- British India
British India refers to those parts of the
Indian subcontinentthat were directly administered by the British government's India Officebetween the Government of India Act 1858and the Partition of Indiain 1947. [1. Kakar, S. (1996) [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1037096 "Leprosy in British India, 1860-1940: colonial politics and missionary medicine"] , "Medical History". 40 (2): 215–230. 2. Blunt, Alison. (2002) [http://hwj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/54/1/49 ‘Land of our Mothers’: Home, Identity, and Nationality for Anglo-Indians in British India, 1919–1947] , "History Workshop Journal" 54(1):49-72] It did not include the Indian Princely States.Chaudry, Mahinder D., ' [http://www.jstor.org/pss/1152050 National Income Statistics of India] ', in "Economic Development and Cultural Change", Vol. 13, No. 1, Part 1 (Oct., 1964), pp. 107-114: Footnote (2) on p. 107: "The term "British India" did not include the areas of the Indian Princes but referred only to the provinces directly under British administration."] [Chandrasekhar, S., "India's Population: Fact and Policy" (The John Day Company, 1946, 120 pgs), Introduction: "In all the statistical source material the term "British India" is used. This refers only to the eleven provinces, as distinguished from the five hundred and more states which constitute the State-India or the Princely India". ]
The term also refers to the regions of India under the control of the
Honourable East India Company, especially from 1765 to 1858 [Edney, M.E. (1997) [http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=synopsis&bookkey=40921 "Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765-1843"] , University of Chicago Press. 480 pages. ISBN 9780226184883] [Hawes, C.J. (1996) [http://books.google.com/books?id=d22WUEmG49IC&dq=+%22British+India%22&lr=&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0 Poor Relations: The Making of a Eurasian Community in British India, 1773-1833] . Routledge, 217 pages. ISBN 0700704256.] [Drayton, Robert Harry, "The Statutes: From the Twentieth Year of King Henry the Third to the Tenth Chapter of the Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Years of King George the Sixth AD 1235-1948", Statutes of the Realm - Law - 1770 Page 211 (3): "Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the law of British India and of the several parts thereof existing immediately before the appointed..."] For that period, see Company rule in India.
Until 1937, British India included
Adenand Burma; its provinces and territories now constitute parts of the independent countries of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Yemen, and Sri Lanka.
Origins under the Honourable East India Company
Honourable East India Companywas established in 1600 as 'The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies'. In 1612, the emperor Jahangirgranted it the right to maintain a trading post, or 'factory', in Surat, and in 1640, with permission from the Vijayanagara Empire, a second outpost was established in Madras. In 1668, the Company leased the island of Bombay, gained by England as part of the dowryof Catherine of Braganza, and in 1687 the Company moved its headquarters from Surat to Bombay. In 1690, a Company settlement was established in Calcutta. After the Battle of Plassey(1757), the Nawab of Bengalsurrendered his dominions to the Company, which gained the right to collect revenues in Bengaland Bihar, and in 1772 the Company established its capital in Calcutta and appointed its first Governor-General of India, Warren Hastings.
In 1858, as a result of the
Government of India Act 1858, which followed the Indian Rebellion of 1857(contemporaneosly called the Indian Mutiny), the task of administering the British possessions in India was transferred to the India Office, a department of the British government, thus creating a new statutory British India.
