and Commander in Chief during the Third Carnatic war. He was an honest man but lacked the foresight and statesmanship and Dupleix. He was hotheaded and an obstinate man. Calling Bussy from Hydrabad was a blunder. His departure from Hydrabad ended tlie French influence there Nizam Salabat allied himself with the English and gave Northern Circars to the English.
12. The French Company Subordinated their Commercial Interest to their Territorial Ambition. The French Company subordinated their Commercial interests to their territorial ambitions. This worsened the financial position of the company. The French Government was not in a position to support the ambitious schemes of Dupleix. On the other hand, the English never neglected their commerce.
13. Policy of William Pitt the elder. The policy of William Pitt the elder also contributed to the success of the English in India. He became the war minister of England in 1758 when England was involved in the seven years war. He followed a vigorous foreign policy. He helped Fredrick the Great of Prussia to keep French busy fighting in Europe. Thus France could not send adequate help to India and America while England sent the needed help to India.
14. Too much interference from the French Ministry. Too much interference from the French Ministry in the affairs of the Company also proved to be very detrimental.
15. Continental Position of French. The continental position of French also contributed to the ultimate failure of the french in India. On account of its entanglements in European affairs it could not take proper and keen interest in the affairs of India.
Estimate the political importance of the Battle of Plassey.
The Battle of Plassey was a “great betrayal.” Discuss.
Expansion And Consolidation Of British Power
Conspiracy against the Nawab. Siraj-ud-daula came to knowthat Mir Jaffar, Commender-in-Chief of his army, Rai Durlabh treasurer and Jagat Seth were not loyal to him and wanted to depose him.
Clive also joined the conspiracy through a rich Bengali merchant Amin Chand. It was agreed that Clive would march to Plassey and Mir Jaffar would join with all the forces at his Command. In return Mir Jaffar would be made Nawab and then he would confirm all the privileges to the Company. The secret treaty entered into by the English with Mir Jaffar was not advantageous to the English. Mir Jaffar promised to pay Rs. one crore to the company and meet all the expenses of war and Rs. 5 million as compensation to the European residents for the destruction of their property.
Company was to get all the land within the Calcutta ditch together with the Zamindari of the Country South of Calcutta. The Company promised to help him against all his enemies as long as he complied with the terms of the treaty. Amin Chand threatened to disclose it to the Nawab if he were not promised 30 lakhs of rupees and a clause to that effect written in the treaty. Clive got prepared two drafts of the treaty, the genuine one containing no mention of the amount to be paid to Amin Chand and the fictitious treaty with forged signatures mentioning the amount to be paid to Amin Chand.
Battle of Plassey (Jan. 23, 1757). When everything was ready, Clive wrote a letter to the Nawab Siraj-ud-daula complaining of the grievances of the Englishmen in Bengal. He marched towards Plassey at the head of his army. Mir Jaffar joined Clive. As soon as this happened the battle was over. Clive got a cheap decisive victory. Siraj-ud-daula ran away to Murshidabad and from that to Patna. He was captured and put to death by Miran, the son of Mir Jafar. Mir Jafar was put on the throne of Bengal. He gave 24 Parganas and one crore of rupees to the company. He also gave presents to other English Officers of the Company. The share of Clive was £ 334,000.
Results of the Battle of Plassey. From the point of military achievement the Battle of Plassey was not a great achievement. Even then it is considered among the decisive battles of Indian history. It has far reaching results which transformed the subsequent history of India. The following are the most important results:
(i) Establishment of British Control Over Bengal. Nawab Siraj-ud-daula was replaced by Mir Jafar as Nawab ofBengal. The new Nawab had no independent power of existence. He remained the Nawab so long as it suited to tlie Company. Thus fire Battle of Plassey had established the English Control Over Bengal.
(ii) Territorial and Commercial Gains. The English got the territory” of twenty four Parganas from the new Nawab. Their trade also receive impetus. Their position became more secure. The company established trading factories in the interior ofBengal.
(iii) It raised the Prestige of the Company. The Battle of Plassey enhanced the prestige of the company. Starting merely as treaders, the English now became the king makers.
(iv) Political and Strategic gains. The English and now at their disposal resources in money and men and those were used against the French in the Carnatica wars. The conquest ofBengal enabled them to defeat file French in the final phase of the Anglo French straggle in Deccan. The Battle of Plassey gave the company a sure footing and a place of refuge.
(v) It Paved the way for the Conquest of Northern India. The establishment of control over Bengal made it possible for the English to conquer Norther India. It enabled them to defeat Nawab Siraj-ud-daula and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II at file Battle of Buxar in 1764.
(vi) It Paved the way for Subsequent Revolutions in Bengal. On his accession to the throne, Mir Jaffar gave a lot of money to the officers of the company. This excited their greed and in the hope of getting more money from thenew Nawab they decided to replace him by his Son-in-law Mir Qasim. It paved the way for the second Revolution in Bengal.
The Battle of Plassey, was a turning point in the history not only of Bengal but in the history of whole of India. It paved the way for the establishment of the British Supremacy in India.
Discuss the Causes of Conflict between Mir Qasim and the East India Company and indicate its results.
What were the causes of conflict between Mir Qasim and the English.
Account for the Conflict between Mir Qasim and the English. Whom do you blame for precipitating the war? Discuss.
“The Battle of Buxur completed the work of Plassey.” Illucidate.
Mir Qasim and the East India Company. Mir Jafar (1757-60) was the Nawab of Bengal from 1757 to 1760. He was neither brilliant nor active. He proved to be an incompletent ruler and unable to meet the heavy demands of moneymade on him by the company. He was deposed in 1760 to make place for Mir Qasim a son in law of the old Nawab. THe new Nawab surrendered to the Company the Zamindari of Burdwan, Midnapur and Chittagong districts. The company had throught that they had found in Mir Qasim an ideal puppet.
Mir Qasim, however, belied die expectations of the company. He was an able ruler and a patriot. He reorganised his army on die European model and improved the administration of the provience. The English soon discovered that he would not allow the company to use his as a protege as the previous Nawabs had done.
Causes Of Conflict Between Mir Qasim And The East India Company –
1. Checking of inland duty free trade by the servants of the Company. The Company had been granted the privilege of free sea borne trade by an imperial ferman in 1717. But the servants of the company had extended this privilege for their own private trade of all kinds. The Nawab decided to stop this illegal private trade. The English resented this and made protests.
2. The rapacity of the Gumashtas of the Company. The conduct of the Gumashtas was very objectionable and their oppressive conduct was an open scandal. They tyrannised the people wherever they went. These agents not contented with injuring the people trampled on the authority of the government.
3. Demanding of the total abolition of private trade of English Gentlemen. On account of the complaints and counter complaints regarding internal trade the conflict between the Nawab and the company became imminent. The Nawab demanded the total abolition of private free trade of English Gentlemen. Vansiltart agreed to surrender the rights of the servants to trade duty free. But the Council at Calcutta refused to approve the agreement arrived at between Vansiltart and Mir Qasim. Nawab decided to abolish private trade. Ellis asserted it to be the right and privilege of the English.
4. Death of Europeans by Mir Qasim was the Immediate Causes. In June 1763 Major Adams was deputed to fight against Mir. Qasim and many battles were fought. Mir Qasim marched towards Patna and put to death his Indian prisoner Raja Ram Narayan, the two Sayyed brothers. He suspected them of conspiracy with the Company. A number of English prisoners were also massacred.
Mir Jaffar placed on the throned. The English reinstated Mir Jafar on the throne of Bengal on 7th July and on 10th July he signed a treaty with the English. The Nawab agreed that the English shall carry on their trade by means of their own ‘Distaks’ free from all duties, taxes etc. The Nawab also promised to compensate the Company for all loses incurred by it.
Battle of Buxar 1764. After being defeated and expelled from Patna, Mir Qasim sought shelter in the Court ofNawab Shuja-ud-daula ofOudh who had his own motive to extend his sphere towards Bengal. In October 1764 the Battle of Buxar took place. The English led by Munro defeated both Mir Qasim and Nawab Wazir ofOudh. Shuj a-ud-daula was finally defeated by the English in May 1765 and thus Oudh also came within the grasp of the English. The Mughal Emperor also went to the side of the English and Mir Qasim had to pass rest ofhis days as a wanderer.
Importance of the Battle of Buxar. The Battle of Buxar was a closely contested battle in which the losses of the English numbered 847 killed and wounded while on the side of the Indian powers more than 2000 officers and soldiers were killed. Buxar confirmed the decisions ofPlassey. Now English powder in northern India, became unchallengeable. ThenewNawab ofBengal was their stooge, the Nawab of Oudh a greateful subordinate ally, the Emperor their pensioner. The whole territory upto Allahabad lay at tehri feet and the road to Delhi open. Never after Buxar did the Nawab ofBengal or Oudh ever challenge and superior position ofthe company. The years following witnessed the tightening ofEnglish grip over these regions.
According to Sir James Stephen, “the Battle of Buxar deserves far more credit than the Battle ofPlassey as the origin of British power in India. The Battle of Plassey was decided more by treachery than by any inherent superiority of English arms and had the rights of the English in Bengal on the battle also their conquest of Bengal might justly have been attributed to a political conspiracy rather than to any fair fights”. This battle is specially significant because in this Emperor of India and his Prime Minister wrere also defeated.
Dutta and Sarkar write, “Plassey had enabled the company to established a puppet Nawab on the throne of Bengal and had no doubt immediately added to the prestige of the English. But their hold over Bengal, it afforded them an opportunity of bringing the worth western frontier of the Suba under their country. If Plassey saw the defeat of the Nawab ofBengal, Buxar proclaimed the defeat of great power ofOudh and even of the Mughal Emperor. While the rulers of Oudh thought of expanding their frontiers eastwards the English Company was also growing in question of time and the Company was placed in a position of advantage when Oudh took the aggressive stand and the issue was decided in 1764-65 in its favour”.
It can, therefore be safely concluded that both battles had important effect on the growth of British power in India. The Battle of Buxar completed the work of Plassey.
Discuss the achievements of Clive during the second Governorship of Bengal.
Estimate the importance of the work of Lord Clive in Bengal.
Explain the main achievements of Clive during his second Governorship of Bengal.
Estimate the importance of the work of Lord Clive in Bengal.
Clive’s second Governorship of Bengal (1765-67) Clive had returned to England in February 1760. He had already reached the Zenith of his fame at the age of 35. In his absence, the condition of East India Company has worsened on account of all round corruption and bribery. Clive was again appointed as the Governor of Bengal and Commander in Chief for the second time. He was armed with sufficiently great powers. He arrived in Bengal in May 1765.
Civil and Military Reforms under Clive. Immediately on his arrival Clive turned his attention towards the Civil and military reforms. The administrative reforms were very difficult because of the widespread of corruption prevailing from top to bottom. Clive himselfhad accepted presents, huge amounts of money and Jagir, his subordinates were under the impression that he would not be able to take any action against them. But they were mistaken. The circumstances had changed and Clive was determined to end the practice of accepting presents. Clive made die following reforms :
- All the servants had to take on Oath and sign that they would not accept bribe and would remain faithful to the Company.
- For receiving an amount exceeding Rs. 4000/- by the servants of the company prior permission of the Council of Bengal was necessary.
- Clive recommended a raise in the salaries ofthe servants. The profits of the salt trade which was Government monopoly were henceforward to be distributed among the senior officers of the Company in a graduated scale. However the directors disapproved of the practice and it was soon abolished.
- A merchants federation was established and the servants of the company were allowed to trade in salt, opium, tobacco etc. by becoming member of the chamber. Apart of the profits was shared by the Company.
- He stopped double allowance of the soldiers during war. It was started during the Carnatic wars. Chanda Sahib, Muhammad Ali, Mir Qasirn had given double salaries to the soldiers. The practice was stopped by Clive.
- He also organized the military administration. Military settlements at important places were also established.
- The military officers opposed the rules made by Clive and organised themselves for the same. Some officers also resigned. Clive accepted their resignations and called new officers from Madras. Rebel officers were dismissed.
- Lord Clive Fund was started with Rs. 5 lakhs. The employees received sufficient benefits from this fond.
The Grant of Diwani of Bengal. A settlement between Nawab Shuja- ud-daula and the Mughal Emperor on the one hand and the company on the other hand was made (Treaty of Allahabad 1765). The main terms ofthe Treaty were the following-
- Shuja-ud-daula got back his kingdom of Oudh except the district of Kara and Allahabad on payment of 50 lacs of rupees.
- An English force would be stationed in Oudh for the protection of its frontiers and its expenses were to be borne by the Nawab.
- The districts ofKara and Allahabad were given to the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II.
- He was to be paid Rs. 26 lakhs a year by the Company.
- The Mughal Emperor granted the Diwani ofBengal, Bihar and Orissa to the company.
With the grant of Diwani to the Company by the Mughal Emperor the English became de jure masters of Bengal of which they were already de facto masters. It came to have control over the revenues ofBengal, Bihar and Orissa. A pension of 53 lacs rupees was fixed for the Nawab ofBengal.
How far do you agree with this statement that Clive was the real founder of the British Empire in India? Discuss.
Justify Clive’s claim to be called the real founder of the British Empire in India. Give facts in support of your answers.
Clive As A Founder Of British Empure In India
Pitt extolled Clive as a “heaven bom general’’ and Burke sang his praices because he had settle a great foimdation. He ranks amongst the greatest Englishman who came to India.He combined in himself the qualiteis of a soldier and a statesman in a high degree.
Estimate of Clive. Robert dive mayjustly lay claim to be the true founder of British political dominion in India. He correctly read the intricacies of the political situation of the time and struck boldly in the right direction. He outdid his French adversary Dupleix and achieved more permanent result. His successful conduct of the siege of Arcot (1751) turned the scales against the French in the Carnatic. In Bengal he won the battle of plassey(1757) against Siraj-ud-daula and reduced the new Nawab Mir Jaffar to the position of a mere puppet of the English.
With the resources of Bengal the English conquered South and routed their only political rival in India, the French. He transformed a mere trading company into a territorial power with the role of king maker, in Bengal. Coming back to Bengal in 1765 Clive consolidated the gains of the company and regulated the foreign relation on a secure basis. Clive fully deserved the praise of Burke that he “settled great foundation”. The estimate and achievements of Lord Clive maybe studied under the following heads –
(a) As a born Soldier. He exchanged the pen for the sword during the first Carnatic war. The capture of Arcot made him famous. His defeating Siraj- ud-daula at the battle of plassey added Bengal to the British dominion. He was a great leader of men and according to pitt “he was a heaven bom general”. Though he received no military training any where, he proved to be a great general during the course of his entire career in India.
(b) As an Administrator. On his return in 1764 he showed his genius as an administrator. He obtained the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa by the treaty of Allahabad. He introduced many Civil and military reforms. He introduced dual system of government which inspite of all defects was suited to the exigencies oftime. He abolished ‘Double Bhatta’ ofthe soldiers of the company.
(c) Clive as a Statesman. As a statesman, Clive visualised that besides facing difficulties in extending the company’s dominion it would ;ead him to clash with the native power which was at that time in the interest of the Company. Macaulay has rightly remarked that “In point of statesmanship and generalship England has hardly produced as great a man as Clive was”. P.E. Roberts says of Clive’s achievements “to extend the British away over the province of Bengal Bihar and Orissa district was great step in advance to extend British sway over the three provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and so he begged the court not to be staggered at the maginitive of their possessions.
(d) Virtues and Vices of Clive. Clive was a great general and statesman of great insight if not of foresight. He was possessed of an iron will and dogged determination. He was a man of great personal magnetism and possessed intellectual powers of a superior type. He could take quick decisions. Pitt called him a “Heaven born general” and Burke praised him because he “settled great foundations”. He had a great insight and could diagnose the situation quickly. However he was not a statesman of a foresight and took certain measures which made him unpopular.
If Clive had certain virtues he was also not free from vices. According to Dodwell, “His principal defect was a certain bluntness of moralfeeling which enabled him to perform and defend actions which did not command themselves even to his own age”. He had a greed of wealth and for acquiring wealth he could resort to unfair and very questionable means. He had set up a very bad precedent for his subordinates by accepting bribes from Nawabs and Amirs. For the sake of money he dirped Amin Chand. The establishment of the society of Trade to give lease of betel nut salt etc. to the big officers under him is another blot on his fairness.
According to Smith, “His most outstanding characteristic was an inflexible will which guided his conduct to success in all affairs whether military or civil. His military genius and his gift of leadership were abundantly manifested both in the Penisula and in Bengal. His abilities as a statesman were exhibited mainly.in his second administration when he confronted extraordinary difficulties with inflicting courage.
” K.M. Panikar in his book, “Survey of Indian History” writes: “Clive was a gangster who achieved glory, a forgerer, a liar and cheat whose military achievements compared to those of the generals of the time were wholly ridiculous. The state he founded and administration for seven year was nothing more than a robber state, the one object of which was to extract as much as possible from the territories it was supposed to administer.
English historians prefer to draw a veil over the period between 1757¬1774 but it is to be emphasised that at no period in the lung history of India it including the reigns of Tarmana and the Muhammad Tughlaq did the people of any province suffer so great misery as the people of Bengal in the era of Olive. This is that Clive had weaknesses and follies and a low standard of morality: still it cannot be disputed that he was the person who laid the foundation of the British Empire in India. The House of Commons appreciated the manifold services of Clive to England in the resolution; that Robert Clive did at the same time render great and meritorious services to liis country. With that decision we do not quarrel, if we may accept the principle that “ends justify the means”.
Conclusion. Thus Clive can be rightly called the real founder of British Empire in India. Clive went back to England in 1767. At first he was received in England with great honour. But he had many personal enemies. They were successful in including the House of commons to institute an inquiry into his conduct. The specific charges against him were his dealing with Siraj-ud-Daula, the fraud practiced on Amin Chand, the forgery of Watson’s signature on the fictitious document and his having acquired by means of the Civil and military power entrusted to him, vast sums of money. But he was honourably acquitted of all the charges and the counter resolution was passed in which his meritorious services were appreciated.
Critically examine the institution of dual government as established by hard dive.
Sum up the main provisions of the Regulating Act and point out its defects.
What were the objectives of Regulating Act ? How far they were achieved. ‘
How do you account for the parliamentary intervention in Indian affairs. Enumerate briefly the main provisions of the Regulating Act and its constitutional significance.
Institutions And Policies
Dual Government. The work of administration was theoretically in the hands of the Nawab but actually it was in the hands of two Deputy Nawabs appointed by the Nawab on the advice of the Company. The Company.collected revenue and paid a fixed annual sum of 32 lass of rupees for the expenses of the Nizamat. Thus the administration of Bengal remained both in the hands ofthe Company and the servants of the Nawab, this system of dividing the functions of Government has been called Clive’s system of dual Government.
Under the system the actual work of civil, criminal and police administration was carried on by the Nawab of Bengal who received 53’lacs of rupees a year, from the Company, for this purpose. But the real power vested with the English Company. The company besides directing the Nawab in his work of administration also maintained a large army for the defence of the province of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
Merits Of The System –
1. It removed the Suspicion of the Europeans. Lord Clive devised this system to remove the suspicion from the minds of the European powers.
2. It ended frequent Revolutions of Bengal. The double Government specifically and clearly defined the respective position of the Nawab and the Company, there remained no chance for future conflicts between the two and thus the frequent revolutions of Bengal w’ere completely ruled out.
3. Clive devised the dual System to Satisfy the Directors. The directors at home had refused to take over the direct responsibility of administration. Clive devised the system to deceive the directors and kept intact the “name and shadow” of the authority of the. Nawab.
4. It was suitable device to throw dust into the eyes of the natives. As remarked by’ Clive himself, “the maintenance of the shadow and the name of the Nawab was indispensably necessary”. Any other system might have aroused suspicion in the minds of natives and the company might have to face unnecessary troubles.
5. It ruled out all possibility of Anglo Maratha clash. Direct assumption of responsibility of administration the English Companymight have to come in conflict with the rising power of the Marathas.
6. It was not a final settlement. The introduction of the dual system was not a final settlement and it was simply a good attempt to grapple with the realities of the situation.
7. It ensured better Financial Condition of the Company without incurring any responsibility. At that time the Company was more interested in the betterment of the commerce and finance rather than territorial gains.
8. It suited the exigencies of time. It was well suited to the exigencies of the times. It secured protection against the complaints of the foreign powers and the demands of the Home Government.
Defect of the Double System of Government –
1. Illogical and Unworkable. The assumption of Diwani of Bengal exhibited the single adroitness of an astute schemer rather than the foresight of a responsible administrator. It was a device for enjoying the spoils of past without taking over its fundamental complications. The Nawab was now a visionary head of the state and had nothing but the name and shadow of the authority.
2. If led to the complete breakdown of administration. The Nawab had no power to enforce law and justice, while the English on their part disowned the responsibility of the government. The result was disorder The villainy of the Zamindars and the officials and the Company’s servants knew no bound. People were left virtually without appeal and many were compelled to leave their huts and homes in despair and became vagrants or freebooters.
3. It increased abuses of private trade. Under the system the abuses of private trade increased to an unprecedented scale. The Company servants indulged in recklessly in the private trade at the cost of Company and claimed exemption from all sorts of levies.
4. Indian Merchants and Industries were the worst sufferers. It became not only difficult but impossible for the merchants and industries to compete with the British merchants who enjoyed vast privileges and sold their goods under favourable circumstances in India.
5. It resulted in encouragement of misgovernment and oppression of the peasantry. The Company was interested to collect more and more revenue and had no care of the welfare of the people. The Company collected excessive revenues from the Zamindars who in turn collected from the peasants.
6. Company’s income fell short of their expectation. Inspite of the oppression, of the peasantry and hardships suffered by the people, the Company’s income fell short of their expectations.
7. The Judicial administration completely broke down. The constant interference of the company’s officials rendered it impossible for the Nawab’s Judges and functionaries to discharge their judicial functions properly. The Nawab’s tribunals of justice became a farce.
8. Interference in the administration of the Nawab. The Nawab had the responsibility to carry out the administration but had neither sufficient funds nor power to do so. The constant interference of the servants of the Company which made it impossible for the Nawab to carry on the internal administration smoothly.
9. The dual system separated power from responsibility. The system separated power from responsibility. The English got the right of collecting the revenue but they had no responsibility for the internal administration. The condition of Bengal worsened on account of the double government. The famine of 1770 and the epidemic that followed accounted for one third of population of Bengal. The English Company did nothing for the relief of the people and remained a silent spectator to the appalling distress of the people. The dual system which deserved all possible condemnation was finally abolished by Warren Hastings in 1772.
Circumstances Which Led to the Passing of the Regulating Act –
(i) Company’s territorial sovereignty and constitutional anomaly. The Company had become a territorial power after the battles of Plassey and Buxar. The grant of Diwani in 1765 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Alum had established it as a de facto ruler in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, It was fact that the nation through Parliament rather than through a trading body must be responsible for the British rule in India. Thus the parliamentary intervention had become necessary.
(ii) Dual system of Government and Administrative Confusion. The system had left the people helpless against the oppression both of the Nawab and the servants of the Company. The British Parliament could not remain a passive spectator under such circumstances.
(iii) Unpopularity of the Servants of the Company. The retired servants of the Company took away to England immense wealth with them and lived like Nawabs. They were nicknamed as the English Nawabs. They contested elections. Everybody in England became jealous of these persons. This necessitated the parliamentary intervention in the affairs of the Company. In 1772 a select and a secret Parliamentary Committee was appointed and its report showed that the servants of the Company received large sums as presents and that Clive had a Jagir. Thus ap urgent need was felt to regulate the affairs of the Company.
(iv) Grant of Diwani and fat dividends by the Company. The proprietors of the Company were very happy on account of good prospects of huge profits when the Dewani was confirmed on the Company. By Shah Alam, the Mughal Emperor. But soon it was found that the Company was approaching bankruptcy. It led the Government to pass the Regulating Act to regulate the affairs of the Company.
(v) The greed of the British Tarliament. The British Parliament also wanted to enjoy a share of huge profits of the Company.
(vi) The two great disasters of 1769 and 1770. The defeat of the Company by Haidar Ali (1769) undermined the British prestige and discredited the Madras Government. In 1770 a severe famine broke out in Bengal. These two incidents attracted the attention of the British Government and parliamentary intervention became in evitable.
(vii) The financial difficulties of the Company. The Company had become bankrupt bytheyear 1712. After, lending several times, the Bank of England refused to lend more. The Company was compelled to approach the British Government for loan. This led to the passing of the Act.
Its Object –
- Removal of the evils in the constitution of the Company and
- Remedying the evils prevailing in India under the rule of the Company.
- The qualifications for a vote in the Court of proprietors was raised from £ 500 to £1000.
- It was also provided that instead of being annually elected, the Directors were to hold office for four years, a quarter of the number of being annually reelected.
- The East India Company was kept under the Control of the King of England and the system of nominating high officials of the Company, Judges, member of the Court of Directors started.
- The Civil and Military Government of Bengal was vested in a Governor General and four Councillors who were named in the Act in the first instance. They were to hold office for five years during which period they were not removable except by the King on the representation of the Court of Directors.
- The Governor General was bound by the decision of the majority of the Council. However, he had a casting vote only in case of a tie.
- The Governors of Madras and Bombay were made subordinate to the Governor General at least in matters of war and peace.
- Superior officers were given liberal salaries. All the servants were forbidden to receive any present or bribes and to indulge in private trade.
- A Supreme Court of Judicature consisting of a Chief Justice and three puisne judges was established in Bengal. It had Civil, Criminal, admiralty and ecclesiastical jurisdiction over all British subjects in the Company’s dominions except the Governor General and the members of his Council.
- The Governor General in Council was empowered to issue rules, ordinances and regulations but they were to be registered in the Supreme Court.
- A Secretary of State for India was appointed in England to look after the activities and works of the Company. The members of the Court of Directors were directed to send all the papers of relating to revenue to the Government treasury and all the papers relating to Indian administration, civil and military to the Secretary of State.
- The Governor General in Council was empowered to make rules but prior permission of the Home Secretary before making such rules was necessary.
The Defects of the Regulating Act –
According to Prof. Dodwell, “Regulating Act of 1773 was a medlay of inconsistencies dictated by tyranny yet bearing through-out each line the mark of ignorance.” The defects of the Regulating Act are briefly described here
- The Act gave no veto power to the Governor General. He was powerless before his colleagues. Warren Hastings had to face difficult time and outvoted and overruled by the majority of Councillors.
- Incompetent and hostile Councillors. Some of the councilors were incompetent and unfit for the job. They, were against Warren Hastings and created difficulties for him.
- Defective and obscure Provisions of Supreme Court. Nothing was mentioned regarding the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and its relation to the Governor General in Council was not defined.
- Inadequate Control of Governor General over the presidencies.
- On the plea of emergency the Presidencies of Madras and Bombay acted on their own discretion and started wars and made alliances without reference to the Governor and General-in-Council. Bombay Government and Madras Council acted on discretion in case of Marathas and Haidar Ali respectively.
- Insufficient Parliament Control Over he Company. There was no effective machinery to study and scrutinise the reports sent by the Governor-General in Council in India.
- Changes in the Home Government were not free from defects. The Court of Directors was transformed into a “more or less permanent oligarchy”. The regulations regarding the Court of proprietors also failed to obtain the scrutiny against faction and disorder and in tegrity of conduct
Removal of Defects of the Regulating Act of 1773 –
The defects of the Regulating Act of 1773 were removed by the Declaratory. Act 1781, The Pitt’s India Bill 1784 and the Amendment Act of 1786. The Act of 1781 demarcated the relations between the Supreme Court and the Council. The Act of 1784 granted veto power to the Governor General. The Presidencies were made subordinate to the Governor General (1784). Thus all the defects of the Regulating Act of 1773 were removed by the year 1786.
Importance of the Regulating Act
- The Act for the first time recognised the political status of the Company.
- It was an attempt to establish parliamentary control over the Company.
- The Act curtailed the powers of patronage hitherto enjoyed by the Company.
- The Act attempted towards the unification of the Company’s territories in India.
- It made the first attempt by the British Parliament to set up a Government in this country suitable to the changed conditions.
- The Act declared that no person in Indian service could receive presents from the Indian princes.
- It made an attempt to apply regular principles of law and justice in India.
- It secured to some extent a unity of control and a uniformity of policy.
Regulating Act is really a great landmark in the constitutional history of India because it completely altered the character of the East India Company from a Commercial body to a political organisation. The operations of the Regulating Act covered the entire administration of Warren Hastings. Calcutta’s control over the subordinate Presidencies of Madras and Bombay did not work smoothly. Provisions were vague and there was sufficient latitude to evade Calcutta’s Control.
Describe the reforms introduced by Warren Hastings.
Form an estimate of land revenue system of Warren Hastings.
“Hastings true fame as an Indian ruler rests on his administrative work”. Explain.
“Warren Hastings was the real builder of the modern Indian administrative system”. Do you agree?
Reforms By Warren Hastings
Reforms of Warren Hastings
The reform, Warren Hastings can be divided into six parts:
(a) Administrative Reforms.
(b) Judicial Reforms.
(c) Financial Reforms.
(d) Revenue Reforms.
(d) Commercial Reforms.
(f) Other Reforms.
(a) Administrative Reforms. The Dual Government had made “confusion more confounded and corruption more corrupt”. Warren Hastings first directed his attention towards administrative reforms.
- Removal of Deputy Subedars. In order to abolish the Dual system of Government in Bengal, Warren Hasting dismissed the Deputy Subedars of Bengal. Their dismissal implied that the Company had assumed direct responsibility of the administration of Bengal into their own hands.
- Appointment of English Collectors. The Collection of revenue was entrusted to the British Collectors. These Collectors were directly appointed by him.
- Establishment of a Board of Revenue at Calcutta. In place of Diwans a Board of Revenue was set up at Calcutta. Its function was to see the Collection of land revenue under its direct supervision.
- Shifting of treasury from Murshidabad to Calcutta. By shifting of treasury to Calcutta made it become the administrative Capital of Bengal hence forward.
- Reorganisation of Nawab’s affairs by the Company. He appointed Munni Begum, the widow of Mir Jafar as the Superintendent of her household and she began to act as the regent to minor Nawab. Raja Gindass the son of Raja Nand Kumar was appointed as an assistant to Manni Begum.
