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The system of governance was instituted in 1858 when the rule of the East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria(who in 1876 was proclaimed Empress of India). In 1858, British Crown rule was established in India, ending a century of control by the East India Company.

The life and death struggle that preceded this forming of British control lasted nearly two years, cost 36 million,

It is referred to as the 'Great Rebellion', the 'Indian Mutiny' or the 'First War of Indian Independence'. The part of the Indian subcontinent under direct British administration until India's independence in 1947. The 17 provinces of India formerly governed by the British under the British sovereign: ceased to exist in 1947 when the independent states of India and Pakistan were created.

The Mughal Emperor Jahangir received the first British ambassador Sir Thomas Roe in 1612. Under Roes effective communication a treaty was signed between the Mughals and British according to which British became their unspoken, unsaid, naval aide. By 1674 Bombay came to the British as part of the dowry of Charles II's Portuguese queen Catherine. Soon after the death of Aurangzeb, India was invaded by Afghans. During the time when British were slowly moving towards gaining powers in India, they had to deal with their long time enemies French. Between 1746-48 the French and English finally came to blows in the first Carnatic War (1746-48) in the Deccan. Rising above all major fights and battles British slowly captured entire India after the major battles like battle of Plassey that turned the trading power to a ruling power.

Battle of Plassey

With growing profits and gaining power British soon wanted to have strong hands in the Administration of India. The Mughals gave Dastaks or permits to Britishers allowing the Britishers to collect taxes. This when opposed by the ruler of Bengal led to the famous Battle of Plassey. The Battle of Plassey fought in 1757 was a decisive battle in establishing the rule of British in India. Siraj ud daullah was the Nawab of Bengal at that time.

The battle occurred on June 23, 1757 at Palashi of Murshidabad, on the bank of Bhagirathi River. Murshidabad, which is about 150 km north of Calcutta, was then capital of Bengal. It was fought between the British Army and the Nawab along with his French Allies. The army commander Mirzafar of Siraj Ud Daulah`s side betrayed in the battle of Plassey and thereby the whole force of Nawab collapsed and as a consequence, the entire province of Bengal came under British. The East India Company further monopolized trade in Bengal. In order to spread their control across India, Britishers annexed many princely states and forced their own laws to be implemented. This led Britishers to control over entire India slowly and steadily.

The Pitts Act

After the Regulating Act of 1773, another important step taken by the British Parliament was the appointment of a Board of Control under Pitt's India Bill of 1784. It provided for a joint government of the Company (represented by the Directors), and the Crown (represented by the Board of Control). A Board of six members constituting two members of the British Cabinet and four of the Privy Council was formed. The Board had all the powers and control over all the acts and operations, related to the civil, military and revenues of the Company. In 1786, a supplementary the Bill appointed Lord Cornwallis was as the first Governor-General, and he then became the effective ruler of British India under the authority of the Board of Control and the Court of Directors.

Effects on the economy

India saw rapid development of all those technologies.

Unlike Britain itself, where the market risks for the infrastructure development were borne by private investors, in India, it was the taxpayersprimarily farmers and farm-labourerswho endured the risks, which, in the end, amounted to 50 million.

By the last decade of the 19th century, a large fraction of some raw materialsnot only cotton, but also some food-grainswere being exported to faraway markets.

Many small farmers, lost land, animals, and equipment to money-lenders. There was also an increase in the number of large-scale famines in India with ten of millions dying.

As British Administration annexed different states, many previously appointed soldiers were left jobless.

The Indian soldiers employed under the British were made to use a special type of cartridge that was to be bitten off before being loaded in a rifle. It was rumored that the cartridges were greased with cow and pig fat. This angered the Hindus and Muslims as it hurt their religious sentiments and led to Sepoy Mutiny.

Doctrine of Lapse: Lord Dalhousie introduced an annexation policy according to which any princely states would directly come under British control in case the ruler does not have a son.

Forced Christianity: The British started to impose Christianity to provoke people further. Taxes were collected form temples and mosques and Hindu and Muslim soldiers were asked to accept the faith of Christianity.

Divide and Rule: The policy adopted by Britishers was sometimes summed up as Divide and Rule, taking advantage of the enmity festering between various princely states and social and religious groups.

India Uprising
With time many acts and amendments passed by Britihers met with dissatisfaction and resentment by the Indians. As a result the Indians formed large groups and revolted against the British. Each movement was brutally crushed the British forces. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lala Rajpat Rai, Subhash Chandra Bose, etc. arose and openly condemned the British. They were people's leaders who inspired the masses not to be afraid of the forces.

In early 1946, new elections were called in India in which the Congress won electoral victories in eight of the eleven provinces.

The negotiations between the Congress and the Muslim League, however, stumbled over the issue of the partition.


Jinnah proclaimed August 16, 1946,Direct Action Day, with the stated goal of highlighting, peacefully, the demand for a Muslim homeland in British India.


The following day Hindu-Muslim riots broke out in Calcutta and quickly spread throughout India.