Government of India Act 1858, the term 'British India' meant those parts of India under the control of the Honourable East India Company. [ [http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1867 The History of British India by James Mill, Esq., in six volumes] (London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 3rd edition, 1826), online at oll.libertyfund.org, accessed 7 September 2008] The Government of India Act 1858 transferred the task of administering the British possessions in India to the India Office. ["Imperial Gazetteer of India", volume IV Administrative (1909 edition) [http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V04_068.gifp. 39] online at uchicago.edu, accessed 7 September 2008]
Some Acts of the Governor-General of India of the 1860s began to define the term 'British India'. For instance, the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1865 contained the following definition: quote|British India means the territories which are or shall be vested in Her Majesty or her successors by the Statute 21 and 22 Vic. cap 106, entitled "An Act for the Better Government of India". [Karaka, Dosabhai Framji, "History of the Parsis Including Their Manners, Customs, Religion and Present Position", Appendix B, [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZKzR3PXY5D4C&pg=RA1-PA299&lpg=RA1-PA299&dq=India&source=web&ots=lINM9ziMli&sig=D95TkTE36mozyTLJd9f-m2_4BHA&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PRA1-PA298,M1 page 299] online at books.google.co.uk, accessed 28 August 2008]
The British Parliament's Interpretation Act 1889 defines the term as follows: quote|The expression "British India" shall mean all territories and places within Her Majesty's dominions which are for the time being governed by Her Majesty through the
Governor-General of India, or through any Governor or other officer subordinate to the Governor-General of India. The expression "India" shall mean British India together with any territories of an Native Prince or Chief under the suzeraintyof Her Majesty, exercised through the Governor-General of India, or through any Governor or other officer subordinate to the Governor-General of India. [52 & 53 Vict. cap. 63, sec. 18)] ["Imperial Gazetteer of India", volume IV Administrative (1909 edition) [http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V04_088.gifpp. 59-60] online at uchicago.edu, accessed 7 September 2008]
Government of India Act 1935(26 Geo. V &1 Edw. VIII Ch. 2) says: quote|"British India" means all territories for the time being comprised within the Governors' Provinces and the Chief Commissioners' Provinces. [ Government of India Act 1935(26 Geo. V &1 Edw. VIII Ch. 2) quoted in [http://khadc.nic.in/snippets/The%20Government%20of%20India%20Act,%201935.pdf Government of India Act 1935 (extracts)] online at nic.in, accessed 3 September 2008]
It is important to notice that the definition of 'British India' excludes the Indian Princely States.Chaudry, Mahinder D., ' [http://www.jstor.org/pss/1152050 National Income Statistics of India] ', in "Economic Development and Cultural Change", Vol. 13, No. 1, Part 1 (Oct., 1964), pp. 107-114: Footnote (2) on p. 107: "The term "British India" did not include the areas of the Indian Princes but referred only to the provinces directly under British administration."] [Chandrasekhar, S., "India's Population: Fact and Policy" (The John Day Company, 1946, 120 pgs), Introduction: "In all the statistical source material the term "British India" is used. This refers only to the eleven provinces, as distinguished from the five hundred and more states which constitute the State-India or the Princely India". ] In 1909, the "Imperial Gazetteer of India" said: quote|India, lying within the limits thus defined, consists of two parts, British India and the territories of Native chiefs, or to use the more common phrase, Native States. ["Imperial Gazetteer of India", volume IV Administrative (1909 edition) [http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V04_088.gifpp. 59-60] online at uchicago.edu, accessed 7 September 2008]
In 1925, the "
Literary Digest"'s "1925 Atlas of the World and Gazetteer" reported under 'India': quote|The term British India includes the districts subject to British law, the area of which is 1,093,074 square miles. The Indian States or Agencies having political relations with the Indian Government have an area of 709,555 square miles, thus making the total area of India and Dependencies 1,802,629 square miles. [http://www.scribd.com/doc/3281859/1925-World-Atlas-and-Gazetteer 1925 World Atlas and Gazetteer] published by Funk & Wagnalls, online at scribd.com, accessed 4 September 2008]
In 1945, the princely states made up two-fifths of the territory of the Indian Empire, but contained only one fifth of its population. British India, conversely, covered some three-fifths of the Empire's territory and held some eighty per cent of its population. ["Imperial Gazetteer of India", Atlas (1909), map titled POLITICAL DIVISIONS OF THE INDIAN EMPIRE illustrated by " for 1945, quoted at [http://flagspot.net/flags/in-colon.html British Rule in India] at flagspot.net, accessed 4 September 2008]
In short, 'British India' has a well-established meaning and relates only to the parts of India under British administration and subject to British law."