- Stoppage of Tribute to Shah Alam. The payment of tribute to the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam was stopped by Hastings.
- Reduction of Pension of the Nawab of Bengal. He reduced the amount of pension to the Nawab of Bengal from the sum of Rs. 32 lakhs to Rs. 16 lakhs.
(b) Judicial Reforms. Hastings introduced a series of Judicial reforms which areas as follows—
- Abolishing the judicial functions oftheZamindars.
- Establishment of the Civil and Criminal Courts in every district.
- Establishment of Sadr-Diwani Adalat and Sadar Nizarnat Adalat.
- Bringing of the judicial proceedings in writing.
- Appointment of Indian judges in criminal courts.
- Necessary changes were also made in many rules and law.
- Administration of justice according to Quran for Muslims and Shastras for Hindus in matters of marriages, succession and religion.
Thus with in a space of two years i.e., from 1772-1774 Warren Hastings established peaceful condition in India.
(c) Financial Reforms. It was necessary to improve the financial Condition of the Company. The treasury of the Company was empty and the Company was forced to take loans. He took following measures to improve the financial condition of the Company: –
- Hastings reduced the pension of the Nawab of Bengal from Rs. 32 lakhs to Rs. 16 lakhs per annum.
- The tribute of Rs. 25 lakhs payable to Shah Alam the Mughal Emperor of Delhi was stopped because be had gone over to theprotection of the Marathas.
- The two districts of Kara and Allahabad were taken way from Shah- Alam and were sold to Shuja-ud-Daula, Nawab of Oudh in-rcturn for the payment of Rs. 30 lakhs.
- A treaty was made with Shuja-ud-Daula by which the English promised to help him in return of the district of Banaras and Rs. 40 lakhs.
- The amount of the pensions given to the servants of the Company was also reduced considerably.
- He improved the Currency which was in a hopeless condition.
- He sent a mission to Bhutan and Tibet to improve trade relations with them and thus improved the finances of the Company.
- Uneconomical, insecure offices which had been a burden to the government were closed.
Revenue Reforms –
- Hastings appointed British Land Revenue Collectors for collecting land revenue and carrying out the reforms.
- Appointment of a Board of Revenue at Calcutta in order to have complete supervision over the administration of the whole system of land revenue.
- Five Year Land Revenue Settlement. A new system known as five year land revenue settlement was introduced.
- Appointment of Rai Rayan. Some local officers called Rai Rayan were also appointed for the assistance of the members of the Revenue Board.
- Abolition of five years settlement and the introduction of one year settlement on the basis of highest bidding. Through experience the system of five year land revenue settlement proved to be very defective. It was replaced by new system. The land was now given to the highest bidder for one year only. This was introduced in 1777. Later on British Collectors were also removed.
- To remove the difficulties of the people the rate of the land revenue was fixed and some other taxes were abolished.
Commercial Reforms –
- Abolition of the Duskat system. The abolition of the ‘Duskak’ System put an end to very irksome and oppressive instrument of Corruption. Now the servants of the Company had to pay duties for their personal goods. It also improved the revenues of the Company.
- Abolition of large number of Customs posts. Henceforth there were to be only five customs posts at Calcutta. Hughli, Murshidabad, Patna and Dacca. Previously there were large number of Customs posts which only hampered the growth of trade in the Country.
- Despatch of Commercial Mission to other Countries. He also improved trade relations with other countries like Bhutan, Tibet and Egypt by dispatching Commercial missions to these Countries.
- Reduction of the Customs Duties. Duties were reduced by 2.5 percent on all goods except salt, betelnuts and tobacco. Customs duty was to be paid by all persons in the Country-Europeans as well as local people.
(f) Other Reforms. Warren Hastings also introduced a series of other minor reforms. They were
- Hastings curbed the activities of thieves and dacoits.
- A Sanyasi Association which was becoming oppressive to the people was also mercilessly curbed.
- He improved the police system is Calcutta. Police officers were appointed to improve the law and order situation in each district.
- He also reduced the unnecessary expenses of administration.
- He introduced some reforms in military establishments.
- He abolished tax on marriages.
Consequences of these Reforms. To a great extent he was successful in improving the administration. But he did not get the full co-operation from the British Government at Home. One great difficulty that he had to encounter was that the posts in the administration were not filled on merit but by favouritism and personal whims. Inspite of serious difficulties Warren Hastings were able to set up a machinery of administration in ‘India over which later on the super structure was erected by Lord Carnwallis. Thus Hastings was the real builder of the modern Indian administration system. It is rightly said that if Lord Clive had laid the territorial foundation of the British Empire in Bengal; Hastings may be said to have created a British administration for that empire.
Describe the foreign policy of Warren Hastings and show how he consolidated the British power in India.
How did the foreign policy of the east India Company under Warren Hastings ‘prove conducive to the growth the English power in India ?
Foreign Policy Of Warren Hasting –
Aims and Reforms of Warren Hasting’s Foreign Policy. Warren Hastings directed his attention to internal reforms so as to strengthen the British Empire in India. He also made endeavours to strengthen the foreign policy. The aim of his foreign policy was to establish and expand the British rule in India. He wanted to consolidate the already acquired territories and to protect them from foreign dangers. He wanted to safeguard Bengal which was an inexhaustible store house of all kinds of resources. He used Oudh as a buffer state and even helped the Nawab against the Rohillas.
Hastings was a great diplomat but he was not an annexationist. His aim was to consolidate the already acquired territories and to protect them from foreign dangers. The Marathas, Nizam and Mysore posed real danger for the Company. There was danger that these three might not make a joint front against the Company. Since attention of England was concentrated on the Colonies of America there was no hope of getting any help from home. The foreign policy of Hastings can be divided under the following headings
- Relations with the Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam.
- His Oudh Policy.
- The Rohilla war (1774).
- The case of Nand Kumar.
- Treatment of Chet Singh.
- His wars against the Marathas.
- Relations with Nizam and Mysore.
- Treatment of Begums of Oudh.
1. Relations with Emperor Shah Alam n. The Marathas under the capable and experienced leadership of Madhoji Sindhia and Jaswant Rao Holkar had consolidated their position in Northern India. After overrunning Rajputana, defeating the Jats, expelling the Rohillahs from the Doab, the Marathas captured Delhi in February 1771. The same year, they escorted the Emperor to his throne in Delhi. In reward for their services the Emperor handed over to the Marathas Allahabad and Kara which Clive had given to him in 1765.
Warren Hastings decided to throw off the mask and stop the payment of the annual tribute to “the king of shreds and patches”. He maintained that the Company did not get the Diwani by the Emperor’s ‘piece of paper ’ but by the best of all titles i.e., power. Later Hastings sold Allahabad and Kara to the Nawab of Oudh for Rs 50 lakhs.
2. Relations with Oudh. Clive had sought to create Oudh as a buffer state for the territories of the Company. Every year the Nawab had asked for the help of the Company’s troops without payment of extra expenses. The Nawab was looked upon with suspicion. Hastings proceeded to Banaras and concluded the Treaty of Banaras (1773) with the Nawab. By this Treaty Allahabad was handed over to the Nawab for Rs. 50 lakhs. The Nawab agreed to increase the subsidy of the Company’s troops from Rs. 30,000 a months to Rs. 2,10,000 a month for one brigade when called for service.
3. The Rohilla War (1774). The small kingdom of Rohil Kliand was ruled by the Afghans or the Rohillas. After the death of Aurangzeb Rohil Khand wanted to become an independent kingdom but the Nawab of Oudh had brought it under his protection. Hafiz Rahmat Khan was the able ruler of Rohil Kliand. He consolidated his power and made his Kingdom powerful and prosperous. The Marathas had an eye for Rohil Kliand. Suspecting their designs, the Rohillas asked for the help from the Nawab of Oudh. The English wanted that Rohil Kliand should come under the control of their friend, the Nawab of Oudh.
The Nawab agreed to help the Rohillas if the Marathas attacked Rohil Kliand. For this help the Rohillas would pay Rs. 40 lakhs to him. The Marathas attacked Rohil Khand in 1773 but had to return back without indulging into war on account of sudden death of Madhav Rao Peshwa. The Nawab of Oudh demanded Rs. 40 lakhs which was agreed between them but Hafiz Rahman Khan refused to pay. Therefore in January 1774 the Nawab requested the English for help to attack Rohilkliand and promised that besides bearing the expenses of the army, he would also pay Rs. 40 lakhs to them.
Hastings accepted the proposal and sent British troops under “the command of Colonel Champion. The Rohillas were defeated and Hafiz Rahmat khan and about 20,000 Rohillas were banished from the country Rohil Khand was annexed to Oudh.
Warren Hastings conduct has been subjected to severe censure for participation in the Rohilla war. Macaulay has charged Hastings with looking on callously by while the Rohilla’s “villages were burnt, their children butchered and their women violated. ” Colonel Pearse called the operation “un-British”. Some historians, however, support the Rohilla policy of Hastings on the following grounds :
- Financial condition of the East India Company at that time was critical and need of money for internal reforms was very great.
- On account of the new Treaty with the Nawab it was necessary to help him.
- The conduct of Hastings was politically expedient.
- By annexation of Rohil Khand in the Oudh, Bengal became safe from the attacks of the Marathas.
According to Sir John Strachey, “Judged by the result the policy ofHastings was eminently successful. It gave Oudh and Bengal a permanent security”. In view of the views expressed by historians in favour and against the Rohilla policy of Hastings, it may he concluded that it was unjust from the moral and political points of views. According to Thompson and Garret, “Rohillas had done the English no wrong. Their right to be where they were was at least as good as the English-right to Bengal and Bihar”.
4. The Trial of Nand Kumar 1775. Nand Kumar was and influential Bengali Zamindar and was’hostile to the Governor General. Some of the members of the Governor General’s council were also against Hastings. They conspired to launch a case against Hastings with the help of Nand Kumar. In 1775 Nand Kumar accused Hastings in council of accepting Rs. 3’A lakhs from the widow of Mir Jafar.
Members of the council welcomed the charge but Hastings himself objected to council’s entertaining charges against him. But the majority was against him, Hastings dissolved the Council. However the Council asked him to deposit the amount in the company’s treasury. Hasting brought a counter charge against Nand Kumar in the Supreme Court. He was arrested on the charge of forgery. Thus in the absence of any evidence the case regarding bribe could not proceed against Warren Hastings. Nand Kumar was hanged by a majority decision on 6 May, 1775.
Critics of Hastings have described the trial and execution of Nand Kumar as a ‘judicial murder’ and have accused Warren Hastings and Impey (Chief Justice ofthe Supreme Court) to have acted in collusion. Thompson and Garratt described the whole affair as “a scandalous travesty of decency”. Evidently the punishment accorded to Nand Kumar was excessive and even unjust because no Indian law prescribed death for forgery.
5. The Case of Raja Chet Singh of Banaras. Chet Singh the Raja of Banaras was originally a feudatory of Oudh. On the death of Shuja-ud-daula of Oudh in 1775 the new Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula transferred Banaras to the Company. Chait Singh thus became a vassal of the Company. He was required to pay Rs. 22’/2 lakhs annually to the Company. Hastings demanded an additional 5 lakh rupee as a war levy.
This demand was made in 1778 and repeated in 1779 and 1780. In 1780 the Raja sent 2 lakhs of rupees as a bribe to Warren Hastings to avert further demands. This did not deter Hastings from demanding the extra subsidy. He further imposed on him a fine of Rs. 50 lakhs. Hastings marched against the Raja and made him prisoner. The Indian soldiers killed some British soldiers. Chet Singh’s nephew was made the Raja ofBanaras and the annual tribute of Rs. 2VA lakhs was increased to Rs 40 lakhs.
Warren Hastings dealings with Chet Singh have been criticized on the following grounds :
1. Hastings action was the violation oftreatyof 1775. Extra demands on the Raja was a clear violation ofthe treaty.
2. The treatment meted out to the Raja was too harsh.
3. Warren Hastings alone was responsible for the rising. The Raja had been humble through out bad not shown disloyalty.
4. There was no justification on the part of Hastings to have accepted two lakhs of rupees from the agent of the Raja.
5. Political situation or the principle of expediency is no moral justification.
6. The immediate object of the company was also not achieved because the money found in the treasury of the Raja was distributed among the Company’s troops.
Even according to the Court of Directors his policy towards Chet Singh was unwarrantable and impolite. Prof. P.F. Roberts has also remarked: “The whole proceedings was really in defensible”.
7. Hastings wars against the Marathas. In the early part of the eighteenth century the Marathas had reached the zenith of their progress. Even the Emperor of Delhi was afraid of them. But their defeat in the Third Battle of Panipat scattered their power and gave them a staggering blow. But the Marathas soon recovered. However, the Marathas ceased to exist as a single power and Maratha Chiefs like Scindia of Gwalior, Holkar of Indore, Gaekward of Baroda and the Raja of Nagpur rose to prominence.
TheCauseoftheFirstMarathaWar.Itwastheresultoftheuncalled interference by the Bombay Government in the internal quarrels of the Marathas. Narayan Rao, the Pesfrwa was murdered at the instigation of Raghoba. The succession was contested by Raghoba and Nana Fadanavis. Raghoba sought help from the English with a promise of his ceding the islands of Salsette and part ofBassein (Treaty of Surat 1775).
The English occupied Salsette and defeated the Marathas at Arras. The treaty had been signed without reference to Calcutta which therefore, ordered it to be can celled. The Calcutta Council sent an envoy to Poona and the Treaty of Purandhar was concluded. However the Directors approved the treaty of Surat and Hastings decided to continue the alliance with Raghoba and the War was renewed.
Events ofthe First Maratha War (1779). The British army advanced from Bombay towards Poona. It was defeated at Telegaon. The English had to conclude the humiliating convention of Wadgaon. The English had to restore all the territories which they had acquired since 1773. Hastings repudiated this treaty and renewed the War.
The English won over Gaikwad to their side and with his help the English captured Ahmadnagar and Bassein. Thus encouraged, the English troops advanced towards Poona. In 1780 the fortress of Gwalior was taken by Major Popham. Scindia wanted to make peace with the English. At this time the English were also fighting against Hyder Ali of Mysore. Therefore Hastings welcomed the mediation through Scindia to bring about an end to the War.
Treaty of Salbai 1782. The treaty of Salbai brought an end of the First Anglo-Maratha War. The English surrendered all the territories which has been acquired by them since the treaty of Purandhar except Salsette. The English recognised Madhav Rao Narayan as the rightful Peshwa and Raghoba was pensioned off.
Significance of the Treaty of Salbai. This treaty ranks as one ofthe great landmarks in the history of India.
(i) Without annexing a square mile of territory the British power became paramount in the major part ofthe Indian Peninsula.
(ii) The Fort of Thana and the fertile island of Salsette were brought under possession of the English Company.
(iii) Hastings allowed a freehand in the management ofthe affairs of the Marathas.
(iv) According to Dr. Verma, “The Treaty of Salbai was the result of ‘ closest collaboration between the two leading figures of the Maratha state.
Nana Phadnavis and Mahadji by their supreme exertions in war and peace ‘ saved the Maratha Empire for a period of 20 years by pushing back the rising tide of the English aggression from their territories and regaining their losses. ”
(v) In the words of Dr. Sailendra Nath Sen, “It secured to the English the alliance of the most formidable power in the country. Hastings succeeded the Maratha alliance against Haidar AIL In the political game of chess Hastings had won and in this respect the treaty of Salbai marked the ascendancy of the English as the controlling although not yet the paramount Government in India”.
7. Relations with Mysore and Nizam. In 1766 the Nizam, Marathas and the English made a combined front against Haidar Ali the ruler of , Mysore. Colonel Smith defeated Haidar Ali in 1767. In the year, 1778 the English captured the part of Mahi. This annoyed Haidar Ali as his supplies came through Mahi. Haidar Ali joined the combined front of the Marathas and Nizam against the English.
Haidar Ali attacked Cam atic and the English had to suffer great losses. Arcot was captured by Hardar Ali. His son Tipu defeated the English at _ many places. However, in 1781 Sir Eyrecoot defeated
Haidar Ali in the – battle of Parto-Novo and captured some places. But suddenly a French ‘ Fleet appeared there and Haidar Ali again conquered Kudoloi. Before the end of war in 1772 Haidar Ali died and his son Sultan Tipu became the ruler of Mysore, Eyrecoot also died at this time and Tipu was successful in defeating the English at some places In the mean time the Marathas concluded the treaty of Salbai with the English.
France stopped to help Tipu. Therefore Tipu concluded the treaty of Mangalore in 1784 with the English. Both theparties restored their conquered territories to each other and the prisoners of war were also exchanged Thus the Second Mysore War came to a close. Hastings himself admitted that this treaty was most shamefhl and humiliating for the British.
8. Treatment with the Begums of Oudh. The financial position of Oudh under Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula worsened and he could not pay the money to the Company at the fixed time. The Nawab asked for money from his mother and grand mother because Shuja-ud-Daula had left Rs. 2 crores and some Jagirs for the Begums. The Begums gave him 25 lakhs and again 30 lakhs. But the Nawab again demanded money in 1778.
On their refusal to pay, he requested Warren Hastings for help. The English troops surrounded the palace and they were made prisoners. They were very badly treated and were tortured in every possible way. They were beaten with whips and were forced to part with the money. Thus the Nawab Wazir was able to pay off the debts of the Company. The action of Hastings has been severely criticised. Hastings had no right to pressurize the Begunis to part with family property. The action was morally wrong and indefensible. There was no clear proof that the Begums had helped Raja Chet Singh of Banaras. Hastings treatment is a blot on the whole English race.
The action of Hastings was unworthy and indefensible. In the words of Prof. R.C. Mujumdar, “The conduct of Hastings on this occasion exceed all limits of decency”.
Conclusion. From 1775 to 1783 the Company had to face lot of difficulties and troubles. The wars in the West and Deccan put a heavy strain to the finances of the Company. Warren Hastings lias been righty condemned for “a rather harsh and discredited policy” for raising money.
Did Warren Hastings deserve impeachment for some of his actions in India? Give reasons for your answer.
“If Clive was the founder of the British Empire in India, Warren Hastings was its administrative organiser.” Explain.
“Warren Hastings made no Conquests but his treaties and subsidiary system paved the way for the final over throw or defeat of every power that Sought to hinder on Eastern Empire.” Comment
Review critically the Character and achievements of Warren Hastings, taking note of different views on the subject
“One of the greatest Englishmen who ever ruled India” Is it a correct estimate of the Character and achievements of Warren Hastings?
“It was Warren Hastings who turned the Company’s power from curse into a blessing and laid the real foundation of the British power in India.” Elucidate.
“Warren Hastings was one of the builders of British Empire in India.” Comment.
Estimate of Warren Hastings
Evaluation Of Warren Hastings –
Warren Hastings is a very controversial figure in modern Indian history. He raped, despoiled and conquered India and showed the British aggressive side to India. Macaulay talked of his hard heart and lax principles when he wrote, “the rules ofjustice, the sentiments of humanity, the plighted faith of treaties were in his view as nothing when opposed to the immediate interests of the state. His only steadfast principles was that “Might is right.” He soft behind a dark trail of misery desolation and famines is Bengal, Banaras and Oudh”.
Philip Francis reported that once a flourishing and ‘rich India was reduced to beggary and ruin’. However, his contribution to the cause of British dominion was really great. At a time when the overseas possessions of Great Britain witnessed rebellion, defeat, or humiliation, in India the British position remained unharmed. Warren Hastings saved the Company’s position in the face of great difficulties. In the field of administrative reforms he laid the foundations where the super structure was raised by Carnwallis.
Patron of Indian languages. IfWarren Hastings despoiled India, he enriched it also. He was a man of literary tastes. He patronized oriental learning. Himself, he was an earnest student of Indian literature, knew Persian, and Arabic and could speak Bengali. He wrote the introduction to the first English translation of Gita by Charles Wilkins.
Under his inspiration European scholars like Wilkins, Halhead and Sir William Joves attempted to study Indian classical literature and prepared the way for the development of the work of British orientalists in India. Wilkins invented the cast printing for Bengali and Persian characters. He also translated the Gita and Hitopadesh in English. Nathniel BrasseyHalhead published a Sanskrit Grammar in 1778. Sir William Joves laid the foundation of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1783, with the pur-pose of “enquiring into the history, civil and natural, the antiquities, arts, sciences and literatures of Asia.”
Warren Hastings weakness for Money. Hastings weakness for money was perhaps as great as Clive’s. He accepted bribes of Rs. 2 lakhs from Raja Chet Singh of Banaras and Rs. 10 lakhs from the Nawab of Oudh at a time when he exorted money from the Raja and the Nawab on the plea of Maratha Wars. Mr. Moon has estimated that the various presents he accepted amounted to Rs. 30 lakhs.
Warren Hastings made a thorough use of his patronage in India to bribe the Directors at home and thus maintained himself in office even when the Home Government was dissatisfied with his policies. In 1780, the House of Commons passed a resolution for the recall of Hastings, but Hastings played his Card. He won over the court of proprietors by showing great favours to their sons and nominees. He won over Sulvian, the Chairman of the Court of Directors by the grant of opium contract to his son which the latter sold for £ 40.000. Further Warren Hastings created numerous posts and increased the cost of Civil establishments of the Company from £251,533 in 1766 to £ 927,945 in 1784.
Warren Hasting’s Impeachment. Warren Hasting’s harsh despotic and arbitrary acts roused the conscience of the English and he was impeached by the Parliament. The trial began in 1788 and lasted till 1745. Despite Burk’s scathing criticism of Warren Hasting’s policies in India the spirit ofhard warship prevailed in the British parliament and Hastings was aquitted of all charges for he had furthered the interests of his country in India. He was made a member of the Privy Council and an annuity of four thousand pounds was sanctioned for him.
Importance of his Impeachment. The impeachment of Warren Hastings is a very significant event because it clearly showed the British Parliamentary interference in the affairs of India. The English people came to know the unjust means by which the servants of the Company were hoarding wealth. It also served as an eye-opener to the British administrators in India Who began to rule with care.
Though Hastings Cannot be truly exonerated of all charges which were leveled against him, it must be admitted that his acts were done with the best of his intentions.
His Character. “Hastings was a man of versatile genius, dauntless courage and firm determination. His industry was almost super human, his resolution inflexible, his patience abounding his courage imperturable and his dignity unfailing. He possessed great energy and resourcefulness”. His character was not free from blemishes. But his offences are caused into the shade when contemplate the grandeur of his whole carerer. As observed by P.E.
Roberts : “Hastings was perhaps the greatest Englishman who ever ruled. A man who with some ethical defect possessed in a superabundant measure the mobile and fertile brain, the tireless energy and the lofty fortitude which distinguishes only the supreme statesman.”
(vii) It suited the exigencies of time.
2. Defects or Demerits of the Double system of Government:
- Illogical and- unworkable.
- It increased abuses of private trade.
- Indian merchants and industries were the worst sufferers.
- Company’s income fell short of their expectation.
- Judicial administration of the company brokedown.
- Interference in Nawab’s administration.
- The dual system separated power from responsibility.
3. Five Principles of Warren Hestings Government :
- Power can not be divorced from responsibility.
- The Company Servants should be prepared to shoulder any responsibility
- Indian Customs and conventions should have due place in administration.
- Peasants should be given due protection.
- The policy of the Company should be frank and well defined.
4. Reforms of Warren Hastings:
- Removal of Deputy Subedars,
- Appointment of English Collectors,
- Establishment of a Board of Revenue at Calcutta,
- Shifting of treasury from Murshidabad to Calcutta,
- Re-organisation of Nawab’s affairs by the Company,
- Stoppage of tribute to Shah Alam,
- Reduction of Pension ofNawab of Bengal.
(b) Judicial Reforms :
- Abolishing the judicial functions of the Zamindars.
- Establishment of the Civil and Criminal Courts in districts,
- Establishment of Sadr-Dewani Adalat and Sadr-Nizamat Adalat,
- Bringing of the judicial proceedings in writing.
- Appointment of Indian Judges in Criminal Courts,
- Administration justice according to Quran for Muslims and Shastras for Hindus.
(c) Financial Reforms :
- Pension of the Nawab of Bengal reduced from Rs. 32.1akhs, to Rs. 16 lakhs.
- Tribute of the 25 lakhs to Shah Alam was stopped,
- Districts of Kara and Allahabad were taken from Shah Alam and sold to Shuja-ud-daula for Rs. 30 lakhs.
- Treaty was made with Nawab of Oudh to help him in return of the district of Banaras and Rs. 40 lakhs
- Amount of Pensions to the servants of the Company was also reduced.
- Currency was improved.
d) Revenue Reforms :
- Appointment of British Sand Revenue Officers.
- Appointment of Board of Revenue.
- Five year Land Revenue Settlement.
- Appointment of Rai Rayan One year settlement in place of 5 year settlement on the basis of highest bidding.
(e) Commercial Reforms:
- Abolition of the ‘dustak’ system.
- Abolition of large number of customs posts.
- Despatch of Commercial Missions to other countries.
(f ) Other Reforms:
- Hastings curbed Thieves Dacoits and Sanyasi Association.
- Police of Calcutta was improved.
- He abolished Tax on marriages.
Estimate the Contribution of Lord Carnwallis to the Consolidation of the British power in India.
“Carnwallis completed the task which Hastings had Begun”. Explain and Discuss.
“If the foundation of Civil administration was laid by Warren Hastings the structure was raised by Lord Carnwallis”. Explain.
Describe the reforms of Lord Carnwallis.
Lord Carnwallis (1786-1793)
“Few were destined to the more permanent work than Lord Carnwallis especially in the department of internal affairs”.
Lord Carnwallis (1784-93). In 1786 the Court of Directors sent Carnwallis, a noble man of high rank and aristocratic disposition to India to carry out the policy of peace outlined in Pitts India Act and to reorganise the administrative system in the Country. Carnwallis was specially charged with the duty of finding out a satisfactory solution of the land revenue problem; establishing an honest and efficient judicial machinery and reorganizing the Commercial department of the Company. Carnwallis took up the threads of the administrative system devised by Warren Hastings and built a superstructure which remained substantially in force till 1858. Regarding Carnwallis, Dr. Ishwari Prasad has observed the following –
“With Lord Carnwallis begins the era of aristocratic Governor General drawn from the public life of England with him also begins the formation of the essentials of the administrative system which with certain modifications ruled India till recently. His reign of seven years was one of peace with the exception of the Third Mysore war. His fame rests not on his foreign policy but on his internal reforms. He was armed with immense powers, combining in his person the function both of the Governor-General and the Commander-in-Chief of India”. He has served as the Commander-in-Chief of the English armies in North America in the American war of independence.
Reforms of Carnwallis. The name of Camwallis is famous on account of his reforms. As remarked by R.C. Dutta. “He did not belie the expectations formed of him and his rule afforded a gleam of sunshine in India after much of darkness and storms”. Soon after taking over the charge as Governor-General of Bengal, Lord Carnwallis introduced a series of reforms. His reforms can be studied under the following four headings :
(a) Reform of Public services.
(b) Judicial Reforms
(c) Commercial Reforms.
(d) Revenue Reforms.
Reform of public Services. A state of affairs in the Company servants had cropped up in which the one aim of all high and low was to make the greatest amount of money in the shortest time. Corruption was rampant and lands of the Zamindars were unjustly Confiscated. The Servants of the Company spent most of their time in private trades and on account of low salaries did not hesitate to accept presents and bribes. Carnwallis increased the salaries of the employees of the Company. He also reduced the number of servants of the Company.
He started recruiting able servants on the basis of merit and forbade them to indulge in private trade. He did not accept recommendations at the time of recruiting employees. Once he set aside even the recommendation of Danda, the President of the Board of Control. But he did not believe the Indians and deprived them of service in the Company. He recruited Europeans on high posts. His behaviour with the Indians was lull of scorn. He did not consider them worthy of trust and capable of honourable conduct. His policy towards the Indians remained a stigma on his fair name and character.
He separated the executive from judicial functions. He took away the judicial powers from the revenue Collectors who used to enjoy judicial powers. Hitherto the powers of the Collector, Magistrate and Jadgewere concentrated in the hands of one per:on. Carnwallis removed this defect and on account of his reforms he has been rightly called. “The founder of the Civil Service” in India, According to P.F. Roberts, “The reforms effected by Carnwallis were wide and sweeping.
He proved the stem the of every kind ofjob, insecure or dubious conduct. For the various system of Commissions, he substituted generous salaries at the fixed amount and separated the executive and judicial power of the Company’s servants. He thus left the functions and position of the collector very much what we know them today. The covenated services of the Company from that date assumed a new aspect and grew by natural development into the Imperial Civil Service of the Indian Empire. ”
Reforms in the police and Army. Carnwallis also made reforms in the police and the army of the Company. Hitherto it was the duty of the Zamindars to establish peace and order and arrest the suspected persons. Carnwallis Changed the system. He took away the police powers from the Zamindars and divided the districts into small units. Each such small unit was placed under the charge of a ‘Daroga’ or superintendent and the representative of the Company living in the district supervised over the incharges of these units. In the Police Service he also appointed Europeans and fixed their duties and salaries. In the army also the numbers of English soldiers were increased.
Judicial Reforms. The first impulse of Carnwallis was towards concentration of authority in the district in the hands of the Collector. This trend was also in line with the instructions of the Court of Directors who had enjoined economy and simplification. In 1787 the Collectors in charge of the districts were made judges of ‘Diwani Adalats’ were given more magisterial powers and empowered to try Criminal Cases within certain limits.
Further changes were made in the field of administration during 1790-92. The district Foujdari Adalats presided over by Indian judges were abolished and in their place four circuit courts three for Bengal, and one for Bihar were setup. These circuit courts were presided over by European Covenated servants who decided cases with the help of ‘Qazis’ and ‘Muftis’. These courts toured the districts twice a year and tried persons committed by the city magistrates. Further the Sadr Nizamat Adalat at Murshidabad so far presided by a Mohammedan judge was replaced by a court set up at Calcutta comprising the Governor-General and members of the Supreme Council assisted by the Chief Qazi and two Muftis.
Thus there were petty Courts (Amin of Muflis Courts) Districts Courts, four Provincial Courts and Sadr Diwani Adalat. For trying Criminal cases there were Daroga Courts and District Courts four Circuit Courts and Sadr Nizamat Adalat.
