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Chapter 14- Governor Generals of Bengal And India, and Their Important Works

Governor Generals of Bengal And Their Important works


Robert Clive 
(1957-60) and (1765 -67)
  • First Governor General of Bengal.
  • He started dual system in Bengal in 1765.
Warren Hastings 
(1772-1785)
  • Brought the Dual- govt of Bengal to an end by the Regulating Act, 1773.
  • Ended Dual System in 1772, Calcutta became capital in the same year
  • Abolished system of Dastak (free duty passes).
  • Introduced  uniform system of Pre-Paid Postage System
  • Great patron of oriental learning, founded the Asiatic society of Bengal with William jones in 1784.
  • Known for Expansionist Policy
  • Wars - Rohilla War(1774), Ist Anglo-Maratha, 2nd Anglo-Maysore
  • Impeached by the Pitts Act 1784
Lord Cornwallis 
(1786-1793)
  • Known for two P's ie. Police Reforms, Permanent Settlement (Zamidaari Sys)
  • First person to codify laws. "Cornwallis Code"
  • The civil service was brought into existence.
  • War - 3rd Maysore War with Tipu
Lord Wellesley
  • Adopted the policy of Subsidiary alliance. Hydrabad was first state under this alliance
  • Called himself 'Bengal Tiger'
  • Wars - 4th Anglo-Maysore, 2nd Maratha
  • “He turned the East India Company from a trading corporation into an imperial power”


Governor Generals of India and Their Important Works


Lord William Bentinck
(1828-1835)
  • Carried out the social reforms like Prohibition of Sati (1829) and suppression of thugs (1830).
  • Made English the medium of higher education in the country (after  recommendation of Macaulay)
  • Laid foundation of Calcutta Medical College.
  • Suppressed female infanticide and child sacrifice.
  • Charter Act of 1833 was passed; made him the First Governor General of India.
Lord Dalhousie 
(1848-1854)
  • Opened first Indian railway line in 1853 (Bombay to Thane).
  • Laid out the telegraph services in 1853 (Calcutta to Agra).
  • Introduced the Doctrine of Lapse and captured Satara (1848), Jaipur  and Sambhalpur (1849), Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1853)  and Nagpur (1854).
  • Annexed lower Burma
  • In 1852, ‘Wood’s Dispatch’ was passed. For the comprehensive scheme of education at primary, secondary and collegiate levels.
  • created a separate Public Works Department (PWD)
  • laid the foundations of the engineering service in India.
Lord Canning 
(1856-1862)
  • The Last Governor and First Viceroy of India.
  • Mutiny took place in his time.
  • On Nov 1858, the rule passed on to the crown from East India company.
  • The universities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were established in 1857.
Lord Lytton 
(1876-1880)
  • Organised the Grand ‘Delhi Durbar’ in 1877 to decorate queen Victoria with the title of Kaiser-i-Hind.
  • Passed Vernacular Press act & Arms Act both in (1878)
  • Introduced  Uniform Salt Tax
  • Wars - 2nd Afgan War 
Lord Rippon 
(1880-1884)
  • Repealed Vernacular Act Press Act (1878)
  • Introduced Factory Act (1881)
  • Passed the local self government Act & Hunter Commission(for expansion of elementary education) (1882)
  • Passed Ilbert Bill (1883) which enabled Indian district magistrates to try European criminals.
Lord Dufferin 
(1884-1888)
  • Indian National Congress was formed during his tenure.
Lord Curzon 
(1899-1905)
  • Brought Calcutta Corporation Act (1899)
  • Instituted Universities Commission & Police Commission (under Andrew Frazer) both in (1902)
  • Passed Ancient Monument Act (1904)
  • Partitioned Bengal (october 16,1905) into two provinces.
Lord Hardings 
(1910-1916)
  • Partition of Bengal was cancelled (1911); Capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi (1911).
Lord Chelmsford 
(1916-1921)
  • The government of India act in 1919 (Monatgue-chelmsford reforms) was passed.
  • Rowlatt Act 1919; Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (April 13,1919)
  • Non-Cooperation Movement.
Lord Irwin 
(1926-1931)
  • Simon Commission visited India in 1928.
  • Dandi march (Mar 12,1930).
  • Civil Disobedience Movement (1930).
  • First round table conference held in England, 1930.
  • Gandhi – Irwin Pact (March 5, 1931) was signed and Civil Disobedience Movement was withdrawn.
Lord Willingdon 
(1931-1936)
  • Communal Awards (aug 16, 1932)
  • Poona Pact was signed.
  • Government of India Act (1935) was paased.
Lord Linlithgow 
(1936-1944)
  • Cripps Mission in 1942
  • Quit India Movement in 1942
Lord Wavell 
(1944-1947)
  • Cabinet Mission Plan.
Lord Mountbatten
(March 1947- Aug 1947)
  • Last Viceroy of British India and The first Governor General of Free India.
  • Indian Independence act passed by the British parliament on july 4, 1947, by which India became independent on August 15, 1947
  • Retired in june 1948 and was succeeded by C. Rajagopalchari (The first and last Indian Governor General Of Free India).