Imperial Gazetteer of India", volume IV Administrative (1909 edition) [http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?volume=4&objectid=DS405.1.I34_V04_045.gifp. 16] online at uchicago.edu, accessed 7 September 2008]
ystem of government
The Honourable East India Company's Governors General held autocratic powers, being responsible only to a Court of Directors in London, itself answering to a Court of Proprietors (as shareholders) and to parliament through a Board of Control headed by the
President of the Board of Control. The Board was created by Pitt's India Actof 1784 and was intended to bring the Company's administration under British government control. [ [http://www.indhistory.com/pitts-act.html Pitt's Act] at indhistory.com, accessed 4 September 2008]
The Act of 1858, in transferring power from the Honourable East India Company to the Crown, established a new system of government. The Court of Directors, Court of Proprietors, and Board of Control were replaced by a
Secretary of State for India(a cabinet minister of the British government), assisted by a Council, which he was required to consult, except in matters of urgency. Members of the Secretary of State's Council were at first appointed for life, later for ten years. A Viceroy & Governor General was to be appointed, normally for a five year term of office, and was to reside in India, and supreme authority in India was the Viceroy's. All executive orders and all legislation were made in the name of 'the Governor General in Council'. [Hunter, William Wilson, "The Indian Empire" (London: Trubner & Co., 1886) [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yUhvfR1S_UEC&pg=PA433&lpg=PA433&dq=India&source=web&ots=vfUAPgkOfM&sig=BVaC5j4Ksx6uw1QzgfYcmNxEu6M&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPA431,M1 Chapter XVI] online at books.google.co.uk, accessed 28 August 2008]
According to the "
Imperial Gazetteer of India" (1909 edition): quote|The Governor-General-in-Council is responsible for the entire administration of British India and for the control exercised in varying degrees over the Native States. The actual work of administration is, however, divided between the Government of India and the Local Governments. The Government of India ["Footnote": Also termed the Supreme Government, in contradistinction to the subordinate Provincial administrations] that is to say the Governor-General-in-Council, retains in its own hands all matters relating to foreign relations, the defences of the country, general taxation, currency, debt and tariffs, posts, telegraphs and railways." Imperial Gazetteer of India", volume IV Administrative (1909 edition) [http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?volume=4&objectid=DS405.1.I34_V04_045.gifp. 16] online at uchicago.edu, accessed 7 September 2008]
Presidencies and provinces
The three longest established Provinces of British India were the
Madras Presidency(established 1640), the Bombay Presidency(the Honourable East India Company's headquarters were at Bombayfrom 1687), and the Bengal Presidency(established 1690). To these were added: Ajmer-Merwara(ceded by Sindhiaof Gwaliorin 1818); Coorg(annexed 1834); the North-Western Provinces(established 1835 out of the Bengal Presidency, later renamed the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh; Punjab (established 1849); Nagpur Province(created 1853, merged into Central Provinces 1861); the Central Provinces (created 1861 from Nagpur Province and the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories, renamed the Central Provinces and Berar1903); Burma(lower Burma annexed 1852, made a province 1862, upper Burma added 1886, separated from British India 1937); Assam(separated from Bengal 1874); Andaman and Nicobar Islands(established as a province 1875); Baluchistan (organized into a province 1887); North-West Frontier Province(created 1901 out of districts of the Punjab Province); East Bengal(separated from Bengal 1905, but reintegrated 1912); Bihar and Orissa (separated from Bengal 1912, renamed Bihar 1935; Orissa(separated from Bihar 1935); Delhi(separated from Punjab 1912, when it became the capital of British India); Aden (separated from Bombay Presidency as a province of India, 1932, became Crown Colony of Aden, 1937); Sindh; Panth-Piploda(new province, 1942).
There were seventeen remaining Provinces of British India at the time of partition and independence:
Ajmer-Merwara-Kekri, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Baluchistan, Bengal Province, Bihar, Bombay Province, Central Provinces and Berar, Coorg, Delhi Province, Madras Province, North-West Frontier Province, Panth-Piploda, Orissa, Punjab, Sindh, and the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.
Of these, three, Baluchistan, the North-West Frontier, and Sindh became parts of Pakistan, while two more, Bengal and Punjab, were partitioned between India and Pakistan, and the remainder became provinces of the Union of India.
British India possessed a system of law and network of courts, which were not shared with the rest of India. It was subject to the laws of British India, which flowed directly or indirectly from legislation of the British parliament and from the legislative powers which those laws vested in the local and central governments of British India. Other parts of India were not."Imperial Gazetteer of India", volume IV Administrative (1909 edition) [http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V04_089.gifp. 60] online at uchicago.edu, accessed 7 September 2008] . The "Imperial Gazetteer of India" of 1909 says: quote|The most obvious test of dominion is supplied by the constant action of courts of law. In whose name do writs run and in whom is jurisdiction over the territory vested? The courts of British India rest upon the law of Parliament and the legislative powers which that law has entrusted to British authorities in British India, whereas the courts which administer justice in any Native State exist under the authority of the ruler of that State... If the persons who reside in the territorial area, not being by birth or naturalization British subjects, are treated by the courts of India as foreign subjects, it may be concluded that the country to which they belong is a Native State.