Carnwallis Code. He got prepared a code of regulations in 1793 with the help of Sir George Barlow. This code was for the guidance of the servants of the East India Company working in judicial departments. A clear division between the administration and Commercial services was made soon. It was found out that the Board of Revenue could not dispose of the large number of cases of revenue. Therefore, in each districts Mai adalats were created headed by the Collectors who were reinvested with revenue powers. Though all the phases of the administrative structure were in existence before Carnwallis, yet it was he who gave a shape, a cohesion and harmony to them.
Lord Carnwallis made some other judicial reforms also. He set up the system of lodging protests against the Collectors and the servants of the Company for their official irregularities in the Diwani Adalat. The system of suing the Government in the Courts of Law was also introduced by him. Yet another important judicial reform made by Carnwallis was the abolition of inhuman punishments. Thus punishments such as mutilation of limbs and giving capital punishments were abolished.
Even the European Subjects in the districts were made amenable to the jurisdiction of the local civil courts. Europeans intending to reside in the districts away from Calcutta were not given licences until they agreed to submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the districts Civil Courts. Further Government servants were made answerable before the Civil Courts for the acts done by them in their official capacity. Thus Carnwallis proclaimed the principle of sovereignty of law in India. Important changes were introduced in the field of Criminal administration. The District Foujdari Adalat presided over by Indian officers were abolished. The District judge was given magisterial powers to order the arrests of criminals and disturbers of peace.
Commercial Reforms. Carnwallis found corruption rampant in the Commercial Department. The Company’s servants made huge profits in the goods they sent to England on their personal accounts. Ever since the establishment of the Board of Trade at Calcutta in 1774 the Company had procured goods through European and Indian Contractors. The Contractors usually supplied goods at high prices and of inferior quality.
The members of the Board of Trade rather than checking the malpractices of the contractors were often found to be in league with them by accepting bribes and Commissions. Carnwallis remarked that “the warehouses at Calcutta were a sink of Corruption and inequity”. Carnwallis reduced the strength of the Board of Trade from elevens to five, members. The method of procuring supplies through contracts was given up and the method of procuring supplies through Commercial Residents and Agents begun. These Commercial Residents made advances to the manufacturers and settled priors with them. The Company started getting supplies at cheaper rates. Thus Carnwallis put the Commercial Department of die Companv on a footing on which it remained so long as the Company traded.
Suppression of Bribery, Corruption and Evils of Private Trade. Himself Carnwallis was above the greed for money that has tarnished the narfies of Clive and Warren Hastings. Cornwallis forbade the Company’s employees the acceptance of bribes or presents or indulgence in private trade. He required each officers to declare his property under oath before he left India. He enforced this rule even though he had to dismiss some high officials. Carnwallis do nothing with the infamous creditors of the Nawab of Carnatic but he prevented the further spread of this evil among the Company’s servants.
Carnwallis’s approach to the problem was basic. He realized that the low salaries of the Company’s servants tempted them to supplement their meager income by corrupt or illegal methods. Responsibility he held must be paid for or public official would abuse his trust. He decided to raise the salaries of the employees of the Company. A collector was to get a salary of Rs. 1500 per month with an additional allowance of 1 percent on total revenue collected. District officials were provided with European assistants on good salaries. Carnwallis resisted the recommendation of even Prince of Wales.
Europeanisation of Administrative Machinery. Carnwallis suffered from the evil development of racial discrimination. He had a very low opinion about Indian character, ability and integrity. He regarded every native of Hindustan to be corrupt. He sought to reserve all higher services for the Europeans and reduce Indians to the position of bowers of wood and drawers of water. The doors of covenanted services were closed to the Indians. In the army the Indians could not rise above the position of Jamesdars or Subedars and in Civil services not above the status of munsifs, Sadr Amins or Deputy Colleptors.
Considering the condition of administrative services in contemporary England or the notoriously tax morals of the servants of the Company in India one marvels at Carnwallis conclusions. While be sought to improve the honesty of higher services by increasing their emoluments, he never thought of applying the same methods to Indian administrative personnel. Carnwallis, it seems was very much prejudiced against the Indians.
Revenue Reforms and Permanent Settlement of land –
Carnwallis has a significant place in the history of India on account of his revenue reforms. In the Mughal period the peasants gave a fixed revenue to the head of the village. But Clive changed this system. The condition of the farmers worsened because upto 80% of the produce was taken as revenue. Warren Hastings started Five year settlement in 1772 but it failed. Hence again in 1777 annual system was again adopted. But the condition of the farmers still did not improve because of the highest bidding system. The highest bidder who acquired the contract used to commit great atrocities upon the formers while collecting the revenue. These were the circumstances which existed at the dine when Carnwallis came as the Governor-General of Bengal.
Two Schools of thought Regarding the Land Revenue Settlement –
(1) According to Jamcd Grant Zamindars had no permanent rights whether as proprietors of the soil or as officials who collected and paid rent. This school was of the opinion that the State was not bound by any definite limit is its demand from them.
(2) According to Sir John Shore, the proprietary rights in lard belonged to the Zamindars and the state was entitled only to customary revenue from them.
In 1790 the system of Permanent Settlement was accepted. After receiving orders from the Directors Carnwallis introduced the Permanent settlement in March 1793 in Bengal Bihar and Orissa. This system continued till the end of the British Rule.
(i) Discuss the main features of the Permanent Settlement and point out its merits and demerits.
(ii) “The permanent Settlement was a Sad blunder”. Do you agree?
(iii) What do you understand by Permanent Settlement of Bengal? Do what extent did it prove beneficial or otherwise to India
(iv) Discuss the merits and demerits of the Permanent Settlement of Bengal.
(v) Examine critically the Permanent Settlement of Lord Carnwallis.
(vi) Describe the revenue reforms of Lord Carnwallis and examine their merits and demerits.
Permanent Settlement –
Main features of the Permanent Settlement of Bengal (March 1793)
(1) The Zamindars who formerly collected land revenue only were recognized as the owners of the soil and the settlement was made with them. After paying a fixed amount to the Government the Zamindars were entitled to enjoy the rents to the full. They had the rights to sell or mortgage it or bequeath it.
(2) The Zamindars were required to pays fixed amount of land revenue which could rot be increased later on. On their failure to pay the amount, the Government could sell their land by public auction.
(3) The Zamindars were no more required to pay fines on succession or obtain permission before effecting the sale or maintaining establishments, police, to keep order in their districts.
(4) The Zamindars were expected to improve the condition of the tenants.
(5) The Government was not to interfere in their internal dealings with the tenants so long as the Zamindars paid the fixed land revenue to the Goverrtment.
Estimate of Permanent Land Settlement. Views expressed by the historians with regard to the permanent land settlement differ widely.
- Marshman. “It was a bold step and a wise pressure. Under the genial influence of this territorial Charter which for the first time crenated indefeasible interest in population, cultivation has been extended and gradual improvements have become visible in the habits and comforts of the people”.
- R.C. Dutt. If the prosperity and happiness of a nation is to be the criterion of wisdom and success, Lord Carnwallis permanent Settlement of
1793 is the wisest and most successful measure, which the British nation has ever adopted in India.
- T.R.E. Holmes. The permanent settlement was a sad blunder, The inferior tenants derived from it no benefit whatsoever. The Zamindars again and again failed to pay their rent charges and their estates were sold for benefit of the Government.
- Sir Charles Metcalf, Sir Edward Calebrook and Mill have also condemned the Permanent Settlement of Bengal.
Since diametrically opposite views have been expressed by the historians, it would be desirable to discuss the merits and demerits of Permanent Settlement of Bengal.
Merits of Permanent Settlement –
1. It secured British Dominion is India. The system created a faithful class which proved a great instrument for the security of the British in India. At the time of the Great Mutiny of 1857 these Zamindars firmly remained loyal to the British and gave no help to the rebels either directly or indirectly.
2. Collection of Revenue became certain and regular. The Permanent Settlement of land made the amount of land revenue permanent, certain and fixed its collection also became certain. In case of non-payment the Government had the right to sell the land and recover the amount. Government was sure of a fixed and stable revenue and knew its fixed income.
3. It facilitated the method of the collection of land revenue. Before the permanent settlement the company was required to maintain a big establishment for the annual or five yearly collection of the land revenue. The new system removed all botherations, extra expenditure and headache.
4. Expenses of frequent assessment of lands were saved. It avoided the evils of periodical assessment which produce economic dislocation, evasion, concealment of wealth and the deliberate throwing of land out of cultivation.
5. It gave inducement to the agricultural improvement. The Zamindars knew that if they increased the productivity of the land by making improvements in it the Government would have no right to demand anything in excess of what was already settled between the two in the form of hand revenue, the Zamindars were induced to make improvements in the soil.
6. Increase of trade, industry and commerce. The Permanent Settlement made the Zamindars wealthy and secure. They could invest in trade, industry and commerce. According to Dutt: “in consequence of the Permanent Settlement in Bengal the cultivators are more prosperous, more resourcefill and better able to help them selves in years of bad harvest than cultivators in any part of India”.
7. It was in accordance with the canons of Taxation. It secured all the advantages mentioned by Adam Smith in his ‘canons oftaxation’.
8. Possibility of Increase in the Government Income. Though the Government could not enhance the land revenue yet indirectly it was advantageous for the Government. People became richer and the Government could tax them.
9. It set free the ablest servants of the Company for Judicial and other works. Permanent settlement set free the ablest servants of the Company who had to waste a lot of time before in revenue work. Now they could devote their time and energies for judicial and other works.
10. It gave popularity and Economic stability to the British Government. Since the prosperity of the people increased and the province of Bengal became the most prosperous and flourishing in India it gave popularity and stability to the British Government.
11. Value of land increased greatly. The Zamindars devoted their whole attention to the improvement of the soil. Even waste land and jungles were converted into cultivable land. The value of land increased.
Demerits of the permanent Settlement in Bengal –
1. The system overlooked the Interests of the peasants. It completely overlooked the interests of the peasants. Their interests were sacrificed for those of the Zainindars. According to Sir Edward Calebrook, “it was a great mistake to have sacrificed the interests ofthepeasant class in the country. It deprived the occupiers of land of their hereditary rights in the soil.
2. It placed the cultivators on the mercy of the Zamindars. The Government, was concerned with only the collection of revenue and left the Zamindars free to deal with the farmers. The Government did not care to know the oppressive methods adopted by the Zamindars for the coll ection of land revenue from the cultivators.
3. The rigidity of the sale or the sunset law also unpopularised it. The land revenue had been fixed so high that the Zamindars could not pay it very conveniently. According to sale or the sunset law if a zamindar failed to pay the revenue at the right time, his lands were sold out to recover the land revenue.
4. The Government could not enhance the amount of land revenue. With the rise in the prices of the food grain and also with the increase in the produce ofthe soil the amount of land revenue should also have been enhanced but according to the Permanent Settlement the government could not increase even a single pie in the and revenue. It resulted in the ultimate loss of enhanced land revenue (unearned income) to the government for all times to come.
5. The Zamindars made no improvements in the land. Carnwallis had expected that after being assured of the proprietorship of the soil, the zemindars would make improvements in the land. But they belied the expectations and instead of making improvements in land and spending the increased profit on the betterment of agriculture and the uplift of the villager, they spent this amount on their luxuries and pleasures. Thus the enhanced amount of land revenue on account of increased productivity of the soil and the rise of prices was misused by the Zamindars for their luxuries and pleasures.
6. It created absentee landlords. The Zamindars left the ten-ants in the hands of middlemen who exploited them in matter of exploited more and more of land revenue from them according to their own desires and whims. Since the Zamindars themselves were not the cultivators of the soil, they fled to big cities like Calcutta and spent money on luxuries and pleasures.
7. It was uneconomic and defective. The permanent settlement in any way did not improve the lot of the farmers of Bengal. It proved to be uneconomic and defective and therefore it was not introduced in other provinces. Prof. S.R. Sharma says :
“There can be no greater criticism on the Permanent Settlement of Bengal than that, being found defective and uneconomic, it was not introduced in other provinces of India by the British Government in another period of 100 years.” Had the permanent settlement of Bengal been postponed for another 10 to 20 years the capacity of land would have been better ascertained.
Conclusion. Politically, the Permanent Settlement did fit in the game of the Company and the Zamindars along with other vested interests became favourite children of Imperialism. However, the British administration gained the loyalty of the few at the alienation of the masses. The system divided rural society into two hostile classes namely the Zamindars and the tenants.
Socially, the Permanent Settlement stands condemned. Byrecognising the absolute right of ownership of Zamindars, the company sacrificed the interests of the cultivators whether of property or occupancy. In a way the cultivators suffered from a double in justice, first by surrendering their property rights and secondly by being entirely left at the mercy of the zamindars who rack rented them. The growth of population resulting in an excessive pressure on land played into the hands of the Zamindars and they not in frequently ejected the Ryot. Infact the cultivator was reduced to the position of a serf.
We might say in conclusion that a temporary settlement for 40 or 50 years renewable again and again would have secured all the objectives Carnwallis had in view. It was hardly a wise policy measure to bind posterity for all times. If some Indian nationalists like Romesh Dutta gave their unqualified support to the policy of Permanent Settlement it was partly due to the fact that they themselves came from a class which war the beneficiary from the settlement of Bengal and partly due to the fear that the control of the bureaucracy would be worse than thatof the Zamindars. In the 20th century the economic inefficiency and social injustice of the settlement became very glaring. Besides it was found against the tenets of political or social justice. The Government of Free India has tried to set right the wrong done by Carnwallis Zamindari has now been abolished.
Give an estimate of the work and achievements of Lord Carnwallis.
“Carnwallis consolidated the administration, evolved order out of chaos in which his predecessor (Hastings) had left the Government of Bengal Introduced Into the affairs of the Company a non-mercantile attitude which gave it a prestige and authority.” Elucidate this statement and state if you agree with this estimate of the work of Carnwallis is Bengal.
Evaluation Of Lord Carnwallis-
Estimate of Lord Carnwallis. Carnwallis ranks among the great Governor-Generals that came to India. Dr. Aspinall has rightly remarked that Carnwallis completed what Hastings had begun. To root out corruption of the servants of the company, Carnwallis increased their salaries but forebade them to do private trade. He consolidated the British Empire in India by his wise measures of internal reforms. In his administrative reforms he built a superstructure. Where the foundation had been laid by Warren Hastings. Carnwallis gave to India the basic administrative set up that continued without many changes for long.
Carnwallis enjoyed the confidence of both the Court of Directors and Henry Dundas the President of the Board of Control. Placed in happier circumstances Carnwallis improved the pay scales and allowances of all tlie senior servants of the company. He sought to check the “get rich quick” mentality of the company’s servants by forbidding them to indulge in private trade or accept presents. He required each officer of the company to declare his property on Oath before be left India.
In Solving the knotty problem of land revenue administration Carnwallis greatly profited from the various experiments of Warren Hastings. He felt that the Zamindars were very strongly entrenched in the country and a satisfactory settlement could only be made with them. In 1790 he made a decennial settlement with the Zamindars of Bengal which he declared permanent in 1793.
In improving the judicial system also Carnwallis proceeded on the lines indicated by his predecessor. Carnwallis improved and elaborated the system by setting up a hierarchy of Courts both for civil and criminal cases. In the districts the munsif’s courts disposed of petty civil cases followed by the Registrar’s Court and the Zilla Court. Appeals from the Zilla Courts lay to the four provincial Courts. The Sadr Diwani Adalat comprising the Governor-General and members of the Supreme Council was the highest court of appeal in India.
The separation of revenue administration from civil jurisdiction, the most important feature of the Carnwallis Code of 1793 was also begun by Warren Hastings. Carnwallis was not as brilliant as Warren Hastings or Wellesley. But he possessed many qualities of mind and heart, which inspired confidence in others, devotion to duty, modesty, perseverance, moderation, the art of conciliation, willingness to accept the advice of those who possessed a more expert knowledge of a subject than himself In the field of administrative reforms the record of Carnwallis’s achievements is impressive. He has left his imprint on the administrative system and his methods of administration came to be remembered by the dignified name of the “Carnwallis System.” The Court of Directors recognised his services by sanctioning trim a pension of £ 5000 for twenty years.
Carnwallis sought to solve Indian problems by anglicization of the Indian administration. He introduced British principles and planted British institutions in India so evident from the settlement of land tenures and the judicial and police arrangements made.
From the view point of India some of Camwallis’s methods were unfortunate. Europeanising the higher services in India and denying the Indian people of share in those he inaugurated a policy which was continued by all the Governors General till the British rule in India lasted. His judicial reforms were modelled after the English law and Code of the time which itself was imperfect.
Dr. Ishwari Prasad has also given his estimate of the achievements of Lord Carnwallis in following words:
For twenty years after the departure of Carnwallis the system in its entirety remained sacro sanct. These twenty years demonstrated both its merits and demerits. The Permanent Settlement was given up as ruinous to the state as well as the Ryots. It was realised that the establishment of courts of justice does not necessarily mean justice. What was essential was a court of law in conformity with the notions of the people to be governed.
The Europeanisation of the services had proved uneconomic and Indians had to be brought in. But the merits outweighed the demerits. Carnwallis will ever remain a great name among the builders of the British administrative system. The defects in that system only serve to remind us that he was human. But his distrust of Indians equalled by perhaps Lord Curzon was a reflection of the English character continued for long after Carnwallis had left the shores of India. It was responsible for the racial bitterness of the later years.”
(a) Write a note on the condition which cansed making of colonial economy in the first century of colonial rule.
Making Of Colonial Economy –
Condition of India in the second half of the 18th century. In the second half of the 18th century, Britishers were successful in establishing their supremacy over all the native powers of India, through their diplomacy and military strength. There was almost anarchy during this period which also affected the social economic and political conditions of India.
Social Conditions. The political anarchy resulted in social inertia and passivity in Indian society. Mutual fighting between the small powers disrupted the social life. However, the rural life remained almost unaffected. Because village folk had no interest in political events. They considered this down fall as misfortune. Social ideals came to an end and social evils were encouraged. There was total lack of social unity. Society was divided into various cast and classes. All the religions were divided into cults and seeds
. Language and regional difference also caused disunity. Cast system, which was liberalised by saints of 15 – 16th century became again rigid. Disparity in casts prevailed not only in Hindus but in Muslims, Sikhs and others also. Untouchability worsened this condition. Position ofwomen was pitiable. ‘Purda’ system, ‘Sati’ female infanticide, Devdasi, bad marriages system, widows’, plight, easily marriages, dowry, and such other ill customs were prevalent. Religions intolerance was rampart, Education was ill managed.
Economic Conditions. Economic life was also affected by political conditions. However, villages were independent in economic life. Farmers did not get any help from the government and local lenders exploited them badly. Their isolation also hindered their process of development. They did traditional agriculture. Small and cottage industries were adversely affected due to political term off. Handloom, wool, silk, garments, metal, pottery, leather, goods, industries were prevalent. Trade and commerce were declining due to insecurity of trade – ways. However, the social and economic life was more balanced then political life.
Political Condition. Decline of the Mughal empire had created a vacuum in India in this period, which could not be filled by any native power. Marathas were defeated fatally; Mutual jealousy and tension prevailed among the native rulers. No national spirit as apparent anywhere. Economic dearth also succumbed before the foreign in traders who came in the garb of traders and gradually turned into rulers, through ‘Divide and Rule policy. Tough fewer in number, they could easily dominate the disunited rules and ignorant masses.
Lord Wellesley (1798-1805) And His Subsidiary System –
“The foundations were laid by Clive and secured by Hastings, but the superstructure of the British supremacy over all the native powers were built by Wellesley.”
(b) Discuss critically the subsidiary system explaining its merits and demerits.
Discuss the genesis and consequences of Lord Wellesley’s policy of subsidiary alliance.
“Wellesley’s policy of subsidiary alliances and annexation was directed to the immediate purpose of making the supreme power In India.” (Smith) Comment on this statement.
Lord Wellesley (1798-1805) And His Subsidiary System –
Lord Wellesley (1798-1805). Lord Wellesley was appointed Governor- General of Bengal at the age 37. He had served as member of the Board of Control and thereforehehad intimate knowledge of the conditions prevailing in India. He was ambitious by nature. The main aim of his policy was to make the British rule strong and to make further expansion in India. He felt that the policy of non intervention was not at all practicable. He started anew policy which is known as Subsidiary Alliance. However, it has to be remembered that Lord Wellesley was not the author of subsidiary alliance.
Development of subsidiary system. There were four stages in the evolution of the subsidiary alliance system.
(a) Sending of troops to the native ruler. Warren Hastings had given military help to the Nawab of Oudh against the Rohiilas.
(b) Taking the field on their own account duly helped by native rulers. This happened only when the native ruler could not fight the war and sought the help of the company.
(c) Requiring the native allies to supply not men but money. Sir John Shore had entered in to such type of subsidiary treaty in 1797 with the Nawab of Oudh had started taking a subsidy of 76 lakhs of rupees annually for the maintenance of troops.
(d) Taking territory is place of money. Often the Indian ruler could not pay the money to the company at the right time. Finding such irregularities, the English Company adopted a new policy and started taking territory in place of money as subsidy so that the income earned from the territory may be spent on the maintenance of the army.
According to Ranade. “The idea of subsidiary system was in fact a mere reproduction on a more organised scale of the plan followed by the Maratha leaders a hundred years in advance when they secured the grant of ‘Chauth ’ and Sardesh mukhi from the Imperial authority at Delhi”. According to some historians Dupleix had started the system giving help to the Indian rulers for money or reward. Lord Wellesley only perfected the system of subsidiary alliances.
The Main Features of the Subsidiary System –
- Every native ruler joining the subsidiary alliance with the company was considered under the protection of the company and had to give its foreign policy into the hands of the company. The ruler could not make war or peace without the prior permission of the company.
- The ruler joining the alliance had to keep z British force in his state and had to bear all its expenses. A British resident was also stationed in the state to advise the ruler.
- Relation with any foreign state would be maintained only through the company.
- If any Indian ruler had any dispute with any Indian ruler, he would have to accept the mediation of the English Company.
- All the states entering into subsidiary alliances were required to expel all the Europeans excepting the English from their states.
- The English company promised to defend the states which entered into subsidiary alliances from internal as well as external attacks.
Merits of the Subsidiary System –
1. It enhanced company’s power and resources. It cannot be denied that the subsidiary system added to the resources of the English Company and it was partly with the help of these resources that the English Company was able to establish itself as the paramount power in the country. The Indian states entering into subsidiary alliances gave money or territories out of whose revenue troops could be maintained by the English Company. Their troops were always at the back and call of the English Company. The result was although outwardly the troops were maintained with the money of the Indian states for their defence actually they added to the resources of the English Company.
2. It increased the political influence of the company in the states where their forces were stationed. Such alliances increased the political influence of the company in the states concerned. With out having to shoulder the burden of administration, this system increased the political influence of the company.
3. Disturbances were removed far away from the frontiers of the company. The system of subsidiary alliances enabled the English Company to throw forward their military frontier in advance of their political frontier. The evils of war kept at a distance from the territories of the English Company.
4. It allayed the jealousy of other European nations. Though the independence of the states which joined subsidiary alliance had been snatched away yet another cover of independence of the native states was maintained so as to allay the jealousy of other European nations.
5. It enabled the English Company to remove French influence from the native courts. The English Company was able to exclude the influence of the French from the Indian states. Whenever a state entered into a subsidiary alliance, the ruler had to drive out all Europeans who were not English men. According to Dr. Ishwari Prasad :
“From the English point of view, alliances did establish peace by isolating the state and controlling their foreign policy. The system was the surest method of British dominance which increased the military power of the company at the expense of the state reduced the military establishment of the princes and obtained the position it could strike even at the prince at the least sign of restiveness. By annexing territory in lieu of the subsidy, Wellesley made the forces independent of the state itself, in addition to increasing the resources of the company. The situation of the prince melancholy in the extreme was not without its humour. The force was kept by him at his expense but commanded by others and ready to pounce upon his neck whenever occasion so demanded”.
Demerits of the Subsidiary System –
1. It ended the independent existence of native rulers. The foreign policy of the native state joining the alliance, was controlled by the English Company. The British resident interfered in the internal affairs of the state.
2. The neglect of welfare of the people by the ruler. The native rulers became careless and indifferent to the welfare of the people. They became lax and criminally neglectful of their duties.
3. Misgovernment led to annexation on a large scale. The native rulers became careless and neglectful. This led to mismanagement. The English ultimately annexed such territories on the excuse of mismanagement.
4. It produced decay in states. The subsidiary system resulted in the internal decay of the protected states. It destroyed the initiative of the ruling princes. It made them dependent on the English Company. The result was that the Indian princes led lives of vice and corruption on account of the assurance that the English Company was always there to help them in times of trouble. The people of the states were deprived of the natural remedy of revolution. They had no chance of success even if they dared to revolt against their corrupt ruler.
5. It created jealousy in the native powers against the company. The plan of commending subsidiary for territorial revenue had been disapproved by the Court of Directors because it created jealousy in the native powers against the company.
6. It marred the initiative of the rulers and made them careless. Since the foreign policy of the state was controlled by the company, the rulers of the state lost all initiative.
Karl Marx very aptly summed up the effects of the subsidiary alliance system: “As to the native states, they virtually ceased to exist from the moment they became subsidiary or protected by the company. If you divided the revenues of a country between two governments you are sure to cripple the resources of one or the administration of both the conditions under which they are allowed to retain their apparent independence are at the same time the conditions of permanent decay and of an utterly inability of improvement.” Even Munro wrote, “that the simple and direct mode of conquest from without is more creditable both to our armies and to our national character, than that of dismemberment from within by the aid of a subsidiary force.
2. The neglect of welfare of the people by the ruler. The native rulers became careless and indifferent to the welfare of the people. They became lax and criminally neglectful of their duties.
3. Misgovernment led to annexation on a large scale. The native rulers became careless and neglectful. This led to mis-management. The English ultimately annexed such territories on the excuse of mismanagement.
4. It produced decay in states. The subsidiary system resulted in the internal decay of the protected states. It destroyed the initiative of the ruling princes. It made them dependent on the English Company. The result was that the Indian princes led lives of vice and corruption on account of the assurance that the English Company was always there to help them in times of trouble. The people of the states were deprived of the natural remedy of revolution. They bad no chance of success even if they dared to revolt against their corrupt ruler.
5. It created jealousy in the native powers against the company. The plan of commending subsidiary for territorial revenue bad been disapproved by the Court of Directors because it created jelousy in the native powers against the company.
6. It marred the initiative of the rulers and made them careless. Since the foreign policy of the state was controlled by the company, the rulers of the state lost all initiative.
Karl Marx very aptly summed up the effects of the subsidiary alliance system: “As to the native states, they virtually ceased to exist from the moment they became subsidiary or protected by the company. If you divided the revenues of a country between two governments you are sure to cripple the resources of one or the administration of boththe conditions under which they are allowed to retain their apparent independence are at the same time the conditions of permanent decay and of an utterly inability of improvement.” Even Munro wrote, ‘”that the simple and direct mode of conquest from without is more creditable both to our armies and to our national character, than that of dismemberment from within by the aid of a subsidiary force. ”
States Which Joined the Subsidiary Alliance –
Among the states that accepted the Subsidiary Alliance were the Nizam of Hydrabad (September 1798 and 1800), the ruler of Mysore (1799), the Raja of Tanjore (October 1799), the Nawab of Oudh (November 1801), the Peshwa (December 1801). The Bhonsle Raja of Berar (December 1803). The Sindhia (February 1804), The Rajput states of Jodhpur, Jaipur, Macheri, Bundi and Bharatpur.
Advantages to the Company –
- The subsidiary system was the Trojan horse tactics in Empire building.
- It enabled the company to maintain a large standing army at the expense of Indian princes.
- The company’s troops in the states gave the English the control of the strategic and key positions in India without afousing the jealousies of other European nations.
- “The company threw forward her military in advance of its political frontier and thus kept the evils of war at a distance. ’
- It helped the company to effectively counteract any possible French moves in India.
- The company became the arbiter in interstate disputes.
- The officers commanding the subsidiary force were very well paid and the British residents wielded considerable influence in the affairs of the states.
- The companies acquired territories in full sovereignty from Indian states and expanded her dominions in India. By the treaty of October 12, 1800, the Nizam surrendered to the Company all the territories acquired by the Nizam from Mysore in 1792 and 1799. In 1801 the Nawab ofOudh was made to surrender half of his dominions comprising Rohilkhand and Lower Doab.
Give critical analysis of the Third Maratha War. What were its results ?
“The Treaty of Bassein marks the beginning of the end of Maratha Independence.” Discuss.
Examine the Causes and the results of the third Maratha war with the British East India Company. –
Enumerate the causes and the results of the Second and Third Anglo-MarathaWars.
Confederation of Maratha States. Though the Marathas were very powerful at this time yet they were not organised into a combined or joint state. It was simply a confederation of several states. The prominent rulers among the Maratha: were Scinhia, Holkar, Gaikwad and Bhonsle.
Since the Peshwas himself was weak and incapable and could not organise and control the Maratha rulers the internal quarrels and conflicts among the Marathas had started. Nana Fadnavis had become the real ruler and being disappointed Peshwas had committed suicide. Nana Fadnavis made Raglioba’s Son Baji Rao II as the Peshwa. After becoming Peshwa he made Nana Fadnavis the prisoner. Nana Fadnavis died at Poond in 1800 and with him departed “all the wisdom and moderation of the Maratha Government.”
Wellesley and the Peshwa. On seeing that Baji Rao II the Peshwa was submitting to the control of Scindia, Holkar felt insulted and attacked Scindhia. In October 1802 be defeated the combined armies of Scindhia and Peshwa. Baji Rao II ran away to Bassein to secure the help of the English Company. Lord Wellesley found the golden opportunity. He entered into the subsidiary alliance with the Peshwa and thus the treaty of Bassein was concluded on December 31, 1802.
Provisions of the Treaty of Bassein –
- The Peshwa agreed to keep an English army and to pay Rs. 25 lakhs annually for its maintenance. ,
- The Peshwa gave up his claim on Surat. He also handed over the foreign policy of the state to the English Company.
- The English promised to help the Peshwa in all external and internal disturbances.