Brief of Several Policies


Subsidiary Alliance
  • Any Indian ruler who entered into the subsidiary alliance with the British had to maintain a contingent of British troops in his territory.
  • The Indian state was called ‘the protected state’ and the British hereinafter were referred to as ‘the paramount power’.
  • It was the duty of the British to safeguard that state from external aggression and to help its ruler maintain internal peace.

Defects of the Subsidiary System

The immediate effect of the establishment of subsidiary forces was the introduction of anarchy because of the unemployment of thousands of soldiers sent away by the Indian princes.

Introduction of English Education

The introduction of English Education was a significant event of Lord William Bentinck’s administration. He appointed a committee headed by Lord Macaulay to make recommendations for the promotion of education.

Doctrine of Lapse

The Doctrine of Lapse was an annexation policy purportedly devised by Lord Dalhousie.
According to the Doctrine, any princely state or territory under the direct influence (paramountcy) of the British East India Company (the dominant imperial power in the subcontinent), as a vassal state under the British Subsidiary System, would automatically be annexed if the ruler was either "manifestly incompetent or died without a direct heir".

Revenue Administration

The Permanent Settlement
Planned by - John Shore
  • Lord Cornwallis most conspicuous administrative measure was the Permanent Land Revenue Settlement of Bengal, which was extended to the provinces of Bihar and Orissa.
  • Zamindars as owner of the land. They keep 1/11th of revenue with them & gave 10/11th to britishers

Ryotwari Settlement
Introduced by - Sir Thomas Munro in Madras Presidency
Approved by - Lord Hasting
In this system there is direct settlment with the Farmers

Mahalwari Settlement
  • In 1833, the Mahalwari settlement was introduced in the Punjab, the Central Provinces and parts of North Western Provinces.
  • Under this system the basic unit of revenue settlement was the village or the Mahal
  • Mahalwari system eliminated middlemen between the government and the village community

Vernacular Press Act and the Arms Act (1878)
  • Vernacular Press Act empowered a Magistrate to secure an undertaking from the editor, publisher and printer of a vernacular newspaper that nothing would be published against the English Government.
  • Arms Act prevented the Indians to keep arms without appropriate license. Its violation would be a criminal offence.

Local Self-Government (1882)
  • Ripon helped the growth of local bodies like the Municipal Committees in towns and the local boards in taluks and villages.
  • The local bodies were given executive powers with financial resources of their own.

Hunter Commission (1882)
  • Commission recommended for the expansion and improvement of the elementary education of the masses.
  • The Commission suggested two channels for the secondary education-one was literary education leading up to the Entrance Examination of the university and the other preparing the students for a vocational career.

First Factory Act (1881)
  • Lord Ripon introduced the Factory Act of 1881 to improve the service condition of the factory workers in India.
  • The Act banned the appointment of children below the age of seven in factories. It reduced the working hours for children.

Ilbert Bill Agitation (1884)
  • According to the system of law, a European could be tried only by a European Judge or a European Magistrate.
  • C.P. Ilbert, Law Member, introduced a bill in 1883 to abolish this discrimination in judiciary.

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