Thus, an important distinction between the area of direct British administration and the princely states which were subject to British "suzerainty" was supplied by the jurisdiction of the courts: while the courts of British India derived their powers from the British Parliament, the courts of the Princely States existed under the authority of their rulers. [ [http://www.uq.net.au/~zzhsoszy/ips/ Indian Princely States] at uq.net.au] [Mills, Arthur, " [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Pgo4ywwTfkQC India in 1858: A Summary of the Existing Administration, Political, Fiscal and Judicial, of British India; Together with Laws and Public Documents Relating Thereto, from the Earliest to the Present Time] " at books.google.co.uk, accessed 4 September 2008]
Governors-General and Viceroys of India
Governor-General of India.
The British Indian Empire, usually referred to while it existed as the Indian Empire or just India and now commonly referred to as the
British Raj, came into being when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India on 1 May, 1876. This Empire consisted of British India together with the princely states. Suzerainty over several hundred such self-governing states, including some large ones such as Bahawalpur, Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, Jaipurand Kashmir and Jammu, was exercised in the name of the British Crownby the government of British India under the Viceroy of India, with many small princely states being dependent on the provincial governments of British India.
End of British India
British India came to an end when the
Indian Independence Act 1947brought about the Partition of India, with effect from 15 August 1947, creating two fully independent successor states as dominions within the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, the Union of Indiaand the Dominion of Pakistan. The Act received the Royal Assenton July 18, 1947.
King George VI continued to use the title "Emperor of India" until 22 June 1948; he used the title "King of India" until that dominion became a republic on 26 January 1950 and the title "King of Pakistan" until his death in 1952, when he was succeeded by the "Queen of Pakistan", his daughter Elizabeth II. She reigned until the creation of the
Republic of Pakistanin 1956.
*Mills, Arthur, "India in 1858: A Summary of the Existing Administration, Political, Fiscal and Judicial, of British India; Together with Laws and Public Documents Relating Thereto, from the Earliest to the Present Time" (London: John Murray, 2nd edition, 1858)
*Bedwell, C. E. A., "The Legislation of the Empire 1898-1907" (London: Butterworth, 1909, four volumes)
*Smith, Vincent A., "India in the British Period" [Oxford History of India, Part III] (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 2nd edition, 1921)
*Majumdar, R. C., "et al.", "An Advanced History of India" (London: Macmillan, 2nd edition 1950)
*Bayly, C. A., "Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire" in 'The New Cambridge History of India' (
Cambridge University Press1990, ISBN 0521386500)
*Low, D. A., "Eclipse of Empire" (Cambridge University Press, 1993, ISBN 0521457548)
*Harrison, Mark, "Public Health in British India: Anglo-Indian Preventive Medicine, 1859-1914" (Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN 978-0521466882) [ [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=59R5bZ37W9UC Public Health in British India] at books.google.co.uk]
*Porter, Andrew (ed.), "Oxford History of the British Empire: Nineteenth Century" (
Oxford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0199246785)
*Copland, Ian, "India 1885-1947: The Unmaking of an Empire" (Pearson Longmans, 2001, ISBN 0582381738)
*Bandyopadhyay, Sekhar, "From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India" (Orient Longmans, 2004, ISBN 8125025960)
*Wolpert, Stanley, "Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India" (Oxford University Press, 2006, ISBN 0195151984)
British rule in India
British Indian Army
Company rule in India
List of Indian Princely States
Indian Civil Service
Partition of India
History of India
History of Pakistan
History of Bangladesh
* [http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1867 The History of British India by James Mill, Esq., in six volumes] (London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 3rd edition, 1826), online at oll.libertyfund.org
* [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/India_BrProvinces.htm Provinces of British India] at worldstatesmen.org: includes lists of Agents, Chief Commissioners, Lieutenant-governors, Governors, etc.
* [http://www.chaf.lib.latrobe.edu.au/dcd/default.htm Digital Colonial Documents (India) Homepage] at latrobe.edu.au
* [http://www.chaf.lib.latrobe.edu.au/dcd/page.php?title=1871&action=next&record=1 MEMORANDUM ON THE CENSUS OF BRITISH INDIA OF 1871-72] (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode for HMSO, 1875, "Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty") at latrobe.edu.au
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