The Treaty of Bassein is an important land mark in the history of the East India Company and the greatest diplomatic achievement of Lord Wellesley. The whole Maratha race came under the protection of the English Company. It was the beginning of expansion of the British Empire both in the North and the South.
Second Maratha War. The Maratha Chiefs were very angry when they heard of the treaty of Bassein. Scindhia and Bhonsle combined to fight the English but Gaikwad remained neutral. Holkar also held aloof: Wellesley secured the help of Oudh and Mysore. The English defeated the Marathas at Assays, Aragaon and Loswari. Being disappointed Bhonsle entered into the treaty of Deogaon. Thirty days after this treaty Scindhia also entered into the treaty on December 30, 1803.
Third Maratha War (1817-18). When Scindhia and Bhonsle were fighting against the English, Holkar had not joined them because of his differences with Scindhia. But when they were defeated, he attacked Jaipur and demanded chouth. Wellesley attacked Holkar on the pretext of helping Jaipur. But the English armies was badly defeated by Holkar. Colonel Monson who led the English army ran away to Agra.
Holkar advanced towards Delhi. In the absence of Holkar, the English attacked his capital Indore. Holkar was also defeated at Farukhabad. He fled to Bharatpur. General Lake made four furious attacks at Bharatpur but failed to break its fort. Therefore Lake made peace with the Raja of Bharatpur who entered into subsidiary alliance with the English. The Raja of Bharatpur promised to pay an indemnity of 20 lakhs of rupees. In the meantime Lord Wellesley was recalled in 1805 on account of his aggressive policy and expensive wars.
The final phase of the struggle began with the coming of Lord Hastings as Governor General in 1813. He resumed the .threads of aggressive policy abandoned in 1805 and was determined to proclaim British Paramountcy in India. The breathing time that the Marathas had got after Welleslep’s recall in 1805 was not utilised by them for strengthening their power but wasted in mutual conflicts. Hastings moves against the Pindaris transgressed the sovereignty of the Maratha Chiefs and the two parties were drawn into a war.
By carefully calculated moves the English forced humiliating treaties on the Raja of Nagpur (27 May 1816), the Pesliwa (13 June 1817) and the Scindhia (5 November 1817). Exasperated the Peshwa made a last bid to throw off the British yoke. Daulat Rao Scindhia, Appa Sahib of Nagpur, Malhar Rao Holkar II also rose in arms. The Peshwas defeated at Kherki, Bhonsle’s army routed at Sitabaldi and Holkar’s army crushed at Mahidpur. The entire Maratha forces were routed by the superior military power of the company. Baji Rao’s possessions of Poona and its district were merged in the Bombay Presidency while the other princes were confined to greatly reduced territories in subordination to the Company.
Causes for the defeat of the Marathas: While the Marathas proved superior to the various Muslim powers that rose on the ruins of the Mughal Empire, they were inferior to the English in material resources, military organisation, diplomacy and leadership. In fact, a static eastern people steeped in medievalism could not successfully contend with the dynamic English nation rejuvenated by the forces of Renaissance, fortified with the latest military weapons and saturated in Machiavellian methods of statecraft.
1. Inapt Leadership. In the absence of a settled constitution, the state descended in the hands of worthless and selfish leaders. Peshwa Baji Rao II and Daulat Rao Scindhia who controlled the supreme Government at Poona by their misdeeds brought the doom of the Empire. The total absence of first rate personalities was an important cause of the fall of the Marathas. On the other hand the East India Company was lucky in having the services of able persons.
2. Inherent Defects of Maratha state, Sir J.N. Sarkar contends that there were inherent defects in the Character of the Maratha state and at no time any concerned attempt had been made at well though out organised commercial improvement, spread of education or unification of the people either under Shivaji or under the Peshwas. The cohesion of the peoples of Maratha state was artificial accidental and therefore precarious.
3. Absence of Stable Economic Policy. The economic policy of the Maratha state was hardly conducive for the stable political set up. During the long wars against Aurangzeb the Maratha people had been uprooted, the peasant has given up cultivation and joined the profession of the soldier. Even after the withdrawal of the Mughals from Maharashtra, the Maratha people tried to live on sword now fighting and plundering the Mughals in their provinces of Gujrat, Malwa, Bundelkhand under the early Peshwas, the wars of the state were financed by tile plunder of the territories conquered and by collection of Chauth and Saidesmukhi from dependent territories. War became thenational industry of the Marathas, Wellesley wrote that “they have not lert a stick standing at the distance of 150 miles from Poona.”
4. Weakness of Maratha Political set up. Even in its hey days, the Maratha Empire was loose confederation under the leadership of Chhatrapati and later the Peshwa. Just as the Peshwas usurped the power ofthe Chattrapati the subordinate war lords usurped the authority of the Peshwa.
5. Inferior Military System of the Marathas. In military strength the Marathas were no match for the English. They were definitely inferior that their opponents in organisation of the forces, in war weapons, in disciplined action and effective leadership.
6. Superior English Diplomacy. The English were far superior to the Marathas in the game of diplomacy. Before actual operations would start the Company would take care to win allies and isolate the enemy diplomatically. The absence of unity among the Marathas considerably simplified the task of the British.
7. Superior English Espionage. The Marathas were careless about military intelligence. While a number of Britishers could speak and understand Marathi, the Marathas know nothing about English; England. The Marathas were woefully ignorant. As against this the company’s spy system was perfect.
8. Progressive Out look of the English. While the Europeans had been emancipated from the shackles of the Church and divinism and were devoting their energies to scientific inventions extensive ocean voyages and acquisition of Colonies, the Indians were still wedded to old dogmas and notions.
9. Marathas gave up their old method of fighting. The Marathas were experts in guerilla warfare. They were not accustomed to pitched battles. When they established their own empire it became necessary for them to protect the people from foreign invasion. By the force of circumstances they were forced to give up their old method of fighting and that brought about their ruin.
10. Marathas were poor students of Geography. They did not bother to understand the Geography of the Country which was indispensable for successful military operations. Their lack of Geography landed them into difficulties. When the Maratha armies were moving to a destination, they might not be knowing that they would have to cross a big river or mountain on the way.
11. Enormous resources of the Company. The English Company had enormous resources at its disposal and the Marathas were no match for them.
Khare has given certain reasons for the failure of the Marathas. According to him the Marathas did not possess any national sentiment. The internal jealousy and selfish treachery among them triumphed over the public interest. While individually the Marathas were clever and brave, they lacked the corporate spirit so essential for national independence.
“Lord Hasting’s completed the work began by Lord Wellesely.” Elucidate.
Lord Hastings reign may be “described as consisting of the great campaigns.” Mention the campaigns and clearly state their effects o-: the country.
“Lord Hastings conceived and carried through the greatest strategical operations ever undertaken in India.” Explain and illustrate.
Lord Hastings (1812-1823) – “Lord Hastings was both a great conquer and an administrator. He completed the work which Wellesley had begun”. – Dod Well
The Wars of Lord Hastings Period. Dr. Ishwari Prasad writes : “It has always been the cause of aggressive imperialism that by riding roughshod over the independence of others, it generates a feeling of hostility leading to a cycle of wars which acquire an air of being defensive against states that rise to win back what they had lost The wars of Hastings were the “equal to those of Wellesley.”
War with Nepal (1814-16)
Causes. The Gorkhas were trying to expand their territory at the cost of the British. From Darjeeling to Seinle they annexed about 200 villages. They invaded Gorakhpur and annexed it. Lord Minto sent an ultimatum of protest which was answered in negative. Paying no heed to the ultimatum the Gorkhas occupied the district of Butwal and’Sheroraj.
Hastings asked the Gorkhas as to evacuate these districts. On their refusal to do so Hastings declared war on Nepal.
Events of the War. Hastings borrowed a crore of rupees from the Nawab of Oudh to make elaborate arrangements of the war. He sent four armies against Nepal. But three of these armies were defeated by the Gorkhas. The fourth army led by Ocbterloney advanced with in 50 miles of Kathmandu. He defeated the Nepalese armies easily. The Gorkhas then sued for peace and were forced to sign the Treaty of Sangauli (1816).
The Treaty of Sangauli (1816). According to the terms of the treaty the Nepalise surrendered Garhwal and Kumaon lying on the west coast of the River Kali to the British. Hie Gorkhas also acknowledged the independence of the Raja of Sikkim. They also accepted to allow the appointment of a British Resident at Kathmandu but it was agreed that he was not to interfere in the internal affairs oftlie country. They could employ an European in their service byprior permission of the English.
Significance of the Treaty of Sangauli –
- It proved to be very valuable to the English as the Nepalese remained loyal to die British Government during the first Indian war of independence or so called Indian mutiny of 1857.
- Gorkha soldiers began to be recruited in the Company’s service.
- ThetreatyledtothegrowthofhillstationslikeSimla,Nainitaland Almora.
- The north-west frontier of the British possessions was extended up to the , mountains.
- Facilities were obtained for communications with the remoter regions of Central Asia. The kingdom of Nepal remained all along in peace and alliance with the British Government.
The Pindari War 1817-18. The Pindaris were the bands of free booters and the prospect ofplunder was the only tie ofcohesion between the different members of a Pindari Party. The Pindari came to the limelight during the wars of the Marathas with the Mughals. They were comprised of an irregular body of the Hindus and the Mohammedans of disbanded soldiers, fugitives from justice, the idle profligate and the unscrupulous of every quarter and creed.
Causes of the Pindari War. The Pindaris had begun to plunder the dominions of Nizam an ally of the British. They also plundered the British territory of Northern Circars. They had gradually extended the scope of their raids to the Gangetic valley. Hastings, therefore decided to exterminate the Pindaris.
Events of the War. Being encouraged by the policy of non-intervention followed by the predecessors ofHastings, the Pindari’s had begun to plunder the dominions of Nizam an ally of the British. Hastings mobilised a strong army of 113,000 soldiers and 300 canons. This army was divided into two parts the one to guard against any trouble from the side of the Marathas and the other to exterminate the Pindaris. The Pindaris were encircled on all sides by the British forces. By diplomacy, Hastings detached the Marathas from the side of the Pindaris. The British forces ruthlessly chased the Pindaris and completely destroyed someofthem. Their Chief Karmi Khan surrendered on condition of being made the Nawab of Tonk. Wasil Mohammed, the second chief poisoned himself to death in the Ghazipur jail. Chitu the third chief fled to the jungles and was devoused by a tiger.
Thus Hastings was able to exterminate the Pindaris and there-by relieved the sufferings of the peoples in Central India. According to Malcolm. “The Pindaries are so effectively destroyed that their name is forgotten. ” According to Duff, “They mingled with the rest of population but the real Pindaris still retain their name though some of them have become active farmers.” The hunt of the Pindaris became merged in the Third Mysore War.\
Explain the Mahalwari settlement in northern India established during the Governor-Generalship of Lord Hastings.
Describe briefly but distinctly the internal reforms and the task of consolidation of the British power under Marquess of Hastings.
Reforms Of Lord Hastings –
Judicial Reforms. Lord Hastings directed his attention towards the internal reforms. Though he could not get sufficient time on account of pre-occupation with the wars yet he tried successfully to remove the administrative defects of his predecessors.
The judicial system had many defects. The number of casespending for disposal was increasing day by day. Therefore, Lord Hastings made following reforms to the contemporary judicial system
1. He sought permission from the Directors of the Company to appoint a munsif at every thana (Police Station). The Munsif was empowered to hear cases involving the property or Hie claim up to Rs. 64/-. The Diwani Adalats were empowered either to confirm the decision of the Munsifs or to hear appeal against their decisions.
2. Sadr Amins were appointed by the judges of the Diwani Adalats in each city and district to hear the cases involving up to Rs. 150/-. However, these courts could not try the cases of the Europeans. The appeal against the decision of the Chief Amins could be filed in Diwani Adalats.
3. The right of appeal in certain cases was abolished. Only the right of first appeal was given. It was provided that appeals against the decision of Diwani Adalats and Provincial Adalats could be filed only in Provincial Adalats and Chief Diwani Adalat respectively.
4. The powers of the Registrars were increased. Now the Diwani Adalats were entitled to send to him cases up to Rs. 50/- and in extra¬ordinary cases up to Rs. 500/-.
5. It was provided that appeals against the decisions of the Registrars could be filed direct in the Provincial Courts.
6. Now the cases upto Rs. 5000/- were decided by the City or District Diwani Adalat. The cases involving more than Rs. 50,000 were to be decided directly by the Appellate Provincial Courts. Sadar Diwani Adalat was empowered to tr ansfer the cases from City or District Diwani Adalat to Appellate Provincial Court.
7. In 1815 a rule was made that unless a judge had three years of experience in Provincial Court or an experience of judicial work for nine years, he would not be made a judge in Sadar Diwani Adalat.
8. The magistrates were empowered to award rigorous punishmeat of two years and corporeal punishment upto 30 canes.
9. In 1821, it was provided that in case of excessive work with a inunsifmore munsifs could be appointed. Themunsifs could decide cases upto Rs. 150/- while the Chief Amins could hear cases involving the property upto Rs. ,500/-.
10. Lord Hastings increased the powers of the Collectors.
11. In 1821, the Governor-General was empowered to grant magisterial powers to the Collector of the Revenue Department or any other high official of that department.
B. Revenue Reforms. Lord Hastings wanted to make the settlement of revenue on a permanent basis but he could not obtain the permission of the Directors in this respect. Hence he started “Mahalwari System”. The settlement of revenue was made for 30 years in Agra and 20 years in Punjab. The Head of the village known as Nambardar collected the revenue of the whole village and deposited it in the Government treasury.
It there arose any dispute regarding the revenue, it was decided in the Diwani Adalat. Since the Permanent Settlement of Bengal introduced by Lord Carnwallis failed to protect the interest of the farmers, the Bengal tenancy Act was passed in 1882. Likewise Ryotwari System was introduced in Madras. Some revenue reforms were introduced in Bombay also.
C. Educational Reforms. Lord Hasting opened several vernacular schools near Calcutta. He opened a college also and laid emphasis on the education of English language. He removed many restrictions on the press.
Analyse the career and policies of Haidar Ali
Form an estimate of the Character of Haidar Ali*
Briefly estimate the character and achievements of Tipu.
Write an account of the rise of Mysore under Haidar Ali and its fall under Tipu.
“The contrast in character and policy between father and son explains why Haidar Ali wag successful in founding a Kingdom and Tipu contrived to lose it.” Discuss.
Critically discuss the causes and the results of the first, the second, third the and the fourth Mysore wars. The first with Clive, the second with Warren Hastings, the third with Carnwallis and the fourth with Wellesley.
Carefully compare the character and policy of Haidar Ali and Tippn Sultan.
Haider Ali And Tipu-
Rise of Haidar Ali and Progress of Mysore under him. Previously Mysore was merely a part of Vijay nagar Empire. Vijay nagar empire broke up at the Battle of Talikota (1565), the territory of Mysore gradually passed into the hands of a Hindu dynasty. But taking the advantage of the weakness of the ruler Haidar Ali became the ruler of Mysore.
Haidar Ali was born in 1722. His father Fateh Mohammad was a military officer of Mysore Government. Haidar Ali also joined army and soon became Foujdar or Commandent of Dindigul in Mysore. On account of his ability and energy in the course of time he rose to the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Mysore army and got the Jagir of Banglore. He made Hindu Raja prisoner and himself became the ruler of Mysore. He got his army organised and trained by the French officers and extended the Frontiers of his Kingdom.
Both the Nizam and the Marathas wanted to occupy Mysore. There was also the fear of internal revolts. Haidar Ali boldlyfaced the situation. He suppressed the internal revolts and removed the officers who could not be trusted. He improved and consolidated the administration and diverted his attention to the improvement of his army. He conquered neighbouring territories. In 1764 he was defeated by Madav Rao Peshwa and had to pay 28 lakhs as war compensation beside some territories to the Marathas.
Haidar Ali was the most capable military Commander that India produced. He was a clever and capable ruler.
Character of Haidar Ali. He was very hard working. He raised Mysore state to a high position and made it a very powerful state. He possessed great political wisdom and could speak five languages. He rose above Communal prejudices and ruled his territories ably and treated his subjects alike. Like Shiva ji and Ranjeet Singh, Hydar Ali was illiterate but like them he could govern a kingdom and hold its own against his enemies. His sound finance and efficient army enabled him to make new conquests and thus extend his territory. His position aroused the jealousy of other native rulers and the English. He was a terror to the English and excited dread in their hearts. The Marathas and the Mysorians fell as easy prey to the English arms only after his death.
The First Mysore War (1767-1769) –
The sudden rise of Haidar Ali had given much anxiety and trouble to his neighbours. The Nizam hated him as a man of lower birth. The Marathas also regarded him as their enemy. The English instigated the Nizam and the Marathas to attack Hydar Ali. He faced the situation with courage and diplomacy. He was able to detach the Marathas by giving a bribe of 35 lakhs and also won over the Nizam to his side.
He along with the forces of Nizam attacked the English and scored a victory at Changame in September 1767. Now the English won over the Nizam to their side. But Hydar Ali did not lose courage and after defeating the English army of Bombay captured Mangalore. He then advanced towards Madras and surrounded it. The English were forced to enter into a treaty known as the Treaty of Madras (1769) with him. It was very humiliating treaty for the English.
Treaty of Madras (1769)
The First Mysore war came to ap end by the Treaty of Madras (1769). It was very humiliating for the English. This treaty encouraged the Marathas to challenge the supremacy of the Company. It also strengthened the position of Haider Ali and served as a rude shock to the English Company.
The Second Mysore War (1780-84) (Warren Hastings and Mysore)
1. When Marathas attacked Haidar Ali, the English did not help him as was agreed by the treaty of Madras. Therefore, Haider Ali was nursing a grivance in his mind and was looking after for an adequate opportunity to take revenge.
2. The war between the France and England had broken out in 1778 and as a results of which no orders were issued to Madras to occupy Mahe the French possession, immediately. This was the only part through which French supplies could reach Hyder Ali. He did not want to lose the help of the French. Therefore, the English action annoyed Hyder Ali. With the help of the Marathas and the Nizam, he started war against the English in 1780. Hyder Ali attacked Carnatic and surrounded Arcot from the three sides. Colonel Beillie ran away to Madras. This is known as the Battle of Pelliore.
At this stage Warren Hastings despatched Sir Eyrecoot with every available soldier that he could him. Hydar Ali was defeated in the Battle of Porto Novo in 1781. But Tipu the son of Hydar Ali was able to cut off the army of Baitwaite at Tanjore. On December 6; 1768 Hydar Ali died the war was continued by his son Tipu. He occupied Bednoor in 1783. Since both the English and Tipu were in a precarious situation, they ended the second Mysore war by the Treaty ofManglore (1784). Both the parties agreed to restore their mutual,conquests and exchange prisoners of war. The Third Mysore War (1790-92) (Carnwallis and Mysore)
1. The Second Mysore War had ended undecided, the trial of strength between the two parties was inevitable. The Treaty ofManglore (1784) was but a “hollow truce.” Tipu sent emissaries to Paris and Constantinople which aroused the suspicion of the English.
2. The attack of Tipu upon the Raja of Travancore, a state under British protection became the immediate cause.
3. Another cause responsible for the outbreak of war was the possession of Guntur belonging to Nizam by Tipu.
Events of the War. Lord Carnwallis allied the Nizam and the Marathas to his side and attacked Mysore. Canrwallis himself led the army in 1791 and captured Banglore. The English army then marched towards Srinaga Patam and conquered the forts of Deoli, Balipur and Nandi. Tipu was forced to sue for peace. The treaty of Seringapatam (1792) ended the war.
Consequences of the War
- Tipu had to. pay an indemnity of more than 30 lakhs and was made to surrender two of his sons to the English as hostages.
- Tipu had to surrender half of his territory to the English.
- The English gave some portions of the territory to Nizam and the Marathas.
Why was Tipu not deposed? If the English wished they could have occupied the whole of Mysore. But they did not do so. In this respect, Dr. Ishwari Parasad says: Carnwallis himself wrote, ‘wehave effectively crippled our enemy without making our friends too formidable. ’ This gives in a nutshell answer. Secondly war with Revolutionary France has broken out and the Directors fearing that Tipu might get help from that source, desired peace. Thirdly to have annexed the whole Kingdom of Mysore would have raised difficult questions of division between allies. Equal division would have considerably increased the power of the Nizam and the Marathas and would have brought English territory in contiguity with that of the Marathas.
The English policy has always been to keep a buffer between their own frontiers and those of any other power. Fourthly to have deposed Tipu and put on the throne the rightful Hindu dynasty, a coarse followed by Wellesley was equally unthinkable as it would have brought into existence a Hindu state which would have strained relations with the Nizam already surrounded as he was by another Hindu power the Marathas. Moreover the two Hindu powers might have made a common cause against the English was equally dangerous. Thoughts like these influenced Carnwallis in his settlement with Tipu.”
Fourth Mysore War (1799) and the Decline of Tipu (Lord Wellesley and Mysore)
Though badly defeated in the Third Mysore War Tipu had yet not lost courage and was determined to the revenge of his defeat. He made efforts to increase his friendship with the French. For this purpose he sent emissaries to Kabul, Arabia. Constantinople, Mauritius etc. Lord Wellesley was the Governor-General during those days. He had come to India with the firm determination of weeding out the French influence from Indian Courts. He was also determined to establish the British Empire in India. He demanded complete submission from Tipu and wanted to take Mysore under the protection of the English Company. He first allied Nizam and the Marathas to his side and in 1799 sent English armies to Mysore.
Lord Wellesley sent two armies led by John Harris and Arthur Wellesely which attacked Mysore from two sides. The, armies of the Marathas and the Nizam also joined them. Thus Tipu was surrounded by all sides and was driven and besieged into the Fort of Seringapatam and died fighting there. With his death Anglo Mysore conflict came to an end. The territory of Mysore was divided between the English, the Nizam and the Marathas and the rest was given to a child of the old Hindu dynasty which ruled over Mysore before Hyder Ali.
The English occupied Canara on the west Coimbatore on the East together with the fortress of Seringapatam certain land on the North West were given to Nizam while Scindhia was offered certain districts on certain conditions which he refused. The English entered into alliance with the Hindu ruler. Accordingly British troops were stationed in Mysore at the expense of the Hindu ruler. A British Resident was also appointed there. The foreign policy of Mysore thus came under the control of the company. The conquest of Mysore was greately appreciated in England. In reward of the services rendered Wellesley was given the title of Marquess in the peerage of Ireland and Harris was made a baron.
Causes of Tipu’s Down Fall
- Tipu placed too much reliance the French at the time when their power had almost subsided in India.
- He did not make proper efforts to win the friendship of Nizam and the Marathas. That is why they deserted him at the time of need.
- He gave up the policy followed by Hyder Ali. “Hyder was born to create an Empire Tipu to lose one.”
- He was a fanatic and intolerant from the point of view of religion.
However, it must be admitted that he was a courageous man. He preferred to die like a soldier than to live as a miserable dependent on the infidels and be placed on the roles of their pensioned Rajas and Nawabs.
Character of Tipn. Tipu occupies an important place in the History of India. There is a great controversy regarding his character and divergent views have been expressed by the scholars. According to the Muslim historians he was martyred champion of Islam. But European writers describe him as a cruel tyrant and a die hard Muslim fanatic. According to V.A. Smith, “Tipu was strange man full of whims and caprices. ”
The British historians have painted the character of Tipu Sul tart in dark colours. Explaining this attitude Dr. Ishwari Prasad writes :
“The fear with which the English regarded Tipu is the measure of his greatness. They dreaded him and hated him. That state has found 1 expression in the character which the English historians have pointed to Tipu.”
Thus diametrically opposite views have been expressed by the authors regarding the character of Tipu. But the truth lies between the two extreme view.
The character of Tipu can be conveniently discussed under the following heads
A. Tipu Sultan as a man. European writers have described Tipu as a; barbarous cruel and a fanatic. But Tipu was neither barbarous nor cruel as depicted by his enemies. He made grants to favour of Hindu temples and many Hindu Officers were under his employment. He was a man of sound moral character free from the prevailing vices of his class. He had an intense faith in God. He was fairly well educated, could speak fluently Persian, Kanarese and Urdu and had a valuable library. A valiant soldier and a tactful general. Tipu was a diplomat of no mean order.
As regards the charge of cruelty, it may be noted that Tipu was not cruel by nature. Major Dirom has remarked that his “cruelties were in general inflicted upon those whom he considered his enemies.” His treatment with his subjects was not cruel. He did not lose courage and self confidence even in most critical situations. According to Sayed Abdul Qadir : “The Character of Tipu Sultan stands out in marked contrast to that of his more celebrated father. Personal courage he certainly possessed and he is said to have been a good rider and a skilful marks man.
His pen was the most prolific he is said to have written to his officers both civil and military, detailed instructions on every conceivable matter. He pronounced decided opinions on Science, Medicine, Commerce, religious observances, engineering, military establishments and a host of abstruse matters with equal facility. ” He carried on correspondence with Zamanshah of Kabul. He placed independence above everything else and lost his life in preserving it. Unlike many of his Indian contemporaries, Tipu was an able and industrious ruler.
B. Tipu Sultan as a great Administrator. Many historians have paid tributes to Tipu Sultan for his administrative ability. Tipu kept his records methodically arranged and himself looked after every department of the state. He issued detailed instructions to his official on every subject civil, military or commercial. Mill writes about him, “As a domestic ruler he sustains an advantageous comparison with the greatest princes of the East. ”
According to Moore: “When a person through a strange countryfinds it well cultivated, popalar with industrious inhabitants, cities newly founded commerce extending; towns increasing and every thingflourishing so as to indicate happiness he will naturally conclude it to be under a form of Government congenial to the minds of the people. This Is a picture of Tipu’s country, and this our conclusions and this our conclusions respecting its Government. ” Some of his English contemporaries like Major Diram. Edward Moore were favourably impressed with his administration and have unhesitatingly stated that he enjoyed sufficient popularity in his Kingdom.
Even Sir John Shore observes that, “the peasantry of his dominions are well protected and their labours encouraged and rewarded. ” Some writers like Kirk patrik, Willos, and Dean Hutton have wrongly described Tipu as a cruel and sanguinary tyrant, an oppressive despot and a furious fanatic. He can not be held guilty of systematic cruelty and as Major Dirom remarks, “his cruelties were in general inflicted only on those whom he considered as his enemies.”
He tried to introduce vigorous innovations in different branches of administrations-in the army, trade, banking and money lending, coinage, weights and measures, calendar and method of calculating time and the sale of liquors. He however, lacked his father’s political sagacity and was devoid of his shrewd common sense. The discovery and study of Tipu’s Shringheri Letters prove that he knew “howto placate Hindu opinion and religious intolerance was not the cause of his ruin.” He did not attempt any wholesale conversion of his Hind subjects.
C. Tipu’s Contrast with Hyder Aii. “The character of Tipu stands out in marked contrast to that of his more celebrated father. Personal courage he certainly possessed and he is said to have been a good rider and a skilful markman. Although deficient in the capacity for war which eminently distinguished his father, he on several occasions showed considerable skill in strategy. He had a passion for innovations and was constantly changing the names of places and altering well established customs. Measures of distance were also amended.
All names of weights and measures were altered. “A restless spirit of innovation and a wish to have every thing to originate from himself was” wrote Thomas Munro “the predominant feature of his character.” He claimed a code called, “the triumph of whole warriors,” a work in eighteen Chapters. Minutes instructions are given in it for guidance regarding manual exercises, the duties of all grades of officers, night attacks, fighting in a wooded country or in plains, salutes on special occeasions, military guards, furlough, desertions and so forth, Tipu also prohibited the sale of intoxicating drinks.
What were the Causes of the downfall of the Marathas?
Causes Of Downfall Of The Marathas-
After the fall of the Mughal Empire the Marathas had built up a big empire and has extended their influence over a large territory. The Marathas were great warriors and could compare favourably with any race in the world in bravery and courage. They had organized big armies. But despite this they were defeated by the English. Following were the causes which led to the defeat and disintegration of the Maratha power :
1. Maratha Empire not well Knit. It is true that the Maratha Empire was a vast one but it was not well knit. It was not a unitary state and all power was not in the hands of the Peshwa. The Maratha Empire was a confederacy. Power was shared by many Maratha Chiefs and most important of them Holkar, Scindhia Bhonsle and Gaikwar. It is true that nominally the Peshwa was the head of the Maratha Confederacy but, as a matter of fact, he had no substantial control over the various Maratha Chiefs.
Every one of them was independent in his own territory and did what ever he pleased. They did not hesitate even to intrigue against one another. It was not a happy phenomenon to see Holkar, Scindhia or Bhonsle helping another power against one another. Evidently there was no discipline and solidarity among the Marathas. They were not brought together even by a national emergency. They failed to help one another against their common enemies and the result was that all of them were defeated one by one by the English East India Company.
2. Weak Finances. The Marathas did not bother about finance, such vital department was absolutely ignored. The result was that the Marathas were always in needofmoney. This need they tried to satisfy by plundering the country. ‘Plundering raids by the Maratha Chiefs in search of money were common. But such a system can hardly bring any credit to the Government. No country can grow under such circumstances.
Even the people can not have any devotion or loyalty to such a state. The Maratha Empire was bound to fall. The Marathas could plunder others when their own territory was small but when their Empire began to grow, they could not adopt the old device of plundering. This resulted in shortage of finance. The Marathas did not set up an efficient system of administration. Nothing was done to safeguard the interests of the people. Their rule was positively oppressive.
3. They gave up guerilla warfare. Another cause of Maratha failure was that they gave up their old method of fighting, The Marathas were experts in guerilla warfare. They were not accustomed to pitched battles.
However, guerilla tactics were possible only so long as the Marathas had not setup an empire of their own. When they established their own empire it became absolutely necessary for them to protect the people from foreign invasions, Consequently by the force of circumstances, the Marathas were ‘ forced to give up their old method of fighting and that brought about their ruin.
4. Marathas were poor Students of Geography. The Marathas were – poor students of geography. They did not bother to understand the geography of the country which was indispensable for successful military operations. The result was that their lack of knowledge of geography of the country sometimes landed them in difficulties. If the Maratha armies were moving to a destination, they might not be knowing that they would have to cross a big river or mountain on the way. Such a handicap was suicidal for successful military operations. If such was the condition of the Marathas, the English men knew all about the Maratha territory. This t knowledge helped the English men in their military operations.
5. Enormous Resources of the English Company. The English Company had enormous resources at its disposal and the Marathas were no match for them. The English were also the masters of diplomacy and ‘ the Marathas were mere children before them in that art.
6. Neglect of military training and organisation. Another cause of Maratha failure was the neglect of the study of sciences and of military training and organisation. These who conducted the affairs of the Maratha i state did not take note of what their European neighbours were doing in India. When Baji Rao and his brother Chimnajii conquered the Island of Bassein from the Portuguese after a heroic fight they failed to take the logical step of founding a naval arsenal and ship building base as a measure of self-defence.
The Portuguese had docks and foundaries for making guns and experts to work them on scientific lines. These could have been continued under Maratha management at Bassein. If that had been done the Peshwas would not have been helpless in naval matters. They would not been forced to apply to Europeans for the supply of shot, cannon powder, ships etc. The Peshwas and their advisers were intelligent and it is a pity that they utterly neglected the study and development of Sciences w which were absolutely necessary for the preservation of their organisation, artillary and trained infantary and no wonder the Maratha ran away before the European guns. It is pointed out that no Maratha leader had the courage to face the British gunmen even if they were very few in number. Sar desai points out if the Maratha Government had possessed the necessary fore sight and perseverance to organise their fighting on the European lines, they would have been able to resist the British advance successfully.
7. Lack of organisation. Another cause of Maratha failure was the lack of organization or system in whatever they did. There was no unity of command, no distribution of work and power, no clear cut assignment . of duties, no method, no system and no rule. Each Maratha Chief pulled in his own direction. There was want of attention to details and pre arrangement. It is true that the Marathas saw the necessity of uniting for a common purpose but no one came forward to do the needful in the matter. They never joined together against a common enemy. The result was that they were individually defeated.
8. Weak position of the Marathas after 1794. The downfall of the Maratha synchronised with the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th Century. As that time the position of the Marathas was the weakest and that of the Englishmen the strongest. Between 1794 and 1800 most of the experienced and able persons in the Maratha Kingdom were removed by the cruel hand of death. The old Ram Shastri had already died irthe November 1789. Mohadji Scindhia died in February 1794. However not Phadka died in June 1794.
Ahalya Bai Holkar died in August 179fjle England Mahadeo Rao lost his life in October 1795 by an accidental in Sindh, balcony of his palace. The Supreme power fell at this time inatmck devoted of Baji Rao II and Daulat Rao Scindhia. Their misdeeds broug British did not Court and society to such a moral degradation that no one’s,r aim was to or honour was safe. People even in the distant parts of the ct” frontier. With suffer terrible misery through misrule, oppression, plunder and Ranji Singh, on the other hand Lord Wellesley and his two brothers Asthuf to establish and Henry Wellesley were men of extraordinary capacity and this mission, same could be said about men like Elphinstone, Sir John Malcolr Ranjit Berry Cole, Col. Collins, Sir Munro. Sardesai says that a nation posse. Ranjit such able personalities for its agents is bound to win success at any tied to
9. Inquisitive native and Superior diplomacy of the British. liam’s main cause of success of the British was their aptitude for research great diplomacy. On the other hand, the Marathas lacked these qualities which accounted for their defeat at the hands of the British. There were British agents who were obtaining all kinds of information about the Maratha forts and their positions, paths leading to them, the condition of the people, local disputes and political happenings, for seven years Mostyn supplied useful information about Poona to Bombay and Calcutta.
10. Enmity with the Native Rulers. From the very beginning the Marathas had been making plundering raids in Punjab and Rajasthan. Therefore, they were enemies in the eyes of the native rulers. It was one of the reasons why the native rulers helped the English against the Marathas. If the Marathas could procure thehelp of the native rulers they would not have been defeated by the English.
11. Feudal System. Feudal System was prevalent among the Marathas. A strong central power is necessary for the efficient working of the feudal system. The Marathas lacked central administration.’All the big Samants were independent and had the right, of making war and peace. That is why the English were successful in defeating them severally and individually
12. Narrow minded Conventionalism and sense of ride of their race. Because of excessive narrow minded conventionalism and the sense of pride of their race, the people dissatisfied with them and did not extend their co-operation to them.
Non Co-operation of the people, indiscipline, internal dissensions, lack of leadership, corruption, non cc-operation of the Rajputs, end of the Mysore State, Nizam’s friendship with the British rulers, Ability of the English rulers, defective economy, rise of the Sikhs were other causes of the downfall of the Marathas.
Describe the main events of the reign of Lord Amherst.
Discuss fully the policy of Lord Amherst with Burma.
Explain the First Burman War.
Lord Amherst (1823-28) And Burmese War –
Problems of Eastern Frontier. When Hastings left India, Mr. John Adam, a senior member of the Council acted as Governor-General till the arrival of Lord Amherst who took charge ofhis office on coming to India in August, 1823. Before this he had proved his ability in a mission to China. But he failed to solve the Indian problems. Instead of consolidating the empire built by his predecessors, he gave birth to the problem of eastern border. His reign was also full of wars. The most important event of the new Governor-General’s regime was the First Burmese war.
First Burmese War (1824-26) Burma was a big independent country on the eastern border of India. In 18th century a Tibetan Chinese tribe had established its rule in Burma. Its founder Anlompa and his successors started extremely their empire and in 1768 captured Tenasserim and Arakan. When Burma was trying to extend her frontiers the English company was busy in laying the foundation of British Empire in India. Now the frontiers of Burma and India were in lose proximity with each other and hence a conflict between them had become inevitable.
Causes and the events of the First Burmese War. The English had trade relations with Burma since seventeenth century and many British families were living in Rangoon, the Capital of Burma. During the Governor. Generalship of Lord Wellesley a large number of Burmese had settled in Chittagong, a British Indian out post. The Burmese laid claim to Chittagong, Dacca and Murshidabad. In 1822 the Burmese overran Assam and in the next year they began open hostilities. The Burmese King asked Wellesley to send back the Burmese from Chittagong.
On Wellesley’s refusal to do so, he was annoyed. The British were also suspicious of the Burmese because often they made plundering raids on the frontier provinces. When they captured Tcnasserim, Pegu and Arakan, the British started thinking seriously to take some action to check the menace of the Burmese. In 1817-18 the Burmese forces threatened Assam and sent a letter to the Indian Government in which they demanded the surrender of Chittagong, Dacca, Murshidabad and Kassim bazar.
For the time being the danger was avoided as the Burmese were defeated by the Siamese. But in 1822 the Burmese conqured Siam. In 1823, they attacked Sliahpur a small Island near Chittagong. This became unbearable to the British and Lord Amherst declared war against the Burmese in Feburary, 1824. The 47th native infantry at Barrackpore refused to cross the sea and fight for the British. They bad also cause of discontent because their pay was low. Lord Amherst sent orders for shooting. The parade ground was turned into a shambles.
Lord Amherst sent the British forces both through the land as well as sea route. The Burmese Commander-in-Chief Mahe Bandula, also mobilized a big army and attacked Bengal. The Bur-mese were successful in defeating the English army near Chittagong. But in the meantime the British fleet advanced towards Rangoon and captured it. Mahe Bandula was forced to return to his Country. After the capture of Rangoon, the British forces marched towards Prome and gave a crushing defeat to the Burmese. Mahe Bandula, the Burmese Commander-in-Chief died of a random shot at Prome and his army fled away.
The Burmese war which dragged on for two years and cost thirteen crores of rupees. The Company’s troops got the worst of it in many small engagements because of the mismanagement, forests and morasses of Burma. Their progress was also checked owing to rains. The troops suffered from rotten provisions and disease. After heavy losses on both sides peace was concluded at Yandaboo (1826).
Result of the Burmese War. The British emerged victorious in the First Burmese war. Treaty of Yandoboo was concluded in 1826. According to the terms of the treaty Assam, Arakan and the coast of Tenassarim were ceded to the English Company. A British Resident was appointed at Rangoon, the Capital of Burma. The Burmese recognised tire independence of Manipur state and entered into a commercial treaty with the British. The Burmese with drew from Assam and Kachar. The Burmese King also agreed to pay a crore of rupees as war indemnite No Resident was sent to Ava till 1830. In this Burmese war, the British for the first time employed steam ships in the Indian seas.
Significance of the Treaty of Yandoboo. This treaty enabled the English to seal up and secure the Indian Eastern frontier. However, the war proved to be very costly because for lack of adequate preparations by the British the war unduly prolonged. The heavy expenditure led to a big deficit in the finances of the Company.
Capture of Bharatpur. The early reverses and difficulties of the British in Burma gave rise to a conviction in certain quarters that the British dominion was faced with impending ruin. This resulted in risings in some places. In Bharatpur the claim of the minor son of a deceased ruler who had been placed on the throne with the consent of Sir David Ochterlony, the E. itish Resident at Delhi was contested by his Cousin Durjan Sal. Lord Amherst at first followed the policy of non-intervention and disapproved of the conduct of Sir David Ochterlony in trying to enforce his decision at the point of the sword which led to the latter’s resignation and the appointment of Sir Charles Metcalf in his place.
After the death ofBhandar Singh the Raja of Bharatpur in 1823 there were two claimants to the throne his brother Baldev Singh and his nephew Dnrjan Sal. The British availed this opportunity and started making interference in the internal affairs of Bharatpur. The British Government took the side of Baldev Singh and recognised him as the real claimant. But Baldev Singh died with in a month. Durjan Sal the other claimant seized the fort and imprisoned the young son of Baldev Singh. This annoyed the British.
An expedition was eventually Bent under Lord Cambermere who in January 1826 stormed the fortress of Bharatpur which had resisted the attacks of Lord Lake in 1805. Durjan Sal was departed. The British placed the minor son of Baldev Singh on the throne of Bharatpur and plundered the State. Lord Amherst has been criticised for the plunder of Bharatpur. A large number of native people were made captive. Regarding the plunder of Bharatpur, Sir Charles Metcalfe writes:
“Our plundering here has been very disgraceful until 1 can got
of the price agents, I cannot establish the sovereignty of the young Raja whom we came professedly to protect but have been plundering to the last lotah since be fell into our hands.”
Barrackpore Mutiny (1824). The Mutiny of Barrackpore is also an important event of the Governor-Generalship of Lord Amherst. While the Burmese war was going on, the Soldiers mutinied in the military cantonement of Barrackpore.
Causes of the Barrackpore Mutiny –
- The English and Indian soldiers were not treated alike. The Indian soldiers were asked to pay for the transport charges of their own luggage.
- The English defeat at the hands of Burmese had frightened the soldiers.
- The Indian soldiers were ordered to go to Burma via sea on account of the fear of being ostracized from the society, the Indian soldiers refused to obey the orders when they were ordered surrender their arms, they openly revolted against their officers.
The mutiny was ruthlessly and mercilessly suppressed. The fire was opened and many soldiers were shot down. The parade ground was turned into a scene of massacre. The ring leaders were hanged. Lord Amherst has been severely criticised for his ruthless and merciless treatment with the soldiers but it may be noted he had no other alternative.
Resignation. The Burmese war had made the Governor-General very unpopular and the story of the mutiny at Barrackpore made him all the more so. From the end of 1826. the ship of Amherst was labouring in very heavy waters. He was sand for a time by the intervention of the Duke of Wellington. However, in March 1825, the news reached the Governor- General that he was about to be recalled.
Calcutta took his side and also did the Home Cabinet. For months together the unhappy Governor-General was left in almost daily expectation of being recalled. In 1826 he made up his mind to resign. However in 1827, there arrived a resolution of Thanks and Compliments from the Court of Directors. Inspite of that his resignation which was submitted on the score of ill health was accepted. In March 1828 Lord and Lady Amherst left Calcutta after a chequered reign. Among the British rulers of India Lord Amherst left one of the most inconspicuous and in palpable of impressions.
Discuss the Cultural responses to the Colonial Rule.
Discuss the social and educational reforms of Lord Bentinck.
Describe the various reforms of Lord William Bentinck.
Discuss the value of the development and social reforms of Williams Bentinck.
Cultural Responses Tradition And Reforms
“The Governor Generalship of Lord William Bentinck to India as Governor-General has the distinctive characteristic of representing in Anglo Indian History a period of brief and rare tranquility, it was an era of liberal civilizing administration, of quiet material progress, and some important and education reform.” His seven years rule in India is marked with eminent prudence integuity and benevolence. Bentinck began his career as an Ensegn in the army but soon rose to the position of a Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1795 he became a member of the Parliament. He fought with distinction against the forces of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France in Northern Italy. In consideration of his military experience, he was appointed Governor of Madras in 1803 to counter possible French designs in the Deccan. In 1806 some Madras regiments stationed at Vellore mutinied against the orders of the Commander in Chief forbidding them to wear them their caste marks or wear earrings. The mutiny was suppressed but the Court of Directors abruptly terminated Bentinck’s Services.
In 1828 Bentinck was selected to succeed Lord Amherst as Governor- General. Bentinck was a true whig and inspired by the same ideals which characterised the ruling classes in the Era of Reforms in England. Bentinck took effective steps to root out social evils like ‘Sati’ and infanticide, established law and order in the country by suppressing the ‘Thugs’, gave a larger share to the Indians in the subordinate services, expressed noble sentiments regarding the liberty of the press and took vital decisions regarding the educational system in India.
Reforms of Lord William Bentinck –
William Bentinck was the first Governor-General in India who began his work with the firm conviction that “the end of Government is the welfare of the governed and that British influence must be founded on Indian happiness”. With this aim in view he introduced many reforms for the good and welfare of the people. The Nepalese war, Fourth Maratha war, Burmese war, and the suppression of the Pindaris and already put heavy strains on the finances of the Company. Whose treasury had almost become empty. Keeping in view the interests of both the East India Company and the Indian people, he introduced a series of reforms. His reforms can be divided into the following heads
(a) Financial Reforms.
(b) Administrative Reforms.
(c) Judicial Reforms.
(d) Social Reforms.
(e) Educational Reforms.
(f) Commercial Reforms.
(g) Public Works Reforms.
(a) Financial Reforms. When Lord Bentinck took the reins of government the financial condition of the company was very critical. There was an annual deficit of Rs. 10,00,000 in the budget. Bentinck appointed two committees-the civil committee and the Military Committee to make a thorough enquiry into the expenditure on civil and military affairs of the company and make recommendations for its reduction. Lord William Bentinck made the following reforms to improve the finances of the Company
(i) Reduction of employees’ allowances by half. This measure caused a lot of dissatisfaction among the military personnel bid he did not care. All opposition and dissatisfaction soon subsided. This measure alone led to the saving of £ 20,000 per year.
(ii) Employment of Indians. Carnwallis had stopped giving higher posts to the Indian and all superior posts were given to the English men who drew high salaries. Lord William Bentinck began appointing Indians on higher posts. Since Indians were given lower salaries it resulted in a good deal of economy.
(iii) Abolition of Provincial Courts of Appeal and the Circuit. The Provincial Courts set up by Lord Camwallis were not functioning properly and there was not enough work for them; William Bentinck abolished these courts. It went a long way in reducing unnecessary expenditure on the British exchequer.
(iv) Scrutinty of the claims to rent free lands. Even before the company acquired the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa large number of persons had been granted revenue free lands. The company had also confirmed those old grants. Thus the government was deprived of considerable revenue legally due to it. According to the new Regulation issued in 1829 the collectors were to check validity of these grants. Care was taken to avoid chances ofmiscarriage of justice. Those persons who could not produce proper documents were made to pay land revenue. This measure added a good deal of revenue to the Company’s treasury. Bentinck did not care for the discontent of the people.
(v) Revenue settlement of North West Province. After proper survey and classification the land settlement of North West Province was made for 30 years in 1833. This led to the improvement of soil and the government became sure of fixed revenue from this province.
(vi) Classification of Land on the basis of Production. Lord William tried to give a definite shape to the revenue system. For this purpose lands were classified according to their production and the rates of revenue were accordingly fixed according to productivity.
(vi) Regulation of opium trade of Maiwa. William Bentinck introduced the system of issuing Licences to carry opium from Maiwa to Bombay.
All these financial reforms of Lord William Bentinck went a long way in improving the financial condition of the company. The company which was running under a deficit on,account of the imperialist policies of Lord Hastings and Lord Amherst, began to make profit of Rs. 20,00,000 per year.
(b) Administrative Reforms. There was an urgent need of making administrative reforms. With the expansion of British India Empire many defects were being observed. After Carnwallis no other Governor-General had directed his attention towards administive reforms. William Bentinck made the following reforms ”
(i) Appointment of Indians in the administration. Having a very low opinion of the Indians and considering them totally in capable and unworthy Carnwallis had stopped giving higher posts to Indians. But William Bentinck changed this policy and started recruiting Indians. Employment of Europeans only on high salary was a great strain on the exchequer of the company. Bentinck stopped this practice and began appointing Indians on higher posts. Since Indians were given lower salaries it resulted in a great deal of economy. It also went a long way to remove the suspicion and dissatisfaction of the Indians. This policy was in keeping with the principles laid down in the Charter Act of 1833 which provided:
“No native of India nor any natural born subject of His Majesty, should be disabled from holding any place, office of employment by reason of his religion, place of birth, descent or colour”. Bentinck introduced three grades of Indian judges and the highest of them called Sadr Amin was given a salary of Rs. 750 per month.
(ii) Appointment of a Board of Revenue at Allahabad. For the administration of revenue departmen in the North-Western Province a Board of revenue was appointed at Allahabad.
(iii) Persian so far had been the court language. Bentinck gave the suitors the option to use Persian or Vernaculars in filing their suits.
(c) Judicial Reforms
- Abolition of Provincial Courts.
- Powers of magistrates were increased.
- Summary disposal of rent cases in order to expedite the disposal of cases.
- Appointment ofriunsifs and Sadr Amins—Respectable Indians were now appointed to these posts.
- Setting up of separate Diwani Adalat and Sadr Nizamat Adalat at Allahabad (1832). It was to remove the hardships of the people who had to go to Calcutta to file the appeals.
- Introduction ofjury system (1832)—now European judges could take the assistance of respectable Indians in deciding cases.
- Adoption of Vernacular as court language.
- Beginning of the codification of laws. It enabled the lawyers to know more exactly what the law was. It also ensured better justice.
- Inhuman punishments like whipping were abolished.
- Commissions were appointed. They had powers to supervise the work of district judges and subordinate collectors in the districts.
These judicial reforms brought great relief to the common men. Previously it was difficult for a man of common means and status to seek justice because of excessive expenditure in the Court. Since the frontiers of the Company had considerably increased. Calcutta was now very far away from other provinces. Therefore, William Bentinck made many reforms in the judicial system. A separate Sadr Diwani Adalat and a Sadr Nizamat were set up at Allahabad in 1832. In the work of introduction of judicial reforms he received help of Sir Charles Metcalfe, Butter worth, Bajley and Holt Mackenzie.
(d) Social Reforms of William Bentinck
1. Abolition of Sati. No previous Governor-General of India had ever cared to tackle social problems with greater courage than Bentinck did. He tried to reform Hindu society by abolition of the cruel rite of Sati and suppression of infanticide. He crushed the ganges of assassins called ‘thugs’ and made peaceful living possible.
Theterm Sati literallymeans ‘apure and virtuous woman.’ It is applied in case of a pious and devoted wife who contemplates perpetual and – uninterrupted conjugal union with her husband life after life and as a proof thereof burns herself with the dead body of her husband. The belief that the dead need company and victuals in their journey to far off paradise was prevalent among many primitive peoples and it was customary to bury, with the body of a Chief his drinking bowls horses, dogs and even his favourite wives and concubines. Possibly in India this practice was brought by the Indo-Scythian invadors. In India its popularity was due to a false sense of conjugal duty sanctioned by society and religion through the motivating forces were economic and moral.
Some enlightened Indian princes had taken steps to abolish this cruel practice in their dominions. Emperor Akbar had attempted to restrict it. The Marathas had forbidden it in their dominions. The Portuguese at Goa and the French at Chander-Nagar had also taken some steps towards its abolition.
The East India Company had however, adhered to their declared policy of non-interference into the social and religious customs of the people of India. Early British Governor-General like Carnwallis, Minto, and Lord Hastings bad taken some steps to restrict the practice of Sati by discouraging compulsion, forbidding administration of intoxicating drugs to the sorrow stricken widows, putting a ban on the burning of pregnant women or widows below sixteen of age and above all making compulsory the presence of police officials at the time of sacrifice who were to see that no compulsion was used. These restrictions, however, proved inadequate and unsuccessful.
Role of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in abolishing the evil practice of Sati. Raja Ram Mohan Roy urged William Bentinck to take necessary steps and declare the practice of Sati illegal. The loss of his sister-in-law by Sati had stirred Ram Mohan Roy to action and he had published a number of pamphlets condeming the practice. His argument were supported by many of the progressive Indian news papers and the conscience of the nation had been awakened. William Bentinck provided the necessary legislative corrective.
He collected relevant facts and figures about Sati cases, obtained the views of army officers, of the judges of the Nizamat Adalatt, of the Superintendent of police, of the lower and upper provinces and came to the conclusion that there was no danger of mutiny or civil commotion. Regulation No. XVII of December 1829 declared the practice of Sati or burning alive the widows of Hindus illegal and punishable by the Criminal Courts as culpable homicide. The Regulation of 1829 was applicable in the first place to Bengal Presidency alone but in 1830 extended in different forms to Madras Bombay Presidencies.
No public disorder followed the enactment. A few orthodox Bengalis vainly made an appeal to the Privy Council against Government’s interference in the religious customs. Counter petitions were sent to the King by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Devindra Nath Tagore and William Bentinck was thanked for what he had done. William Bentinck deserves, ‘eternal honour’ for performing one of the. greatest acts of humanity. Vincent Smith has rightly remarked: “The reasoning of the Governor- Generals minute was justified in all points by experiences and his action, as Thamton candidly allows, deserves eternal honour. ”
2. Suppression of T hugs. Another significant measure which William Bentinck took was to free the society from thugs and establish a separate department for the detention and punishment of thugs. The thugs i.e., cheats were a seat of hereditary assassins and robbers who lived by preying upon innocent and defenceless travellers. A more appropriate name for thugs was pansigar derived from the scarf and noose used by the thugs to strangle their victims.
However, remote the origin of thugs, the organisation found a very congenial atmosphere for growth during the period of decay and downfall of the Mughal Empire. When all police arrangements broke down and public roads became insecure petty officials of small Staves in Central India unable to effectively deal with the thugs made common cause with them and gave them protection in return for a share in the spoils.
The thugs were particularly active on the interior area from Oudh to Hydrabad and in Rajputana and Bundelkhand. The thugs belonged to both the Hindus and Muslim religions and worshipped the goddesses like Kali, Durga or Bhawani to whom they offered the heads of their victims as sacrifices. The thugs were hardened criminals who subordinated their conscience by their perverse reasoning, They believed that thugi was a preordained means of livelihood for them and their victims were ordained to die at their hands.
They had a very disciplined Organisation. If some were expert stranglers others were adept in quick disposals of the dead bodies, still others good spies and informants. They had their own code of words and signs. For the beginners a course of apprenticeship was provided and initiation as a master thug was done amidst religious ceremonies. So efficient was the organisation of the thugs that not even single case of failure even came to the notice of the Government.
The strength of a thug gang varied from a single thug to as many as 400 thugi. Usually the victim was a single individual but sometimes a dozen men were murdered at the same time.
While there could be some different opinion about the abolition of Sati, the public opinion solidly supported the Government measures to suppress thugi in 1830. The operations against the thugs were put in the Charge of Colonel William Sleeman. The rulers of Indian States were invited to co-operate in this great task. Colonel Sleeman arrested as many as 3,500 thugs and sentenced them to death or imprisonment for life. Thugi on an organised scale ceased to exist after 1837, although individual bad characters continued their nefarious activities. An industrial school was opened at Jabalpur and those who were not guilty of heinous Crimes were taught useful crafts and induced to settle down as civilised citizens.
(iii) Suppression of Female Infanticides. It was a custom in some parts of Rajputana that the newly born daughters were killed as soon as they were born. This evil practice was prevalent among the higher sections of the Rajput society. The Rajputs used to kill their newly born daughters to escape the humiliation of becoming father-in-law. Lord William Bentinck ordered this evil practice to be stopped and declared that such an act would be tantamount to murder and the persons found guilty of such an act would be put to death.
(iv) Stopping of Human Sacrifices. William Bentinck also stopped the cruel rite of offering human sacrifices to please goddess. This system was prevalent among some save tribels. They thought that all their misfortunes, miseries troubles and diseases were due to displeasure of some particular god or goddess. In order to ward off the evil effect they offered all kinds of thugs to please the god or goddess. They even went to the extent of sacrificing human beings.
(v) Hindu law of inheritance modified. According to Hindu law a Hindu forfeited his claim to paternal property if be became a convert to anyreligion. William Bentinck passed a law permitting pa-sons to inherit ancestral property even on changing religion. As remarked by R.C. Majumdar: “The rule of Hindu law by which a convert to any other religion forfeited his claim to paternal property was abrogated by a new regulation Bentinck’s zeal for reform was not shared by many. Even Raja, Ram Mohan Roy advised caution believing that immediate abolition might cause discontent and excitement. Bentinck an ardent reformer. However, brooked no delay. Sir T. Wellesley has said, “This was the most daring interference with religious and social customs undertaken by the company’s Government.
(e) Educational Reforms. Perhaps the most significant and of far reaching consequences wac Bentinck’s decisions about education in India. As early as 1825 Elphinstone had written that the only effective path to social reform and the only remedy for social abuses was education. The Macaulayian system of Education has profoundly affected the moral and intellectual character of the people of India.
Bentinck’s Government defined the aim of education in India and the medium of instruction to be employed. How were the Government grant for education to be spent? Were government subsidies to be spent for the encouragement of oriental languages and Indian literature and through the medium of English? The members of the Committee of Public Instruction were divided into two groups of equal strength: the orientalists led by Hayman Wilson and Princep Brothers and the occidentalists or Anglicists led by Sir Charles Trevelyan and supported by Indian liberals like Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
The Charter Act of 1813 allotted a sum of Rs one lakh a year for the “revival and promotion of a knowledge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories”. The Government of India could not make up its mind as to how the money was to be spent and the same was allowed to accumulate every year. In 1823 Mr. Adams appointed a Committee of Public Instruction to make suggestions. However, much could not be done on account of pre-occupation with the First Burmese War. William Bentinck had to tackle the problem. The arrival of Lord Macaulay as Law member strengthened the hands of those who stood for the expenditure of money on English Education. Ultimately the issue was decided in favour of the English language.
Practical considerations were responsible for deciding the issue. It was felt that not only the Government of India would get cheap clerks but there would be greater demand for English goods. Even Indians like Raja Ram Mohan Roy were in favour of the English language. By a resolution of March 1835, William Bentinck declared that, “the great object of British Government ought to be the promotion of literature and science among the natives and that the funds appropriated for education should be best employed on English education alone.” English was made the official language of India in the ‘higher branches of administration. Since then English language, English literature, English political and natural sciences have formed the basis of higher education in India.
It cannot be denied that the English education gave the Indians a lingua France and thereby helped the cause of nationalism in the country. The Indians were introduced to the treasures of western knowledge.
In 1835, a medical college was opened at Calcutta. Thus the knowledge of the western theory of medicine began to be given to the students in India.
Following were some of the, advantages of English Education introduced during the Governor-General ship of William Bentinck
- It broadened the view point of the Indians and they started expressing themselves against the social evils prevalent in the society.
- The western literature and science awakened the feeling of nationality and love of their country and made them aware of the English administrative policy and diplomacy.
- The mutual exchange of the eastern and western languages made the westerners aware of many things from the Easterners. Indians also learnt many things from the westerners.
In 1835, William Bentinck opened a medical college at Calcutta for the benefit of the Indians. Thus for the first time knowledge of the western theory of medicine began to be given to the students in India.
(f) Industrial and Commercial Reforms. Bentinck made some industrial and commercial reforms also. He encouraged steam communication between England and India via the Red sea. Thus in 1833, the ship of RO. Company started plying between England and India via the Red sea. He also encouraged the agriculture of tea it Kachar and Assam. This gave a good deal of profits to the company and improved its financial position.
(i) Recruitment to Public Services. In matters of recruitment to Public Services, William Bentinck sought to efface the humiliating distinctions between Europeans and Indians introduced by Camwallis and upheld by subsequent Governors-General. Fitness was now laid down as criterion for eligibility. Section 87 of the Charter Act of 1833 provided that no Indian subject of the company in India was to be debarred from holding any office under the company “by reason of his religion, place of birth, descent, and colour.” It is believed that this charter clause was inserted at the instance of Lord Bentinck. Though the immediate effect of this clause was very little, it laid down a very important and healthy principle.
(ii) Policy towards the Press. Bentinck’s policy towards, the press was characterised by a liberal attitude. He believed the press to be a safety- valve for discontent. The reduction of‘Bhatta’ and other financial measures were subjects of severe criticism and even abuse in the press. His minute embodying the decision to impose some restrictions on the press contains his views. It runs thus:
“The adjutant General of the Madras Army who was at that time at Calcutta described the angry feelings and language so loudly expressed here and all the signs of the times, to be precisely similar to those which prevailed before the Madras Mutiny and he anticipated a similar explosion. The mutiny did take place at Madras though there was not a shadow of liberty belonging to the press there My firm belief is that more good than harm was produced by the open and public declaration of the sentiments of the army.
There was vent to public feeling and the mischief was open to public view; and the result is so far confirmatory of the opinion, here given that no over act took place”. In reply to a joint petition of the Indian and European journalists of Calcutta seeking the abolition of all restrictions on the press, Bentinck’s Government assured the petitioners that “the unsatisfactory state of laws relating to the press had already attracted the notice of His Lordship in Council and he trusts that in long time a system will be established which while it gives security to every person engaged in the fair discussion of public measures, will effectively secure the government against sedition and individual against calumny”. In March 1835 William Bentinck was compelled to resign owing to ill health and it was left to his devoted lieutenant and successor Charles Metcalfe to remove the restrictions from the Indian Press.
Public Works Reforms. Lord William Bentinck undertook the construction of many public utility works. The canal system of North West Province was improved by William Bentinck. A Grand Trunk Road was built from Delhi to Calcutta and construction of another road from Bombay to Agra was started. William Bentinck introduced navigation of Ganges.
In difference to the wishes of the Court of Directors, William Bentinck followed the policy of non-interference into the affairs of Indian states as far as possible. Despite disorder and anarchy in Jaipur resulting in an attack on the British Resident, Bentinck refused to interfere. At the request of the new Nizam Nasir-ud-daula who succeeded his father to the throne in 1829, the British officers were removed from Hyderabad.A similar policy of non-interference was followed towards the states of Jodhpur, Bundi, Kota, and Bhopal even when there were strong reasons for interference.
Bentinck, however, departed from the policy of non-interference and annexed Mysore in 1831, Coorg in 1834, Bentinck was alive to the Russian advances in Central Asia. To demonstrate the solidarity of Indian powers, he concluded a treaty of perpetual friendship with Ranjit Singh and a Commercial-cum political treaty with the Amirs of Sindh. He also supported the claims of Shat Shuja on the throne of Kabul.
Relations with Sindh and Punjab. The province of Sindh was very important from the view point of commerce and for its situation. During the reign of Bentinck Sindh was divided into small states ruled by Amirs who has become suspicious on account of growing power of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Bentinck took advantage of this situation and sent Colonel Pottenger with instructions to enter into a commercial treaty with the Amirs of Sindh. The Amirs of Sindh hesitated but they were forced to enter into a treaty. Thus a commercial treaty was entered by the British with the Amirs of Sindh in 1832. According to theterms of the treaty, British got the permission to trade in Sindh.
Thus as a whole William Bentinck was quite successful in his relations with the Indian states.
Give a brief account of the rule of Lord Auckland.
Describe the Causes and results of the first Afghan War.
“The First Afghan War was a political crime and blonder.” Discuss.
What is your estimate of the policy of Lord Auckland’s with regard
to Afghanistan? Narrate briefly the Chief events of the Campaign initiated by him and how far it was justified.
How far do yon accept the view that Lord Auckland’s Afghan Policy met with practically universal condemnation and was politically inexpedient and morally untenable?
What do you understand by the Policy of “Masterly inactivity” in connection with relation with Afghanistan.”
How far Auckland was responsible for the first Afghan War? Discuss.
Critically examine Lord Auckland’s Afghan’s Policy.
Appointment of Lord Auckland as Governor-General. Lord Auckland was appointed the Governor-General of India in 1836. The first Afghan War is the most important event of the reign of Lord Auckland. On the resignation of Sir Charles Metcalfe. Lord Auckland came to India. The early part of his administration was marked by a few useful reforms. He developed Bentinck’s Plans for the promotion of education and the cultivation of medical science. He abolished the pilgrims tax and released the temple endowments from all official control. He also took steps for the construction of some irrigation works.
His relation with the native states. He suppressed an attempted rebellion by the Padshah Begum of Oudh, deposed the Raja of Satara for his treasonable intrigues with the Portuguese, annexed Kainaul in the Madras Presidency for the attempt of its Nawab to wage war against the English and frightened Holkar into makings necessary reforms.
His Afghan Policy :
The Afghan Policy of the British Government was mainly influenced by an excessive fear of a Russian advance towards India by way of Herat and Kandhar. Lord Minto’s embassy to Kabul and his treaty with Ranjeet Singh were meant at least in part to counter act Russian designs and the same reasons prompted Lord William Bentinck to keep the great Sikh leader in good humour by paying him a highly ceremonial visit and renewing the treaty of alliance with him.
First Afghan War. The first Afghan War is the most important event of the reign of Auckland. Although he was a follower of the policy of non-intervention and was a great reformer, yet he was dragged into the Afghan war which cost the Company a loss of £15,00,000 and about 20,000 lives were lost. He was dragged into the Afghan war in order to check the advance of Russia. His policy towards the Afghanistan has been severely criticised and universally condemned.
Causes of the First Afghan War. Following were the causes that led to the First Afghan war :
1. Advance of Russia in Asia. One of the most significant causes of the first Afghan war was the advance of Russia in Asia. Since the advance of Russia had been checked in Europe, Russia was increasing her influence in Asia. Russia had extended her authority to Persia and Afghanistan. The British feared that Russia might not invade India through Afghanistan. This would be easy if Russia entered into friendship with Afghanistan. Therefore, the British were against the friendship of Afghanistan with Russia.
2. Friendship of Persia and Russia. In 1809 Lord Minto had promised the Shah of Persia to help him in emergency. When the Shah of Persia was attacked by Russia in 1826, he asked for the British help; but the British did not help him. Therefore, he established friendship with Russia. Thus the control of Russia was established on Persia. The British feared that the Russians might attack Afghanistan and India.
3. Internal Conditions of Afghanistan. Shah Shuja ruled over Afghanistan from 1803 to 1809. In 1809 Mahmud Shah again occupied the throne and Shah Shuja fled to Ludhiana where he became prisoner of the English Company. Mahmud Shah was a weak and incapable ruler. He led a life of comfort and luxury and shifted all his responsibilities upon others. There was confusion and anarchy all over Afghanistan and such conditions continued from 1818 to 1826. In 1826 Dost Mohammad succeeded in occupying the throne.
He was a brave and courageous ruler and ruled over Afghanistan for twelve years. However, he lost Peshawar in the war with the Sikhs. The position of Dost Mohammad was not secure because Shah Shuja still wanted to become the ruler of Afghanistan and was looking towards the British to support him. One of his brothers was making revolution in Kandhar. In the East he was afraid of Ranjeet Singh who had conquered Peshawar. Mahmud Shah and Kamran were conspiring with Persia against him. The eyes of Russia were also fixed upon the internal condition of Afghanistan and the British feared that Russia might intervene in the affairs of Afghanistan
4. British Policy and the inclination of Dost Mohammad towards Russia. Governor-General Auckland wanted to take the advantage of the internal disturbances of Afghanistan. Dost Mohammad himself was eager to establish friendship with the English Company. In 1837, Lord Auckland sent Robert Burnes to Dost Mohammad. Dost Mohammad agreed to enter into a treaty with the English on the condition that the British forced Ranjit Singh to give back Peshawar to him. The British could not agree to such a condition because the friendship with Ranjit Singh was equally important for them. Therefore, Lord Auckland replied that the British Government could not interfere in the affairs of the independent states.
Dost Mohammad was disappointed with this reply of Lord Auckland and became more inclined towards Russia. He started making rough and insulting treatment towards Burnes who had to return from Kabul.
5. The real cause of the war was that the British wanted to dethrone a strong, able and unfriendly ruler like Dost Mohammad and to place on the throne of Afghanistan a stooge of the British power.
Tripartite Party. After realising, that Dost Mohammad would not be prepared to establish friendship, Lord Auckland decided to place Shah Shuja, a stooge of the British on the throne of Kabul. With this aim in view he concluded a tripartite treaty with Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Shah Shuja on June 26,1838. The aim of this treaty was to place Shah Shuja on the throne of Kabul with the help of the British and the Sikh soldiers. Following were the main provisions of the Tripartite treaty:
- Shah Shujawasto be placed on the throne of Kabul andhe would not establish relations with any country without the consent of Ranjit Singh and the British.
- A British Resident was to be appointed in the Court of Shah Shuja.
- Shah Shuja would give up all his claims on Sindh and would have to accept all the decisions of the British and Ranjit Singh with regard to Sindh.
- The loss suffered by Ranjit Singh on account of the breaking of contact with a place called Shikarpur in Sindh would be compensated by Shah Shuja by paying half crone of rupees to Ranjit Singh.
Events of the War. Having determined on war Auckland pursued his policy regardless of the fact that the alleged necessity for it had disappeared. For the Russians had recalled their agent from Kabul and the Persians had raised the seige of Herat. British troops were sent through both of Bolan and Khyber passes. Kandhar was occupied and Ghazni taken by storm in 1839. Since Maharaja Ranjit Singh had not allowed the British Army to pass through his territory the English soldiers were ordered to go through Bhavalpur, Sindh, Baluchistan and Bolan Pass. Thus Auckland broke the treaty of 1832 entered into by the British with the Amirs of Sindh.
John Kene the Commander of the British army advanced through the Bolan pass. Dost Mohammad fled away from Kabul and on August 7, 1839 Shah Shuja was installed on the throne of Kabul. But Shah Shuja was not popular in Afghanistan and therefore, the people did not welcome him. About 10,000 troops were stationed at different strategic places in Afghanistan to keep him in power. Dost Mohammad was defeated at Parwin. He was made prisoner and sent to Calcutta. Garrisons were stationed at Kandhar, Jalalabad and Kabul to preserve British influence and Macnaghton and Burnes remained in charge of political affairs. Dost Mohammed surrendered and was sent down to Calcutta on a liberal allowance.
Destruction of the British Army. Since Shah Shuja was very unpopular in Kabul, the British troops had been kept to keep him in power. This was strongly resented by the Afghans who revolted against Shah Shuja and the English troops keeping in view the unpopularity of Shah Shuja, the Home Government had advised in 1840 that either the British forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan or their number should be increased. But Auckland did not pay heed to either of the advice which led to serious consequences. In 1841 a crowd of Afghans attacked Burnes and Macnaghton and killed them. After this there started a general rising against the English.
Causes of Revolt against the English
- The main cause of revolt was the unpopularity of Shah Shuja.
- The misconduct of some of the Englishmen at Kabul was also responsible for the revolt.
- The Afghans did not like the interference of the foreigners in their affairs.
- The Mullahas did not acknowledge Shah Shuja as the Amir and instigated the people to revolt against him.
- The withdrawal of the subsidies which had made the Afghans loyal to the British was another serious cause of the revolt
- The wild hill tribes desired to return to the life of riot and rapine.
The rising of the Afghans was local in the beginning became national under Akbar Khan, the eldest son of Dost Mohammad. General Knott who was at Kandhar could not advance on account of the difficulty of the means of transport. Robertsale proceeded towards Jalalabad instead of advancing towards Kabul. On November 23,1841 the Afghans badly defeated the English at a place called Bemaroo.
The British troops became demoralised. Macnaughton, the political Resident was forced to conclude a humiliating treaty by which it was agreed that the British should evacuate Afghanistan and that Dost Mohammad should be set free and allowed to returned to Kabul. But Macnaughton was suspected of bad faith because he entered into questionable negotiations with rival chiefs. Hence he was enticed to an interview with Akbar Khan and Slain. The British forces were made to surrender their guns and stores.
Retreat of the English Army. General Elphinston the Commander of The British forces at Kabul was forced to sign a humiliating treaty with Akbar Khan. This treaty was signed on December 11,18 1 and had the following m main provisions:
- Dost Mohammad and other Afghan Chiefs were to be freed.
- English were to withdraw all their forces from Afghanistan.
- As a security four English Officers were to be retained in Kabul as hostages.
- Money and guns were to be supplied to the Afghans.
A sum of Rs. 6V2 lakhs was given and more was promised. The English army started retreating under the promise of assistance from Akbar Khan. But he was unable to protect them from the attacks of Ghilzias and other tribesmen. The tribes men attacked the English soldiers during their retreat. The English army struggled on in misery and privation through show storms and hails of bullets. The retreat became rout and the rout a massacre. About 16,000 persons thus perished at the hands of the Afghan. Only one man namely Dr. Brydon escaped on a pony and reached Jalalabad to relate the tale of this appalling disaster.
It would be wrong to hold Akbar Khan responsible for this disaster because the English had themselves made the Afghans their enemy by their misconduct and not conforming to the terms of the treaty. Hence the Afghans took their revenge when they got the opportunity for it.
End of the Afghan War. The news of the disaster reached England. Lord Auckland became very unpopular and was recalled and in his place Lord Ellen borough was appointed the Governor-General of India. He sent armies to Kabul under General Polack and General Nott and the English prisoners at Kabul were freed. The English army out of revenge mercilessly killed men, women and children and destroyed Kabul. The Afghans had killed Shah Shuja and therefore, Dost Mohammad was again declared as the ruler of Afghanistan.
Thus the English policy in the First Afghan war proved to be a total failure. A huge amount of money was wasted and about twenty thousand lives were sacrificed yet the English achieved nothing in this war.
Criticism of Auckland’s Afghan Policy :
The Afghan policy of Lord Auckland was politically disasterous and morally indefensible. The fear of the Russian aggression was nothing more than a bugbear for the British. Frontier was then separated from Russia’s sphere of influence by a ring of powerful states such as the Punjab, Bhawalpur, Sind and the deserts of Rajputana. Moreover, the Russian out posts were at least a thousand miles away from the Indian boundary and a corresponding distance from their base. Secondly Lord Auckland, who in fact was inspired by Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary, persisted in his policy when the reasons for it such as they were had ceased to exist.
The only though a very poor justification of his policy was the seige of Herat by the Persians. But even the poor excuse ceased to exist when the Persians were obliged to raise the seige. The moral aspect of the policy and its execution spoiled the fair name and reputation of the British. To attack Dost Mohammad was morally indefensible because he had never injured the British Government. As an independent ruler he had every right to ally himself with Persia or Russia. Lastly in marching their troops through Sindh and in extorting money from the Sind Amirs the British were guilty of flagrant violation of treaties recently concluded with them. The Afghans being a brave courageous and freedom loving tribe could not accept the interference of a foreign power. Thus from everypoint of view the Afghan policy of Auckland proved to be a total failure.
Vincent Smith writes : “Lord Auckland had not the sense to see the truth and was led away by ill chosen and unwise advisers to break the treaties only six years old; to bulley the weak, to pursue a fantastic policy, to persist in that policy when the reason for it such as they were had ceased to exist; to violate the principle of Strategy; to throw thousands of lives by entrusting them to an incapable Commander; andfinally at least to acquiesce silently in the garbbing of the documents submitted for the information of Parliament.
” P.E. Roberts has also criticised the Afghan policy of Lord Auckland. According to him: “The Afghan Policy of Lord Auckland has met with practically universal condemnation at the hands of historians, and everyre-reading of the evidence deepens and strengthens the conviction that xhe war was politically one of the most disasterous and morally one of the least justifiable even waged by the British in India.”
Causes of English Failure
1. Great blunder. It was a great blunder of the English to attack the Afghans. The English could not understand the temperament of the Afghans. In the first place it was wrong to interfere in their internal matters. Secondly it was unjustifiable to go against the terms of the treaty made with them. “It was the most unqualified blunder committed ?n the whole history of the British India.” In the words of Dr V.A. Smith “Lord Auckland has not the sense to see the truth and was led away by ill chosen and unwise advisers.” Dr. Ishwari Prased has remarked “Now was the time to stop and think. Even the home authorities advised caution, but Auckland refused to give up his project. ”
2. Death of Ranjeet Singh. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh was the strongest supporter of Afghan War, but he passed away in 1839. When the war was still going on. His untimely death deprived the British the help they were expecting from him
3. Incapable Advisers. Unfortunately the few advisers which Lord Auckland had were unexperienced and incapable. Without thinking of the gravity of the circumstances they advised Auckland to act wrongly which became the cause of unthinkable disaster.
4. Incapable Commanders. The Generals who commanded the British armies were all incapable. Neither they know the Afghans nor their Country. Elphinstin was an old and incapable general.
5. Long journey of the army. Long journey and the weak strategy of the British army were greately responsible for the defeat of the British. Ranj eet Singh did not allow the British Army to pass through his territory. Therefore, the English armies had to take a longer route through Sind and Baluchistan.
6. Helping Shah Shuja to become the ruler. Shah Shuja had already become most unpopular. The company wanted to use him as a stooge. The Afghans were not inclined to accept him as their ruler.
7. British repression in Kabul. The British army had stationed garrision to keep Shah Shuja in power against the popular will of the people. The British soldiers instead of bringing peace and order committed untold atrocities on the people. It brought counter opposition from the people.
8. Ability of Akbar Khan. Though Dost Mohammad had surrendered himself the British and he was sent to Calcutta; yet his son Akbar Khan continued to organise the Afghans. He proved a capable leader of the Afghans.
Relations with Indian States –
- Lord Auckland warned the ruler of Indore that he would be deposed if confusion and misgovernment continued in his state. Being afraid of the warning, the ruler of Indore made many reforms.
- The King of Satara was carrying on correspondence and negotiations with the Portuguese. Lord Auckland asked him to admit his fault when he refused to do so he was deposed and sent to Banares as prisoner. His brother was placed on the throne of Satara.
- Lord Auckland entered into treaty with the Nawab of Oudh, but the British Government disapproved of this treaty. However, Auckland informed the Nawab of Oudh that the British Government had made changes in only a part of the treaty.
Reforms of Auckland. Lord Auckland introduced the following reforms during his Governor-Generalship
- He introduced a large number of Scholarship for the students of Government Schools in India.
- He ordered that the medium of instruction in all primary schools was to be vernacular language of the area.
- He opened Medical Colleges at Madras and Bombay.
- He removed the restriction on Durga Puja and abolished pilgrimage tax.
- In view of the severe famine in Doab, be gave his consent to a vast plan of extending irrigation facilities in that area. But the scheme could not materialise due to the out break of the Afghan war.
6. As regards his reforms in the judicial field heplaced the Englishmen in India on a footing of equality with the Indians.
Estimate of Lord Auckland. According to Trotter: “Cold mannered reticent, shy, good natured, robust offigure, disliking all pomp or parade and delighting in regular official work, Lord Auckland was eminentlyfitted by temperament and long experience to discharge the most exciting duties quiet times. ”
According to Grenville : “He (Auckland) was a man without shining qualities or showing accomplishments, austere and almost forbidding in his manner, silent and reserved in society, unpretending both in public and in private life and in the House of Lords taking a rare and modest part in debate Nevertheless he was universally popular. His understanding was excellent, his temper placed, his taste and tact exquisite, his disposition notwithstanding his apparent gravity, cheerful and under his cold exterior was a heart overflowing with human kindness. ”
According to H.T. Princep; “Lord Auckland was much esteemed by the Society of Calcutta, natives as well as Europeans. He had many anuable qualities and his two sisters specially elder contributed much to establish his popularity. But he was the author of no great measure to improve the internal administration; and in his general policy he showed a hesitation and want of decision that prevented his being looked upon as a Governor- General of whom India might he proved.
He was considered to have yielded too much to his private secretary John Coloin who on occasions when the Governor. General called the members of Council and others into private consultation with himself would take the whole initiative of the discussion while his lordship sat listening with his hands at the back of his head ; and from having thus so much thrown upon him he got the nickname of Lord Coloin among the younger civil servants.”
Thus he was not one of the successful Governor-Generals. Lord Auckland, laid down the reins of office before the close of the Afghan War (1842).
Sketch the career of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and trace the circumstances and resources by which be strengthened his bands and consolidated his empire.
Ranjit Singh –
“A bom ruler of men, Ranjeet Singh is entitled to fame chiefly for his success in effecting the marvellous transformation of the warring Sikh States into a compact national monarchy.”
Career and achievements of Ranjeet Singh. The invasions of Ahmadshah Abdali had created confusion and anarchy in the Punjab. The Successors of Ahmad Shah could not keep control over the Punjab and the province became a ‘no man’s land’. These political conditions were conducive for the rise to power of Sikh misls or military brotherhoods under Sikh chieftains. The important Misls numbered twelve.
Ranjit Singh was born at Gujranwala on 2 November, 1780 in the house of Mohan Singh the leader of the Sukar Chakiya Misl which controlled the territory between the Ravi and the Chenab. His father died when Ranjit Singh was a mere boy of 12. His military career started at the age of 16. Within a few years he made himself strong by annexing the neighbouring territories. Ranjit Singh was a man of ambition and stamina and the political situation at that time was eminently suited for his rise. His aim was to bring all the Sikhs into a compact body under his own Command. He wanted to establish an independent Sikh national kingdom under his own banner.
At the age of 19 Ranjit Singh got an opportunity which greatly enhanced his influence and prestige. He had helped Zam Shah the Afghan ruler (grand son of Ahmad Shah Abdali) in attacking the Punjab. But Zaman Shah had to leave Punjab in a haste and Ranjit Singh volunteered to transport his guns to Kabul if he allowed him to occupy Lahore. Thus in return for the help rendered the Afghan ruler, Ranjit Singh was appointed the Governor of Lahore in 1799.
Conquests of Territories of Sikh Misls
(i) After having been appointed as the Governor of Lahore by Zaman Shah Ranjeet Singh took the possession of Lahore after defeating the Sardars of Bhangi Misl. He assumed the title of Raja after the possession of Lahore. The Chiefs of other misls and the Nawab of Qasur formed a collision against Ranjit Singh. The Collision forces were led by Sardar Gulab Singh Bhangi. Bat soon Gulab Singh died of excessive drinking. This ended the unity of Sikhs against Ranjit Singh. After this the Sikh chiefs could never unite against Ranjit Singh.
(ii) Conquest of Akalgarh and Gujrat. Being encouraged by the occupation of Lahore, R?.ijeet Singh now started conquering the Misls one by one and resorted to aggression. Sahib Singh Bhangi of Gujrat became his first victim. Ranjeet Singh easily defeated him and made him prisoner. Then he conquered Akalgarh on the pretext that Dal Singh of Akalgarb had helped Sahib Singh.
(iii) Capture of Amritsar. Ranjit Singh conquered Amritsar in 1805. Sahib Singh Bhangi was the ruler of Amritsar. Ranjeet Singh demanded the famous gun “Zamzama” which was confiscated by the Sikhs in 1764 from Ahmadshah Abdali. The ruler of Amritsar refused to hand over the famous gun. Ranjit Singh attacked and annexed Amritsar and its surrounding territories to his Kingdom. The Battle was fought at Lohgarh. The occupation of Amritsar is a Land mark in the career of Ranjit Singh as it enhanced his prestige and honour greatly.
(iv) Battle of Dallewala. Tara Singh Gheba was a powerful leader of Dallewala territory. Tara Singh died in 1807 in the siege of Naraingarh. Ranjeet Singh attacked Dallewala and annexed it to Lahore state.
(v) Conquest of Karor Singhia Territories (1810). Sardar Reghal Singh was the ruler of Karor 1 Singhia territories lying to the South of the River Satlej. He had no male issue. After his death Ranjit Singh attacked his territories and annexed them to Lahore State. He allowed some jagirs for the maintenance of his widows Ram Kaur and Raj Kaur.
(vi) Conquest of Faizal puria. This territory lay on both sides of the river Sutlej. Ranjit Singh sent an expedition under the leadership of his Diwan Mohkam Chand. He defeated Budh Singh the ruler of Faizal Puria and took possession of the whole territory comprising of Jullundur Doab.
Annexations of the territories of other Misls (18 tl-1821). In 1811 Ranjit Singh occupied the territory of Nakkai Misl and next year in 1812 the territory of Kanahiya. He then turned his attention to the Misl of Ramgarhia. Its leader Jassa Singh Ram-garhia was a strong man but he died in 1803. He was succeeded by Jodh Singh but he also died in 1815. Now Ranjit Singh invaded his territory and took possession of Ramgarhia territory which fetched him an annual income of six and a half lakh of rupees.
In 1811 Ranjit Singh annexed the Kanhaiya territory of Rani Sada Kaur. The Rani was kept in the prison until her death. Ranjit Singh had already annexed one by one all the trans Sutlej Misls excepting the Misl of Fateh Singh Ahluwalia. With him he entered into a treaty of friendship.
Criticism of Ranjeet Singh’s Policy towards the Sikhs Misls. Ranjeet Singh was a very ambitious man and his aim was to become the ruler of the whole Sikh nation. He developed friendly relations with strong leaders and annexed the territories ofthe weaker ones. Lateef has observed : “The old Sikh confederacies had either all been swept away by his systematic usurpations and grasping policy of a power greater than his by settling themselves in the east of Sutlej. The Kanhayia, Ramgarhia and Aliluwallia Misls ranged themselves under his banner and took pride in following him to the battle field.”
Abolition of Gurmatta (1805). Gurmatta was the Central Diet of the Sikh Misls and often met at Akal Takth (Amritsar) to lay down a common programme against the Muslim Governors and invaders. Under this system all the Sikh Chiefs were treated on the basis of equality. Ranjit Singh abolished this institution in 1805 and assumed the role of the Chief of the entire Sikh Community.
His Policy was aggressive and unscrupulous. He had attacked most of the Misls without any provocation from their side. In the words of Lateef: “ With him the weak were sure to go to the wall and their ruin was the foundation upon which was built his greatness.” The worst example of his unscrupulous policy was the case of Sada Kaur whom he kept into prison until her death.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh could not extend his territory in the East, he tried to extend the same in the West. In 1818 he annexed Multan. He got Kangra from the Gurkhas and Attack from the Afghans in 1818. In 1814 he gave shelter to Shah Shuja and relieved him of his Kohi-Noor. In 1819 Ranjit Singh conquered Kashmir and in 1823 Peshawar passed into his hands. It was formally annexed in 1834. He had his designs on Sindh but could not achieve them on account of the British opposition.
Foreign Policy of Ranjit Singh. Ranjit Singh was a very ambitious ruler. After having conquered the Sikh Misls, he directed his attention towards the neighbouring rulers. He had come into prominence by rendering help to Zamanshah the ruler of Kabul in 1798. He built up big Sikh empire and extended his rule, from Yamuna to Sutlej. The rulers of Jammu and Kasmir also accepted his sovereignty and started paying him tributes . He extended his influence and sway to Multan, Kohistan and Jhang.
The growing influence of Ranjit Singli alarmed Raja Bhag Singh of Jindh, Bhai Lai Singh of Kaithal, the Diwan of Patiala end the Wakil of Nabha. They took a joint deputation and waited upon the British resident Mr. Seton. But they could not get satisfactory response. Lord Minto sent Charles Metcalfe Mission to Lahore to meet Ranjit Singh. Minto wanted neither to fight a war with Ranjit Singh nor did he want to allow him to move ahead from Sutlej. Ranjit Singh himself did not want to pick up quarrel with the English and therefore, welcomed Metcalfe. The treaty of Amritsar was signed in 1809 Sutlej River was agreed upon as the boundary between the territories of the English and Ranjit Singh. It was why Ranjit Singh extended his territories towards the West. Thus before his death in 1839 he had built up a big Sikh empire and leaving aside only the British he was considered the greatest power in India.
Critically discuss the Anglo-Sikh relations under Ranjit Singh from 1809 to 1839.
Review the negotiation connected with Metcalfe Mission and assess the importance of the Treaty of Amritsar.
Describe the circumstances leading to the treaty of Amritsar (April 1809) between Ranjit Singh and the British. Examine the provision and state how it influenced the course of the subsequent history of Punjab.
Anglo Sikh Relations Under Ranjit Singh –
Ranjit Singh’s Cis-Sutiej Expedition 1806. Ranjit Sinph’s am-bition to acquire the Cis-Sutlej territories brought him face to face with another expanding power it the Indian sub-continent, the English East India Company. Ranjit Singh aimed to bring all Sikhs under his bannar. The Cis-Sutlei territory was then being ruled over by the three Phulkian rulers of Patiala, Nabha and Sindh States. Ranjit Singh had already conquered almost all the trans-Sutlej region and therefore, he now directed his attention to the Cis-Sutlej region. Ranjit Singh led his first Cis-Sutlej expedition in 1806. Raja Sahib Singh of Patiala has to submit and accept the decision of Ranjit Singh. The Raja gave him a heavey ‘amount of presents. On his way back to Lahore, Ranjit Singh conquered
Ludhiana and Ghumrana and gave these territories to his followers on the promise of receiving annual tribute from them.
Malwa Expedition 1807. In 1807 Rani Aas Kaur of Patiala invited Ranjit Singh to settle the family dispute between the Rani and her husband. She promised him a jewelled necklace and a gun Karakhan. But before Ranjit Singh reached then the dispute was already settled. Still he received the necklace and the gun. On his way back he conquered the territory of Naraingarh and gave it to Fateh Singh Ahluwalia for an annual tribute. He received presents from several chiefs on his way back.
This expedition alarmed the rulers and Sardars of this region. They took a deputation and waited upon the British Resident.
Sir Charles Metcalfe Mission. Metcalfe met Ranjit Singh for the first time on the 11th September, 1808. At this time the position of Ranjit Singh was quite strong and he wanted to get the advantage of his position as well as the French menace which compelled the English to sue for peace. Ranjit Singh demanded that the English should remain neutral in the case of possible war with Afghanistan and secondly that the English should recognise him as the independent ruler of the Cis-Sutlej territory. But Metcalfe did not give clear cut replies on these points and thus the negotiations between them broke off.
Ranjit Singh’s Third Expedition against Malwa (1808). Ranjit Singh led his third expedition to Malwa in September 1808 and conquered Faridkot and Maler Kotla. He also occupied Ambala and Shahabad. Metcalfe protested against his aggressive expedition but Ranjit Singh did not pay heed to his protests.
The Treaty of Amritsar (1809). The European situation changed in favour of the English. Napolean had been defeated at many places. The danger of French invasion on India had become remote. Therefore, the English adopted a stern policy towards Ranjit Singh. He was given a note of the Governor-General by Metcalfe. It contained some soft worded warnings against his aggressive policy.
This time the British meant business. Ranjeet Singh was asked to restore all the places he has taken possession of since that period to the former possessors and will confine his army to the right bank of the Sutlej. Ranjit Singh was not prepared to accept the demand. However, he withdrew his troops from Ambala and Saniwal but continued to retain Faridkot. At one stage war seemed inevitable. Ranjit Sigh fortified the Fort of Gavindgarh. But in the last stage Ranjit Singh changed his mind and agreed to sign the Treaty of Amritsar in 1809.
Factors which compelled Ranjit Singh to sign the Treaty of Amritsar. Following were the factors which compelled Ranjit Singh to enter into Treaty of Amritsar (1809).
- The defeat of the Akalis. There was a clash between the Akalis and a small body of English troops. A handful of English troops gave a decisive defeat to a good number of Akalis. Ranjit Singh depended to much on the strength of the Akalis. The incident convinced Ranjit Singh that the English army was far superior to the Sikh army
- Firm Policy of the British Government. After the change of situation in Europe, the English adopted a firm policy towards Ranjit Singh.
- The fear of Cis-Sutlej rulers joining the British Government. The rulers of Patiala Nabba and Jindh had expressed their desire to go under the protection of the British. Ranjit Singh rightly feared that they would join the British side in case of war.
- The idea of having no danger from the British in case of a Treaty. The British Army was in close proximity of his kingdom. Pie thought by entering into a treaty he would be free to expand his territory in north and also would be able to consolidate his dominion.
The Treaty of Amritsar was signed on 25th April 1809. The main provisions of the Treaty were :
- The British Government agreed to have no concern with the territories of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to the northward of the River Sutlej
- Ranjit Singh continued to retain the territories on the left bank of the river Sutlej.
- He was not to maintain in the territory of the river Sutlej more troops than are necessary for the internal law and order of that territory.
- In any case of the violation of the provisions, the treaty shall be considered null and void.
Significance of the Treaty of Amritsar. The treaty is considered a land mark in the Anglo Sikh relations. It fixed the Sutlei as the boundary line between Ranjit Singh and the English Company, It was detrimental to the cherished goal of Ranjit Singh to bring all the Sikhs under his own banner. N.K. Surha has rightly observed: “His failure to absorb the Cis- Sutlej States was a tragedy of Sikhs militant nationalism and the success of the Cis-Sutlej Sikhs with the aid of the British Government marked the disruption of the grant creation of Guru Govind Singh”
The Treaty of Amritsar lowered the prestige of Ranjit Singh. The treaty brought British boundary near that of the Sikhs which subsequently led to the annexation of Punjab by the British.
The Treaty gave some definite advantages to the British Government. The English got diplomatic and military victory over Ranjit Singh. It facilitated other victories of the English in India. The Treaty of Amritsar also eliminated the danger of France-Russian invasion on India. The presence of strong and faithful friend in Punjab gave a tremendous advantage to the English.
Ranjit Singh also gained something by this treaty. He was now able to consolidate his dominion in Punjab and in due course became the master of entire Punjab. The treaty also enabled the Sikh states to continue their independence for a sufficient long time. It also helped the establishment of a strong Sikh monarchy in the Punjab.
Anglo Sikh Relations (1809-1839). The Anglo Sikh relations from 1809 to 1828 remained cordial. But the period from 1826 to 1839created frictions between the British and Ranjit Singh. The main cause of the friction was the rich territory of Sindh on which the eyes of the both were riveted. ‘
In 1831, Lord William Bentinck sent captain Burnes, the political agent at Cutch to go to Lahore via Sindh valley to deliver five horses and a coach as a present from William IV, the King of England to Ranjit Singh. The real purpose was to get an authentic commercial report on the importance of Sindh with a view to taking practical steps to occupy it. William Bentinck also met Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Rupar. The purpose was to establish friendship with the Maharaja and to allay his fear about Sindh and then to occupy it himself. Abdul Qadir has rightly remarked regarding the Rupar meeting.
“William Bentinck was then lulling Ranjit Singh to sleep at Rupar so that he may steal a march upon Sindh and bring it under British sphere of influence.”
The British entered into a commercial treaty with the Amirs of Sindh in 183. Thus the British forced the Amirs of Sindh to keep a British resident in Sindh in 1838. Ranjit Singh grew suspicious but he was assured by the British that the treaty was purely commercial.
Shikarpur Affair, 1834. Shikarpur was a commercial centre in Sindh. Ranjit Singh marched towards Shikarpur and occupied it. But the British forced him to Withdraw his forces from that place. Ranjit Singh withdrew from that place. It annoyed his Sardars who wanted to test their strength against the British.
The Question of Ferozepore. After conquering Ferozepore, Ranjit Singh had handed it over to one of his followers for annual tribute. This place was strategically important for the British. The British forcibly occupied it in 1835 and converted it into amilitary .cantonment. Maharaja Ranjit Singh made several protests but with no response.
Ranjit Singh’s forced partnership in the tripartite treaty of 1839. The Russians wanted to extend their influence in Asia and there was an apprehension that they might attack India via Afghanistan.Dost Mohammad Khan ruler of Afghanistan agreed to enter into an alliance with the British provided that the English forced Maharaja Ranjit Singh to give him the territory of Peshawar but this was not possible.
The British then decided to place Shah Shuja who was a British prisoner at Ludhiana on the throne of Kabul, the English wanted Ranjit Singh to sign the tripartite treaty with the English and Shah Shuja. Ranjit Singh was forced to sign the treaty and this made him suspicious of the British designs. But he made it clear that he would not allow the British forces. He also tried to develop cordial relations with Nepal to counteract the designs of the British. In this connection N.K. Sinha writes:
“This cordial relation with Nepal is yet the only thing on which we are to stand if we conclude that if Ranjit Singh had been at the helm of affairs in the Punjab at the time of Afghan disasters he would have taken advantage of the British difficulties, the discontent of the Gwalior army and the hostile attitude of Nepal.” The affairs of Shikarpur, Sindh and Ferozepur had already made him’ suspicious about the British designs. It was very unfortunate for the Sikhs that he died in June 1839 and with his death the British influence increased in Punjab.
Criticism of Ranjit Singh’s Policy Towards British –
Majority of the historians criticize Ranjit Singh’s policy towards the British: –
(i) Ranjit Singh received diplomatic defeats from the British Government on many occasions. It was on account of this that his cherished ambition to expand his empire further was frustrated. He entered the humiliating Treaty of Amritsar with the British. His aim to occupy Sindh was frustrated by the British.
(ii) He did not make any satisfactory arrangements to make the foundations of his kingdom strong.
Dr. Sinha rightly points out that a political alliance means a rider and a horse. He writes: “In this Anglo-Sikh alliance, the British Government was the rider and Ranjit was a horse. The English limited Ranjit Singh’s power on the East, on the South and would have limited him on the West if that were possible. Evidently a collision between his military monarchy and British Imperialism was imminent. Ranjit Singh the Massinissa of British Indian history, hesitated and hesitated forgetting that in politics as in war time is not on the side of the defensive.” When the crast came after his death under far less able men, chaos and disorder had already supervened and whatever hope there had been when he was laying there was no more when he was dead. In his relations with the British Government Ranjit Singh is seen at his worst. He was all hesitant and indecisive.
Give an account of the civil administration and military organisation of Ranjit Singh.
Do you think that Ranjit Singh was a capable civil administrator?
“Governing is an art which may no doubt be brilliantly practised without special training by some men of exceptional genius.” (Sir Lepal Giffin). How far this assertion is applicable to Ranjit Singh?
Give an outline of the organisation of the Sikh army. What specific measures were adopted by Ranjit Singh to increase the striking force of the army?
Administration Of Ranjeet Singh –
Civil Administration of Ranjit Singh. The civil administration of Ranjit Singh can be conveniently discussed under the following headings
(a) Central Government
(b) Provincial Government
(c) District Administration
(d) Judicial Administration
(e) Army Administration.
Central Government. The Maharaja was the pivot of the whole administration. The whole Government machinery revolved round him. However, he was not an autocrat because there were certain limitations over his powers.
They were (i) Council of ministers. The Maharaja always tried to act on the right and reasonable advice of his ministers. The ministers had a great influence on him.
(ii) Ranjit Singh could not Flout opinion ofthe Sikh military nobility of the Punjab.
(iii) The order of the Akalis. The Akalis were considered as the guardians of the Sikh religion. The Maharaja had also to respect the order of the Akalis.
(iv) The Sikh Common Wealth. Each individual Sikh considered himself as a member of the Khalsa comm onwealth. Ranjit Singh always showed due difference to it. The tenth Guru declared that the Sikhs would find the Guru in the Khalsa. Thus the common Wealth became the most potent force ofthe Sikh religious life. Ranjeet Singh always acted in the name of Khalsa. He did not assume the title of King but rather the impersonal designation of Sardar to denote the source or orders. In referring to his government he always used the term Klialsaji or Sarkar Khalsa.
In view of these limitations Ranjit Singh cannot be described as wilful despot or an autocrat.
Departments of the Central Government. There were five main departments of the central government. These were:
- Daftar-i-Abwabil-Mal. Accounts of land revenue other taxes and sources of income were maintained in this department. Nazrana, Akbari,
Wajuhat-i Moquarari, Zabti, Chaukiyat etc. were the main sources of income.
- Daftar-i-Abwabil-Tahwil. This department was concerned with the accounts of income and expenditure sent by the officials.
- Daftar-i-Tojibat. The accounts the of expenses of the royal household and royal harem were maintained in this department.
- Daftar-i-Mawajab. The accounts of salaries of army personnel, civil servants, clerks etc., were kept and maintained in this department.
- Daftar-i-Roznamacha-i-Khareh. The accounts of daily expenses of the Maharaja were kept and maintained in this department. Important men like Bhawani Das, Dinanath and Gangas, Ram held office of Diwans in this department.
Provincial Government. There were four Provinces of the Sikh Kingdom:
- The Lahore Province.
- The Kashmir Province.
- The Multan Province.
- The Peshawar Province.
The Governor (Nazim) was appointed by Ranjit Singh. He used to be a person enjoying the full confidence of Ranjit Singh.
District Administration. The province was further divided into several districts. Each district was under the, charge of a Kardar who collected land revenue from the farmers. Kardar was also a judicial and executive officer. It was his duty to maintain law and order.
Village Administration. A district was divided into Tahsils. Each Tahsil was comprised of a number of villages. The village panchayats looked after the administration of the villages.
Jagirs and Jagirdars. Whenever Ranjit Singh conquered any Sikh Misl he granted some Jagir to the Chief of such Sikh misl for his maintenance. These Jagirdars were independent in their territories and exercised vast powers in their territories over the people.
Financial Administration. Land revenue fetched two crores of rupees. There were different methods of assessment of land revenue. Batai, Kankut system, cash payment, mixed system, plough system etc., were the main systems prevalent during the reign of Ranjit Singh. The state share from the fertile land used to be 1/2 and from the middling and ordinary quality it was 1/3 of the produce. Besides land tax, there were many other sources of income. Duties were imposed upon as many as 40 articles of daily consumption.
Judicial Administration. The Maharaja himself was the fountain of justice in his kingdom. Nazims and Kardars were the judicial heads in provinces and districts respectively. The village Panchayats administered justice in the villages. Criminal law was lenient and severe punishment
were rarely given. Ranjit Singh himself was a just ruler and endeavoured to maintain a fairly good standard of justice.
As a whole, Ranjit Singh was able to maintain perfect peace in the Country. As remarked by Baron Hugel: “During the time when the Punjab was under Ranjit Singh and India was under British Government, the Punjab definitely enjoyed more prosperity and peace than India. ” He treated the people of various religions with an eye of equality and justice and never ill treated any body on the basis of religious differences. The people enjoyed the social, political religious and economic rights. They were allowed to worship according to their own faith and beliefs.
Army of Ranjit Singh. He was very much impressed by the parade and drill of the East India
Company’s Army on the western lines. The Sikh Army consisted of the following :
(a) Fauj-i-Khas or special Brigade.
(b) Fauj-i-Am or regular army.
Fauj-i-Khas or French Legion. This was the model brigade of the Sikh army. It was raised in 1822 by Generals Ventura and Allard. Its normal strength was four battalions of infantry, two regiments of Cavalry, and one troop of artillery comprising 24 guns. Special efforts were made in its training and in points of discipline and equipment it grew to be the best organised section of regular army. The artillery division of the Fauj- i-Khas which was called ‘Illahi Bux ka Topkhana’ because llahi Bux was the best artillery officer in the Sikh Army.
Fauj-i-Am. The Fauj i-Am was the regular army consisting of:
- Infantry. 75000 soldiers divided into battalions.
- Cavalry. It was under General Allard.
- Artillery. With the help of Court and Gardner he set up a number of foundaries at Lahore which cast heavy, guns. In the year 1820 Ranjit Singh had 122 guns and 190 swivels.
Form a critical estimate of the achievements of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Do you agree with the view of Lepai Griffin that he was in the front rank of the Statesman of the Century.
Ranjit Singh was one of the great personalities of Indian history. Make an estimate of his character and achievements.
Evaluation Of Ranjit Singh
Personality and Estimate of Ranjit Singh. Regarding the physical features of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Baron Hugal writes, “I must call him the most ugly and unprepossessing man I saw ‘throughout the Punjab. The scars of small pox on his face form so many dark pits in his grayish brown skin his short straight nose, the skinny lips do not impress anyone. Though his physical features were ugly, yet he commanded a great popularity among its subject. He was very much loved by his subjects both civilians and, military men. He possessed a remarkable memory. Whenever a foreigner came to his Court he asked a ‘hundred thousand questions about India. Europe, Bonaparte, this world and the next world. He was very inquisitive of all sorts of information.
He was a great patron of learning and encouraged education. He patronised Scholars. Zafamama, Fatehnama Guru Khalsaji ka etc., were written at his instance. He was a devout Sikh and always submitted to the religious codes and practices. He always regarded himself a servant of khalsa. He spent money out of his own pocket to build the golden dome of the Golden Temple at Amritsar.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a great general. He shared some of the qualities of Julius Caesar, Nepolean and Alexander of ruling over his soldiers. According to N.K. Sinha: “A good general who shared conspicuous personnel bravery of Noshehra and remarkable tenacity of Mankera, he was more conspicuous in the organisational than in operation at part of campaigns. One of his French officers described him as a man without passions. This remark, however, true of Ranjit Singh is certainly inapplicable to him as a soldier. He was seen to weep as some of his old soldiers approached him with petitions and showed him their wounds. The personal devotion and loyalty that he inspired smoothed the path of duty. But few chiefs exercised more rigid control over the conduct of their troops than he did.”
Ranjit Singh was a bom ruler of men; “Men obeyed by instinct and because they had no power to disobey. The control which he exercised even in the closing years of his life over the whole Sikh people nobles and priests was the measure of his greatness.” He founded a grand Sikh kingdom in Punjab. He consolidated the numerous petty states into a kingdom; he wrested from Kabul the ‘fairest of its provinces and he gave the omnipotent English no cause for interference.
One of the greatest achievements of Ranjit Singh was to have ended all chances of invasion on India from the north west. He started his military career by rendering help to Zaman Shah, the ruler of Kabul but later on he ended the menace of Afghan invasion on Punjab. He was a great warrior and statesman. His genius helped him to create a centralised state.
However, Ranjit Singh had certain faults or shortcomings. Dancing girls had a special charm for him. He was addicted to opium, wine etc. He was not a man of political foresight. He failed to found an enduring state. He himself was responsible to a great deal for the downfall of Sikh empire. According to G.L. Chopra. “Ranjit Singh has been held responsible for the ultimate decline of his kingdom. It is generally said that he committed the grave blunder of allowing the acquisition of vast territorial power and influence by the Dogra chiefs. This view on the whole has a substantial element of truth. ”
But despite his faults and weaknesses, Ranjit Singh deserves a high place in history. The memory of this hero is still cherished by the people of the Punjab. He rolled hack the tide of invasion from the north west and extended his sway up to the north western Khyber Pass. Above all he has left behind a tradition of strength and it is here that history enthuses posterity.’
What was the condition of the Punjab after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. How it was annexed to the British Empire? Discuss.
Explain the policy of British with Punjab between 1839-1849.
What were the reasons for the annexation of Punjab in 1849? Was there any other alternative? How far was Dalhausie supported by his Collegnes ?
Describe the Political Condition of Punjab after Ranjit Singh’s death. Discuss the Causes of the First Sikh War:
Post Ranjit Singh Punjab
Internal Condition of Punjab before the out break of First Sikh War : The death of Ranjit Singh was followed by the reign of anarchy and contusion in the whole of Punjab. Ranjit Singh was succeeded by his son Kharag Singh. But Sher Singh another son of Ranjit Singh and Naunihal Singh Kharag Singh’s son rose in revolt against him. In 1840 Kharag Singh died. His son Naunihal Singh also died in an accidental fall from the Fort wall. Sher Singh declared himself the Maharaja of Punjab in 1841. But he was also murdered. The army became all powerful. It made and unmade kings. Confusion and disorder reigned everywhere. Dalip Singh, a minor was put on the throne. Rani Jindan mother of Dalip Singh became regent. Hira Singh became the Wazir. Throughout this period, it was suspected that the English had their hand in the anarchy prevailing in the Punjab.
In December 1844 Hira Singh was murdered. After this power fell into the hands of Jawahar Singh and Lai Singh, the brother and paramour of Rani Jindan. In September 1845 Jawahar Singh was shot dead and Lai Singh became the Wazir. On 11th December 1845 the Sikh army crossed the Sutlej and on 13th, December 1845 the war w„s declared by the British. Causes of First Sikh War (1845-46)
(i) British Military Preparations. Ranjit Singh’s death was followed by anarchy and confusion. The British wanted to take advantage of this situation. They started making preparations for the war on a large scale.
(ii) British Policy of encirclement. Since 1833 the British had been following the policy of encirclement of Punjab. They occupied Ferozepore in 1835 and Shikarpore in 1836. They forced the Amirs of Sind to keep a Resident in Hydrabad (1838). This policy of encirclement was aimed at to bring Punjab under the British influence.
(w) The British wanted to recover Prestige. After the great setback of the first Afghan war, the British wanted to recover military prestige and the conquest of Punjab could serve the purpose.
(iv) The annexation of Sindh Confirmed the Suspicions of the Sikhs. The British had conquered and annexed Sindh in 1843. The Sikhs feared that Punjab we ald be the next target of the British.
(v) Appointment of Major Broad Foot as the British Agent at Ludhiana. Major Broad Foot was a hot headed man. He declared that all the territories in the Cis-Sutlej region belonging to Maharaja Dalip Singh have been brought under the protection of the British Government. This was unbearable to the Sikh nobles.
(vi) Anarchy in Punjab. After the death of Ranjit Singh Punjab became scene of civil wars, intrigues and quarrels. The army became the king maker in Punjab. None of the successors of Ranjit Singh was capable and efficient to control the deteriorating conditions of Punjab.
(vii) The alleged responsibility of Rani Zindan. The klialsa army had become so strong that Maharani Zindan could think of no other way but to divert its attention to external enemies. Hence she created a war fever in the Khalsa army and the Sikh soldiers became ready for war.
Events of the War. The Khalsa army started advancing from Lahore towards the River Sutlej and entered the British territory on 14tli December 1844. Some of the troops of the Khalsa army en-camped near Ferozepur. Thus the initiative of war was taken by the Sikjis first. The English forces under Hugh Gough advanced from Ludhiana to save Ferozepur.
1. The Battle of Mudki. The first battle was fought at Mudki. The British emerged victorious as Teja Singh, the Sikh leader deserted the army.
2. The Battle of Ferozepur. The first battle was fought at Ferozepur. The Sikhs again suffered defeat due to the treacherv of their Commanders.
3. The Battle of Aliwas. It was the most important battle fought between the British and the Sikhs. At first the English suffered a setback but soon they received reinforcements and were able to defeat the Sikh army.
4. The Battle of Subron. The Sikh army crossed Sutlej at another point under Teja Singh. The Sikhs were again defeated and the bridge of boats collapsed as they were retreating. The defeat of the Sikhs was again due to the treachery and incapability of the Sikh Commanders. Being encouraged with their successive victories, the English crossed the river Sutlej and occupied Lahore.
Thus the first Sikh War came to an end by the Treaty of Lahore (1846). The English had achieved success. If they wished they were in a position to occupy the whole of Punjab. But they- did not annex Punjab at this stage and allowed it to remain a buffer state between British India and Afghanistan.
Treaty of Lahore. The following were the terms of the Treaty of Lahore:
- Dalip Singh was declared to be the ruler of Punjab and traitor Lai Singh appointed as his minister and Rani Zindan was appointed as regent. The Maharaja renounced all claims to Sikh territories on the left bank of River Sutlej- The English were given the territory lying between the Sutlej and Beas rivers.
- The Sikhs were to pay indemnity of VA crores of rupees. But as they were unable to pay such a huge amount, they gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Maharaja Gulab Singh for one crore of rupees to pay the amount of indemnity to the British.
- The Khalsa army was not to exceed 2,00000 infantry and 12,000 cavalry. They had also to surrender all the guns.
- The Lahore government agreed not to employ an Euro-pean without the consent of the English.
- The Lahore Government agreed to give passage to the British troops through Punjab whenever required.
- Henry Lawrence was appointed the British Resident at Lahore and a British force was to remain at Lahore till the end of the year.
Second Treaty of Lahore. The Sikhs being unhappy with the handing over of Jammu and Kashmir to Gulab Singh instigated the Muslim Governor of Jammu and Kashmir to rise against Gulab Singh. The revolt was suppressed by the British force. Lai Singh was made prisoner and sent to Banaras. Rani Zindan was sent to Chunar. A treaty with Lahore Durbar was concluded in December 1846. The terms of the Treaty were:
- A Council of Eight pro-British Chiefs was appointed to administer the affairs of Lahore Kingdom during the minority of Dalip Singh Sir Henry Lawrence was appointed the Chairman of the Regency Council.
- A British force was to be kept at Lahore and the Sikh Governor was to pay 22 lakhs a year for its expenses.
- The Governor General of India was entitled to occupy any fort in the Punjab to garrison it-with British force.
The treaty was a great triumph of British diplomacy. As a result of the treaty English virtually became the masters of Punjab.
Second Sikh War (1848-49)
The Sikhs had been subjected to great humiliation after their defeat in the First Sikh War. Lord Hardinge’s arrangement for the government of the Punjab did not work well. The Sikh Chiefs resented the control exercised by th e British Resident.
Causes of the Second Sikh War
1. The year 1846 was coining to a close for the withdrawal of British troops from Lahore. But Lord Hardings planned to control the Lahore administration for some years more in the name of the minor Maharaja The Resident urged some influential sardars to petition the Company for the retention of the troops.
2. Humiliation of the First Sikh War. The Sikhs were determined to avenge themselves of their defeat in tlie First Sikh war and thereby to restore the fortunes of their kingdom.
3. The desire of Sikh soldiers to wipe of the disgrace of defeat. The Sikh soldiers failed to reconcile themselves to the defeat and disgrace in the First Sikh war. They had lost on account of the treachery of their leaders. They wanted to test their strength once more with the British.
4. Treatment meted out to Rani Zindan. According to the treaty she was to get a sum of 1 ‘A lakhs of rupees per year. This sum was reduced to Rs. 48,000. The Rani was accused of creating mischief and exiled to Banaras. Her pension was further reduced to Rs. 12,000 and she was dispossessed of het jewellery. This treatment was resented by the Sikhs.
5. Revolt of Mulraj. Lahore Durbar asked Mulraj the Governor of Multan to pay the succession duty of one crore of rupees as he had succeeded to the gaddi of Multan after the death of his father in 1814. Mulraj was unable to pay the amount. He was deposed and the British Resident appointed Khan Singh in his place. This enraged the soldiers and they murdered the British officers the very next day and Mulraj regained possession of the fort.
6. Revolt of Sher Singh. Sher Singh was sent by Lahore Durban to suppress the rebellion. But he also revolted and thus the general rising of the Sikhs started. So Lord Dulhausie declared war. The Afghans also joined the Sikhs in the hope of recovering Peshawar.
Events of the War. The battle of Ramnagar 22nd November 1848, the battle of Chillianwala January 12, 1849, the battle of Multan January 20, 1849 and the battle of Gujrat February 1849 were the important battles which were fought. Both the sides suffered heavy losses and casualties. Hugh Gough was criticised in England for his strategy. But in the Battle of Multan British troops achieved success. They Captured Multan. The battle of Gujrat sealed the fate of the Sikhs. The British troops gave a crushing defeat to the Sikhs and the army was forced to surrender near Rawalpindi. Maharaja Dalip Singh was deposed and was pensioned off.
Results. The Punjab was annexed and Dalip Singh was granted a pension of £ 50,000 per year. The Khalsa army was disbanded and the people were disarmed. The annexation of Punjab pushed the frontiers of the British Empire to the base of the mountains of Afghanistan the natural boundary of India, The work begun by Wellesley was thus completed. The administration of the province was entrusted to a Board of three Commissioners. But the Board w^as soon abolished and Chief Commissioner was appointed to rule the province.
The first man to rule the province was Sir John Lawrence. The Punjab was made into what is called a non-regulation Province. The people was disarmed. Slavery and decoity were finally stamped out and simple code of criminal and civil procedure was drawn up. External security was provided for by the construction of a line of fortresses along the north west frontiers. Roads and canals were constructed, the land tax was reduced and every care was taken to induce the people to settle down to a life of peaceful pursuits. The willingness with which the Sikhs fought in the Second Burmese war and their loyalty during the mutiny are ample proofs of the success of the British administration in the Punjab.
Analyse the causes of the sudden downfall of the kingdom of Punjab after the death of Ranjit Singh.
How do you account for the fact that the Sikh kingdom of the Punjab fell with in ten years of the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Discuss the Causes of the rise and fall of the Sikh power in the Punjab.
Downfall OF Sikh Empire
Causes of the downfall of Sikh Empire. The main causes responsible for the downfall of the Sikh empire are the following :
1. Weak Successors of Ranjit Singh. Amongthe successors of Ranjit Singh both Maharaja Kliarg Singh and Slier Singh were in-competent. Dalip Singh was only a minor. There was no strong man after Ranjit Singh who could keep the Sikhs united.
2. Character of Sikh Monarchy. The drawback of monarchy is that it lasts so long as there is some strongman at the halm of affairs. The Sikh monarchy that Ranjit Singh had found naturally needed a strong man unfortunately there was no capable successor and Ranjit Singh’s death was followed by confusion and anarchy. According to Lepell Grille: “The Kingdom founded in violence, treachery and blood did not long survive its founder. Created by the military and administration of one man is crumbled into power when the spirit which gave light was withdrawn.” Inspite of the bravery and strength of the Khalsa army they were defeated by the British on account of treachery and incapability of their own leaders.
3. Unfaithfulness of the Dogra party. The prominent Chiefs of the Dogra party Raja Dhayan Chand, Gulab Singh, Chet Singh, Hira Singh exercised great political influence in Ranjit Singh’s Court. They started a net work of mean intrigues obstructing the smooth running of administration. According to General Gardner : “Both the Jammu brothers Raja Dhyan Singh and Gulab Singh were determined to set up their independent Dogra state in Jammu and Kashmir. ”
4. Treachery of Leaders. The Sikhs lost two wars on account of the treachery of their leaders. They either conspired with the British or left them in the critical situation.
5. The Khalsa Army. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh the Khalsa army had become an all important factor in Punjab. It had assumed the role of king maker. But the army lacked capable leaders. “Heart to dare and hands to execute were numerous but there was no mind to guide and animate the whole.”
6. Determination of the British to annex the Punjab. Since the treaty of 1809 the British Policy was aimed at the gradual encirclement of Punjab and its ultimate annexation.
7. Ranjit Singh’s responsibility for downfall of the Sikh Kingdom.
In the words of N K. Sinha, “The most important factor contributing towards the failure of Ranjit Singh was his adoption of a weak and a vaccilating policy towards the British Government. ” Bismark used to say, “a political alliance between two powers always means one rider and the other a horse. In the case of Anglo-Sikh relations under Ranjit Singh the British Government was the rider and Ranjit Singh was the horse. He never grandly dared. He was all hesitant and indecisive. ”
Criticism of the Annexation of Punjab :
Divergent views have been expressed by the scholars with regard to the annexation of Punjab. Some authors like Duke of Argylle and Marshman defend the annexation of Punjab. While writers like Trotter, Bell and others criticise the annexation of the Punjab on the following grounds.
1. Lahore Durbar did not participate in rising. The British did not take steps to suppress the revolt of Multan: Lord Dalhausie allowed the rebellion to spread so that he might get an excuse to annex the Punjab.
2. The responsibility of the British for the revolt. It was un-just to ask Mulraj to render account of 10 years because he had been governor of Multan only for four years. Their attitude was responsible for the revolt.
Give an account of the British Policy towards Sindh upto the time of its annexation.
Describe the British Conquest of Sindh.
Review the circumstances leading to the annexation of Sindh (1843)? Was annexation a nice piece of rascality’?
On what grounds did the court of Directors disapprove of Lord Ellenborough’s policy towards Sindh? Can this policy be justified on grounds of expediency ?
Lord Ellenborough And Annexation Of Sindh (1842-44)
“With better judgement and less vanity Ellenborough might have been a considerable ruler for he had conspicuous talent and I remember Mr. Gladstone telling me that he thought the best speaker of his day to the House of Lords. As It is he was the shortest-lived and the least successful of all the Governor-Generals. ”
Appointment of Lord Ellenborough and the End of first Afghan War. When Lord Ellenborough was appointed the Governor-General of India in 1842 the condition of the British in India was very critical on account of the First Afghan War. The first thing he did after taking over charge was to successfully end the First Afghan War.
Anglo-Sindh relations from Lord Minto to Lord Auckland. Lord Minto had tried establish relations with the Amirs of Sindh. He sent his emissary to Sindh and atreatywas concluded with the Amirs Sindh in 1809. The Amiss had agreed not to allow the French to settle in Sindh. In 1831 Robert Burnes was sent on a mission to Lahore via Sindh. Outwardly the mission was a commercial one but in fact the English wanted to have a firsthand knowledge of Sindh.
The Treaty of 1832. The Amirs of Sindh were suspicious of the evil designs of both the British and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Amirs of Sindh signed the treaty with the British in April 1832. The English were allowed to trade in Sindh. The rivers and roads of Sindh were thrown open to merchants and traders subject to the condition that no armed vessels or military stores should pass through the country. It was further stiputated that the contracting parties should not “look with eye of covetousness on the possession of each other.” During the First Afghan War, Lord Auckland violated this treaty in the most cynical fashion by marching British troops through Sindh and added injury to insult by extracting large sum of money from the Amirs. Inspite of these high handed proceedings the Amirs abstained from open hostility during the Afghan War even when fearful disasters befell the British army.
Ellenborough’s equally unscrupulons Policy. Lord Ellenborough went a step further and deliberately provoked a war so that he might annex Sindh. Vague charges of disaffection were brought against the Amirs and Sir Charles Napier was sent to Sindh with full civil and military powers. He forced upon the Amirs a new treaty compelling them to cede the greater portion of their territories and to give up the right of coining money. His high handed proceedings at last goaded the Balochis into attacking the British Residency.
Defeat of the Amirs and Annexation of Sindh. Napier now got a pretext for the war which he was provoking. The English defeated the Amirs at Miani and Dabo Mirpur was occupied by Napier on 27th March 1843. Napier sent communication to Lord Ellenborough that: “Peccavi I have Sindh”. Thus Sindh was annexed in 1843. Napier got £ 75,000 as his share of prize money.
Criticism of English Policy to Annex Sindh :
The English Policy as regards Sindh has been severely criticised. Even the Directors of the East India Company disapproved of this policy.
1. It was an act of aggressive imperialism. The policy of the British Government has been unanimously (criticised) and condemned. The Amirs of Sindh had done no wrong. Napier himself wrote in his diary, “we have no right to seize Sindh yet we shall do so and a very advantageous, useful humane piece of rascality it will be. My present position is not however, to my likihg. We have no right to come here and are tarred with the Afghan brush.” According to Moiton : “We have occupied Sindh without any valid causes. The Amirs have done us no harm nor did they owe us anything. But because their destruction was according to our objectives and aims therefore we have brought about their destruction. ”
2. The conquest of Sindh was sequal of the Afghan disaster. The English invented ten pretexts of the alleged complicity of the Amirs with Afghans during in First Afghan War.
3. The policy was based purely on selfish and sordid interests of the British Government. The English wanted to make Sindh as a base of operations against the possible invasion of Russia.
4. It openly violated the existing treaty obligations. The Amirs of Sindh never violated the treaty obligations while the Governor-General violated the treaty obligations in 1838 by ordering his troops to pass through Sindh.
5. The annexation of Sindh was morally indefensible. The Amirs had faithfully carried out the terms of treaties, They had been loyal to the English during the First Afghan War. According to Prof Dodwell : “In this Ellenborough s policy has almost universally been condemned. The Directors of the Company made it a pretext for an embittering attack on a man who had offended them in other ways and the whighs naturally called to attack the man who had not hesitated to expose Auckland’s misconduct. Napier’s phrase ‘a good honest, useful piece of rascality, represents the common judgement. ”
According to Ramsay Mnir : “Sindh is the only British Acquisition in India of which it may be fairly said that it was not necessitated by circumstances and that it was, therefore, an act of aggression. ”
Give an Idea of Ellenborough’s Policy Towards Gwalior
In 1843 Janakji Sindhia, the adopted son of Daulat Rao died without any issue. His widow Tarabai having adopted a son, a regent was appointed with the sanction of Lord Ell enborough. Tarabai dismissed the regent and there followed a scene of intrigue and counter intrigues which seemed too likely to end in a civil war.
The danger of the situation lay in the condition of the army which was strong and turbulent and might join with the restless Sikhs who were on the verge of an outbreack. Lord Ellenborough brought up troops as a precaution and demanded the reduction of the local army. All negotiations failed and Scindhia’s army revolted: The British defeated the armies of scindhia in the battles of Maliarajpur and Paniar. A new treaty was concluded whereby Scindhia’s army was reduced to 9,000 men. A Council of Regency was appointed to conduct the affairs of the minor ruler. The Council of Regency was to follow the advice of the Resident.
Recall Of Ellenborough And His Estimate –
The conquest of Sindh and the war with Gwalior which immediately followed the Afghan disaster made the directors oppose the policy of Ellenborough. They were dissatisfied with him on account of harsh language used by him. Thus Lord Ellenborough’s relations with the Board of Directors deteriorated and he was recalled in 1844.
According to Lord Curzon : “With better judgement and less vanity Ellenborough might have been a considerable ruler; for he had conspicuous talents and I remember Mr. Gladstone telling me that be thought him the best speaker of his day in the House of Lords. As it is he was the shortest lived and the least successful of all the Governor- Generals” Lord Macaulay observed the following in the house of Commons on 19th March, 1843 about Ellenborough :
We have sometimes sent them Governors whom they love, and sometime Governors whom they feared but never before a Governor at whom they laughed.”
Lord Ellenborough was succeeded by Lord Hardinge (1844-48). He was a great statesman and a brave soldier. He had fought against Napolean in the famous battle of Waterloo. The First Sikh War is the most significant event of his reign.
“Dalhausie’s annexations were vast said many.” Comment.
“Dalhausie was a sweeping annexationists.” Give a brief account of the annexations made by him.
“The eight years rule of Lord Dalhausie left more conspicuous results than that of any Governor-General since Wellesley.” Discuss.
Explain the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ of Dalhausie and examine the importance of its implication.
Explain Lord Dalhausie’s Doctrine of annexation as propounded by himself and discuss its application.
“The Governor- Generalship of Lord Dalhausie was marked by a stupendous growth of the British Empire at the expense of many of the Indian States.” —Majumdar
Lord Dalhausie And Annexation Policy (1848-56)
“His predecessors had acted on the general principle of avoiding annexation If it could be avoided, Dalhausle acted on the principle of annexing If he could do so legitimately. ”
Born in 1812, Lord Dalhausie came to India as the Governor General of India at the age of 35. He was one of the greatest Governor-Generals of India. The eight years of his reign are full ofimportant events. Aristocratic and despotic by disposition he was well fitted for ihe new job. His contribution to the building up of the British Empire in India is very great. His annexations were both of war and peace. In the field of social and public reforms Dalhausie’s contributions are equally great as by those who laid the foundations on which modern India has been built up.
Five Principles of his Annexation Policy. Lord Dalhausie’s annexation policy was based on the following five principles :
(a) Annexation by Conquests.
(b) Doctrine of Lapse.
(c) The desire to extend the benefit of British rule of provinces misgoverned by Indian rulers.
(d) Abolition of purely titular sovereignty.
(a) Annexations by Conquest
1. Annexation of Punjab. Though the British had defeated the Sikhs in the First Sikh War yet Lord Hardenge had not annexed Punjab to the British Empire. Although the Sikhs were defeated, their power was not completely crushed and there was still war fever among the Sikh Soldiers who were determined to take revenge of their defeat. Soon after coming to India, Lord Dalhauaie was dragged into the second Sikh War. (See details of the war in the previous chapter). The Sikhs were given a crushing defeat and Punjab was annexed to the British Empire. Maharaja Dalip Singh was granted a pension and sent to England. Sir John Lawrence was appointed the Chief Commissioner who made the settlement of the province on sound footing and also made the Sikhs loyal to the British.
2. Annexation of a part of Sikkim. Two British officers were seized by the Raja of Sikkim. Dalhausie asked him to release the officers. On his refusal to do so, he attacked Sikkim and defeated the Raia and a part of Sikkim was annexed by Dalhausie.
3. Annexation of Lower Burma. The English had defeated the Burmese in the First Burmese War (1824).-Since then, the English developed trade relation with Burma and a British Resident was also appointed at Rangoon.
Causes of Second Burmese War
1. Burmese had been forced to sign the Treaty of Yandaboo. They were not satisfied and wanted to take the revenge. They disliked the, behaviour of the English Resident. The English living Burma sent false complaints against the Burmese Government and thus helped in developing a feeling of animosity between the two.
2. Dalhausie was an annexationist and wanted to expand the British Empire at the Cost of Burma. He wanted to make safe and secure the eastern frontier of British empire. After the annexation of Sikkim in 1849 he decided to annex Burma also.
The Burmese Government avoided war. But Lord Dalhausie was waiting for an opportunity and a pretext to annex Burma. Two Britishers were found guilty for murdering two Burmese working on the English ship. The Burmese Government simply fined them for such a serious offence. Lord Dalhausie got the pretext and declared that the Burmese Government had violated the Treaty of Yandaboo. He claimed heavy damages for the wrong done to English merchants. The Burmese Government could not satisfy the haughty English officer who was sent to demand explanation.
There was exchange of guns and it led to war. The Burmese were defeated, and lower Burma was annexed to the British Empire by a proclamation of 1852.
According to Arnold : “The Second Burmese War was neither just in its origin nor marked by strict equality in its conduct or issue. ”
(b) Annexations by the Treaty of Doctrine of Lapse
The name of Lord Dalhausie is specially associated with the ‘doctrine of Lapse.’ But he was not the author of this doctrine. As early as 1844 the Directors of the English Company had declared that permission to adopt on the failure of natural heirs ‘should be the exception not the rule and should never be granted but as a special mark of favour or approbation.” Dalhausie applied the doctrine of Lapse only to the dependent .states. According to this doctrine on the failure of natural heirs, the sovereignty passed on the paramount power. The policy of Dalhausie’s predecessors was not to interfere in such matters. But Dalhausie found it a convenient means of extending Company’s territories.
Three Categories of States
(i) Those Hindu rulers who did not pay any tribute to the British Government and never accepted the paramountcy of the British power in India. These were the independent states.
(ii) Those Hindu States and Rajas who had accepted the paramountcy of the British Government and paid a regular tribute. They were called Protected allies.
(iii) Those Rajas and Hindus Sardars who had been placed or installed on the throne by the British Government and had been given letter of authority for their re-installation as Rajas. These states were called dependent states.
The Doctrine of Lapse did not apply in the case of the first category of state. In the case of second category of Hindu rulers, it was necessary for them to obtain Government permission for adopting a son to succeed to the throne ; the growing or otherwise of which depended upon the personal wish of the British Government. In the Third category of the Hindu Rajas, the permission to adopt sons was not given at all.
Application Of The Theory
1. Satars. Raja of Satara died in 1848 without leaving any natural heir. He had adopted a son before his death. This adoption’ of son was declared in valid on the pretext that he had not taken the sanction for the same. The Court of Directors declared that a dependent principality like that of Satara could not pass on to an adopted son without the consent of the paramount power. Satara was thus annexed to the British empire. The annexation of Satara cannot be justified in any way. The English had entered into a treaty on the basis of equality.
2. Nagpur. The Raja ofNagpur died in 1853. Before his death hehad directed his Rani to adopt a son. The Rani adopted Yashwant Rao. The adoption was perfectly valid according to the Hindu Law and Customs. But Dalhausie did not recognise the adopted son as the Raja of Nagpur. Hence Nagpur was annexed to the British empire.
3. Jhansi. After the death of Rao Ram Chandra in 1835 his adopted son had not been recognised by the British who placed Raghunath Rao on the throne of Jhansi. Raghunath Rao was succeeded by Gangadhar Rao who died in 185 3. Before his death he had adopted An and Rao as his son. Dalhausie refused to recognise him and annexed the state of Jhansi. The immediate effect of this annexation was that Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi played a very prominent role in the mutiny of 1857 in order to take her revenge.
4. Sambhalpur. In the case of Sambhalpur the deceased Raja had not adopted any son. In 1849 before his death he had expressed the view that his people might obtain the protection of the British after his death. Consequently Dalhausie annexed the State of Sambhalpur also.
5. Jaitpur in Bundel Khand. The state of Jaitpur was also annexed to the British dominion because its ruler died in 1849 without leaving an issue.
6. Bhagat. It was a petty hill state in Punjab and was annexed for want of natural heir to the throne after the death of its ruler in 1850.
7. Udaipur. The state was annexed to the British dominion in 1852 when its ruler died leaving no heir to the throne.
Criticism of the Doctrine of Lapse. The distinction between independent allies, dependent and subordinate states was only an artificial one. Any state could be annexed by merely stating that it was a dependent state. There was no court of appeal to challenge the decision of the Court of Directors of the Company. Lord Dalhausie applied the doctrine to serve the imperial designs. His high-handedness becomes quite evident from the fact that some ofhis decisions were set aside by the Court of Directors. They did not allow the annexation of State of Kasouli. The states of Bhagat and Udaipur were also restored to their former Rajas by Lord Canning.
(c) Abolition of Purely Titular Sovereignty
Under this category the following states were annexed to the British dominions:
(1) Carnatic; (2) Tanjore; (3) Poona. Peshwaship was abolished, (4) Bahadur shah, the Mughal Emperor:
(d) Annexation on the ground of misgovernment. This principle was applied in the case of Oudh. Wajid Ali Shah the Nawab of Oudh led a dissipated life and it was rumoured that the state of administration was utterly rotten during his reign. The British Resident at Lucknow reported that the condition of the province was deteriorating day by day on account of misrule. Dalhausie was waiting for such an opportunity. He did not lose time and annexed the Kingdom in spite of the treaty of 1801.
(e) Annexation by Assignment. This principle was applied in the case of Berar. A lot of money had become due on Nizam on account of the expenses on contingent forces of the English Company. He was compelled to enter into anew treaty with the English by which he gave Berar to the English in the payment of the debts. Berar was annexed by Dalhausie in 1853.
Criticism of Dalhausie’s annexation Policies. Dalliausie’s annexation policy created distrust and feeling of insecurity in the minds of the rulers. It was this feeling of distrust, unrest and in-security created by Dalhausie was to a great extent responsible for the mutiny of 1857.
The application of the Doctrine of Lapse was against the traditions and customs of India. While Wellesley annexed the various territories in India under a subsidiary system on the plea of French menace. Lord Dalhausie, on the other hand, annexed various territories without having any plea and for the sake of merely gratifying his imperial interests.
His doctrine of Lapse is totally unjustifiable because the adoption of a son according to Hindu law was always regarded as valid. Moreover distinction between independent allies, dependent and subordinate states was only an artificial one. According to the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ any state could be annexed by merely stating that it was a dependent state. There was no Court of Law to decide whether the decision of the East India Company or that of the Court of its Directors was valid or not. A Scholar has rightly remaked. “the right of adotion is recognised by Hindus by the law and usages of the Hindus from ancient times with regard to private property as well as succession to sovereign status.”
Describe Lord Dalhausie’s internal administration and reforms.
“Lord Dalhausie was splendid in the organisation of war, but he was more splendid in the organisation of peace.” Describe his important measures of reforms.
Dalhausie as an Administrator. It has been rightly said that as an administrator Dalhausie “has been never surpassed and seldom equalled,” Every department of the administration felt the touch of his reforming hands and he improved what he touched. He re-organised the system of administration by starting the practice of distributing administrative works among distinct departments, and get rid of many antiquoted survivals coming down from the old mercantile days of the Company. A very important change of his time was the appointment of ‘• Lieutoenant Governor for Bengal which till now was incharge of the Governor-General.
This enabled the latter to devote more time to all round improvements. The administrative arrangements which Dalhausie made for the two newly conquered provinces of the Punjab and Pegu in Burma were splendid achievements. The system of appointing Chief Commissioner in a province and giving him all the civil and military powers went a long way to increase the efficiency of the Government. This system was introduced in Punjab, Central Provinces, Oudh and Burma. This measure provided a lot of economy to the Government. The Commissioner was directly responsible to the Governor-General in Council. In each district a district magistrate was appointed and was given wide powers in all the fields.
Social Reforms. Of the Social reforms of Dalhausie the most important was the widow Remarriage Act which legalised the marriage of Hindu widows. Another noteworthy social reform was the removal of disabilities caused by the change of religion. Under the Hindu Law a convert to Christianity forfeited the inheritence. This penalty was now
removed by law. This was a very bold step taken by Lord Dalhausie because it was likely to arouse the ill will of the orthodox Hindus.
Railways, Post and Telgraph. Lord Dalhausie paid his special attention to railways and telegraphs because their improvement was necessary for the defence of the country and in maintenance of peace and order. At the same time he wanted to encourage British investment in India through these means. Lord Dalhausie provided all the facilities and guaranteed interest to the English Corporations. The Government became responsible of the profits which the Corporations might make themselves.
Dr. Ishwari Prasad remarks “As an instrument of imperialism the state guarantee to the contractors was ingenious. As a business proposition it was fraudulent to the tax payer. A few strategic lines were laid at enormous cost to India and extreme profit to.the English Capitalists.”
The introduction of railways and telegraphs proved to be beneficial for India in the longer run. People from different parts of the country came in contact with on another. It also helped in mitigating the rigours of cast system and untouchability. Lord Dalhausie also took steps to reform the postal system.
Commercial Reforms. Lord Dalhausie followed a free trade policy. It was in the interests of the British manufacturers. Dr. Ishwari Prasad says: “The aim of Dalhausie to introduce commercial reforms was to throw open the produce and market of India to the exploitation of the English Capital. In this he was successful beyond his expectations. His reforms were inlets through which economic imperialism reveted its hold upon India.They reflect the evolution of military imperialism into economic imperialism.
The doctrine of Free trade was introduced and proclaimed as one of the m aximum of trade applicable to every country and every clime. All parts of India were declared free. The necessary improvements in light houses and harbour accommodations were undertaken. All checks and hinderances that impeded the flow of goods and capital were removed. The result was that all the coasting industries of India slipped info the hands of English capitalists. Indian capital and enterprise already shydueto the constant wars of British aggression were weighted by Dalhausie’s Commercial and trade innovations.
Their results however were far reaching and they are writ much upon the face of India-industrial poverty, extreme dependence on agriculture and an unbalanced economy. The following figure quoted by Sir. W.W. Hunter one of his apologists as indicating the success of Dalbausie’s Commercial reforms till their own tale of economic exploitation from the Indian point of view. Export of raw cotton rose from 1 Vi million sterlings to 3/i; export of grain rose from 89 million sterlings to 290 million ; the total exports of merchandise rose from 13 Vi million sterlings in 1848 to over 23 million in 1856. On the other hand thetotal imports of English manufactured goods rose from 10 Vi to 25Vi million sterlings during the same years.
Establishment of Public Works Department. Lord Delhausie organised a Public works Department made merchandise roads such as the Grand Trunk Road” and a road from Dhaka to Arakan where hy it became possible for the sepoys to travel from Bengal to Burma without sea. He extended telegraph. He established a uniform half anna postage throughout the length and breadth of the Country. Formerly letter were charged according to the distance covered. Improvements in the means of communications served to consolidate the British rule. He promoted irrigation by digging the Ganges Canal for watering the upper Ganges region. Steamers were also multiplied in the Hooghly, the Indus and the Irravaddy.
Educational Reforms. Lord Dalhausie also paid his attention for the development of education. Sir Charles Wood, President of the Board of Control sent his famous despatch on education in 1854 which is popularly known as Woods Despatch. Following recommendations were made by the Woods Despatch
- Setting up of universities in the Presidencies on the model of London university for conducting examinations.
- The Colleges which were to run intermediate and degree classes were to be affiliated to the universities.
- In each province, a separate department of Education was to be set up.
- High schools and Anglo-Vernacular Schools were to provide education in the Vernacular of the province in which they were situated.
- Institution for the training of the teachers were to be set up.
- Private enterprise in the field of education was recommended. Government grants were to be given to such institutions.
- It recommended for the appointment of a Director General of Education for the whole of India to coordinate the activities of different departments.
- The education was to he of a secular type.Within a few years after the recognition of despatch universities were set up at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.
Military Reforms. Dalhausie’s annexations had extended British India from Bengal in the East to the Punjab and Sindh in the West. The dr earns of Asiatic Kingdom had been realised. A strategic control of these extensive areas necessitated better distribution of the troops. Thus the headquarters of the Bengal Artillery were shifted from Calcutta to Meerut the permanent headquarters of the army were gradually shifted to Simla and this was completed in 1865. The hill station of Simla grew increasingly important and became the seat of the Government of India for a major part of the year.
Dalhausie saw danger in the great numerical increase of the Indian army particularly during the Second Anglo Sikh war. He proposed reduction in the strength of Indian element in the army which despite some reduction stood 233,000 men in 1856 as against 45,000 Europeans. He impressed upon the home authorities the necessity of increasing the strength of European soldiers in India so that an equipoise could be kept between the British and Indian troops. He described the European force in India, “as the essential element of our strength.” Three regiments were added to the army. He protested against the despatch of two European regiments for service to China and Persia.
A new Irregular Force was created in Punjab under the direct control of the Punjab administration and with a separate system and discipline. Gorkha regiments were raised and their strength continually added to. These regiments proved of great value to the British during the crisis of 1857-58. Dalhausie’s reforms if carried out may have delayed the event’s of 1857 but could never have averted it.
Dalhousie’s Responsibility For The Rebellion Of 1857 –
A storm had been gathering in India for a number of years. It burst out in 1857 year after Lord Dalhausie left India. His policy however, justified and legitimate it might have been, had caused a great disquietitude among the Indian princes. The ruling princes in the words of V.A. Smith : “knew nothing about subtle distinctions of dependent and subordinate’ states…………… They simply saw that principality after principality was escheated and annexed for one reason or another, so that no ruler of a native state felt safe the pace was too fast and the cumulative effect of the transanctions profoundly was unsettling ” The Doctrine of Lapse disregarded the customs and prejudices of the Indian people. It broke away from precedents and gave new interpretations to out dated and out moded doctrines.
V.A. Smith blames Lord Dalhausie for lack of foresight. “The out going Governor-General certainly had not the slightest provision of the storm that was to break the next year in May. and had not made any arrangement to meet it he must share with his predecessor the censure due for permitting the continuance of a most dangerous military situation in India. He had not taken any precautions to protect the enormous store of munitions at Delhi which was left in the hands of the native army or to secure the essential strategical position of Allahabad. Whatever thought was devoted to military preparation in India was directed to the Punjab.
Everywhere else the old haphazard distribution of the troops continued, and nobody in authority military or civil seems to have realised the obvious perils incurred.” T.R. Holmes believes that the rebellion that broke out in Oudh was not due to annexation but to the harshness with which the Taluqdars were treated.”
It must be admitted that Dalhausie’s annexations and escheats worsened the situation. He went too far and too fast. His ruthless and injudicious policy provided leaders like the Rani of Jhansi, Nana Sahib, Tantia Tope etc., who channelised the prevalent discontent and proved the brain behind the movement once the soldiers had mutinied. Responsibility for the rebellion 1857-58 partly rests on the shoulders of Lord Dalhausie.
Briefly narrate the main events of the Viceroyalty of Lord Canning.
Describe briefly the circumstances leading to the Elizabethian Charter and point out its importance.
Discuss the reforms of Lord Canning and give an estimate of his character.
Lord Canning (1856-1862)
Appointment of Lord Canning as Governor-General of India. Lord Canning was appointed the Governor-General of India in February 1856. He was a very learned, able and industrious man. He was confronted with a terribie situation as had not been faced by any of his predecessors. Had he come in the peaceful time, he would have proved to be an ideal ruler. He was the last Governor-General under the Company and the first Viceroy under the Crown. His policy was to heal, rather than to inflame, the wounds inflicted by the late Mutiny.
Hence in dealing with the mutineers he sought to temper punishment with mercy and resolutely set his face against the outery both is England andjndia for a ruthless and indiscriminate policy of vengence. For this he was attacked with rabid hostility by the Europeans who in derision nicknamed him “Clemency Canning”, but he maintained his view with a noble disdain of popular clamour. The most significant event of his career was the Mutinyof 1857 or the First War of Indian Independence. He was successful in suppressing the mutiny of 1857. After the uprising of 1857, the British Parliament abolished the East India Company and transferred its power to the Crown. Consequently, Lord Canning was appointed the first Viceroy of India in 1858. ‘
Queen Victoria’s Proclamation (1858). After the uprising of 1857, the British Parliament transferred the power of the East India Company to the Crown by the Government of India Act, 1858. In order to clarify the British Policy and to inform the Indian rulers and people, the British Queen issued a proclamation which was read at a Royal Durbar held at Allahabad on November 1, 1858 by the first viceroy, Lord Canning. The Proclamation laid down theprinciples on the basis of which India was to be governed in future.
Constitutional changes. The shock of the Mutiny brought hence to the British Government the necessity of introducing certain constitutional changes. The most important change was the transfer of the Control of the Indian Government from the Company to the Crown. But it was felt that something more was needed. The mutiny had revealed the fact that the British Government was deplorably out of touch with Indian public opinion and as a consequence there was no understanding between the rulers and the ruled. Sir Bartle Frere pointed out the danger of continuing “to legistate for millions of people with few means of knowing except by a rebellion whether the laws suit them or not.” Hence it was decided to associate a few influential Indians with the legislative business of the Government. The result was the Indian Council Act of 1861.
It added a fifth member to the Governor-General’s Council and enlarged it for legislative purposes by the appointment of additional members, not less than six and noi more than twelve in numbers of whom at least half were to be non-officials i. e., outside the ranks of Civil Service. These additional members were to be nominated by the Governor-General and it was understood that most of the non-official members would be Indians. The function of this enlarged council was strictly confined to legislation. The Act also reversed the policy of centralisation adopted by the Charter Act of 1833 by restoring to the Governments of Madras and Bombay their legislative power. It also provided for the creation of similar Legislative Councils in Bengal, the United Provinces and the Punjab as also in any new province that might be created. The Provincial Councils were enlarged in the same way as the Central Council.
Beginning of the Portfolio system. The Act of 1861 empowered the Governor-General to frame rules for the transaction of the business of the Executive Council. Lord Canning used the power conferred on him to introduce what is called the portfolio system. By it he delegated especial business to individual members of the Council. Thus arose the separation of departments under individual members who on their own initiative dealt with most of the matters in their departments.
Only the most important subjects were placed before the Governor-General and in case of difference of opinion were considered by the whole Council. Thus each branch of the administration came to have its separate official head and spokesman and the business the Government was largely decentralised. This decentralization of the business of their Government made for efficiency and dispatch. It was also a move in the direction of the Cabinet Government.
Significance of Queen Victoria’s Proclamation. Queen Victoria’s Proclamation is a land mark in the History of India because by this Proclamation the British Government assumed the direct responsibility of governing India. It went a long way to improve the contemporary conditions of India. It not only satisfied the Indian princes and Nawabs but also the Indian people because it assured them of peace, prosperity, religious freedom, impartiality and equality of behaviour and appointment on higher posts on the basis of ability and equality. Many scholars and historians regard the proclamation as the founder of a new age because it paved the way for the constitutional development by establishing provincial legislation and giving rights of local self government to Indians.
Clemency Canning. Lord Canning was appointed the first Viceroy of India by Queen Victoria’s Proclamation. He did not follow a policy of vengence towards the Indians after the mutiny. In a latter to Lord Grenvile he wrote: “I will not govern in anger. Justice, and that as stern and inflexible as law and might can make it I will deal out. But I will never allow an angry indiscriminating act or word to proceed from the Government of India as long as I am responsible for it.”
It was on account of this mild policy of Lord Canning that the Europeans in India even called him Clemency Canning. His liberal and tolerant policy again inculcated faith among the Indians and a new7 age of constitutional development, national movement and scientific and physical development began.
His Policy towards Indian States. Lord Canning showed favours to the Indian princes who had helped the British during: the mutiny of 1857. Honorary titles, gifts of money and lands were conferred on them. He abolished the Doctrine of Lapse which was started by Lord Dalliausie. It was made clear to the Indian princes that the British Government would interfere in case of misgovernment but even in that case the Government would take over the administration temporarily and would withdraw after the situation became normal.
Reforms of Lord Canning –
(a) Financial Reforms. The system of financial administration was greatly improved by the appointment of a Finance Member brought out from England. The first member so appointed was James Wilson. He proposed three types of taxes. But his successor Laing proposed only one tax. Thus income tax.was imposed at the rate of 5 per cent on the income of five hundred rupees and more a year. Military and civil expenditure were greatly reduced. The levy on salt was enhanced. Before Canning left India, the financial condition had improved and there was no deficit that was causal by the Mutiny.
(b) Army Reforms. The proportion of the European Soldiers to the Indian Soldiers was not less than one to two here after. It was decided that the Indian soldiers were never to be more than two times of the British soldiers. Artillery was put exclusively in the hands of the European.
(c) Judicial and Police Reforms. The laws were codified. The Penal Code drafted by Macaulay became law in 185.8 and was, followed in the next year by the code of criminal procedure. In 1861 the Sadar Courts of the company and the Supreme Court of the Crown in India were amalgamated to form the High Court in the Presidency towns. According to Indian High Court Act 1861 High Courts were set up at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. The judges of the High Court were now to be appointed by the British Crown.
Canning improved the status of the tenants by the Rent Act of 1859 which protected them against arbitrary evictions by land lords. This Act applied to Bengal, Agra and Central Provinces. Inspector General was the head of the Police department. Deputy generals of Police were also, appointed to assist him in his work. In each district a Superintendent was appointed in order to maintain law order and peace in the district. He was to work under the Supervision of District magistrate. Each district was divided into several circles and each circle was placed under the charge of Deputy Inspector who was assisted by several police men. All high offices of Police were Englishmen and were appointed from England.
(d) Agricultural Reforms. The permanent settlement of Bengal (1793) had failed to protect the interests of the peasants and Labourers who were exploited by thezamindar. Bengal rent act was passed in 1859. Farmers who had been holding lands for 20 years on the same rent were deemed to be entitled of this right since 1793. It was decided that unless an enquiry of a court was made their revenue could not be enhanced. Lord Canning started the agriculture of tea and coffee on the hilly strips of the Himalayas.
(e) Educational Reforms. Universities were set up at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. There was only the examining universities and were established on the model of London university.
(f) Administrative Reforms. Pegu and Arakan provinces of British, Burma were placed under the charge of a Chief Commissioner. Nagpur, Saugar and the Narbade districts were formed into central provinces and were placed under the charge of a Chief Commissioner. Sikkim was incorporated into British empire.
Other works of Lord Canning. East India Railway was opened between Calcutta and Allahabad in 1861. In 1859-60 there were disputes between European indigo planters and the Bengal, peasantry. The planters wanted to force the tenants to cultivate indigo, it led to riots. A commission was appointed to enquire into the matter. It was decided that the tenant should not be liable to criminal prosecution for refusal to fulfil a civil contract to grow indigo.
There were severe famines in North West Provinces of Agra and Oudh and parts of Rajputana and Punjab. These famines accounted for the lives of 10 per cent of population in the famine stricken areas. A lot of money was spent on the relief measures.
Estimate of Lord Canning. Lord Canning was one of the greatest Governor General and Viceroys of India. He was a man of versatile genius. He was highly intellectual. He worked very hard and did not care even for his physical health. He suppressed the mutiny with great tact and energy. He did not follow the policy of vengeance towards the Indians. “He was a noble man who never in the midst of greatest peril allowed his judgement to be swayed by passion or his fine sense of honour and justice to be tarnished by even a passing feeling of revenge.” According to Tratter, “His name will stand fair in English memoirs as that of fearless true hearted Englishman who encountered on the whole with credit, the two fold misfortune of a great sepoy Revolt and a predecessor unmatched in Indian History.”
We may conclude with a remark of Lord Curzon that Lord Canning “Stands in Indian His tory as one of the most pathetic but also one of the most heroic figures that have represented the name and upheld the honour of England,”