Unique Book of History Class 8th Chapter 1 Consolidation Of The British Rule

Unique Book of History Class 8th Chapter 1 Consolidation Of The British Rule

Unique Notes of History Class 8th Chapter 1 Consolidation Of The British Rule, British expansion and the consolidation of their power saw their beginning with the Battle of Plassey in 1717. The East India Company had thus obtained from the then Mughal emperor a “Farman”, which meant that they would not have to pay any import taxes. or export. in the Bengal region.

Unique Book of History Class 8th Chapter 1 Consolidation Of The British Rule
Unique Book of History Class 8th Chapter 1 Consolidation Of The British Rule
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S.No: Subject Page No.

Consolidation of the British Rule

Queen Victoria’s Proclamation and the Act of 1858 2

British Administration 5

Education Policy 12

Social and Economic Policy and 17

Consolidation Of The British Rule

Acts of 1861, 1892, 1909, 1919 21


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Students will be able to:

• Describe the Transfer of British Power in India from East India Company to the Crown and the salient features of Queen Victoria’s proclamation.

• Delineate the structure of British administration in India and early efforts to co-opt Indians in the British setup.

• Outline the objectives and results of the British Education Policy with special reference to Lord Macaulay’s Minutes (1836-37) and Wood’s Dispatch (1854).

• Identify the salient features of colonial economic policy in India.

Highlight the measures for the social transformation since the British accession to power.

Specify the advantages and implications of communication networks introduced by the British.

Discuss the quantum of devolution of power to Indians introduced in the Acts of 1861, 1892,

History of Queen Victoria’s Proclamation

Queen Victoria’s Proclamation and the Act of 1858 Transfer of Power to the British Crown


word image 6 In the sixteenth century, the European nations adopted the policy of colonization. They used to land in the weaker countries in the shape of traders and occupied them. The European travelers discovered the sea route between Europe and India. Similarly, the European nations including Holland, France, England (U.K) came to India as traders. The British established an organization “The East India Company” for trade purposes. It got influence and power. This company was established with the approval of Queen Elizabeth 1 on 31st December, 1600. Its first trading centers were set up in the Indian cities of Madras and Bombay in 1610 and 1611 respectively

word image 7 The British who came to India as traders wanted to occupy this region for their personal gain. Rulers and general public were so unconscious and weak that the British adopted the policy of expansion and occupation. After the defeat of Nawab Hider Ali and Tipu Sultan, they rapidly made their position strong in Indo-Pak. After the occupation of Sindh in 1843 and Punjab in 1849, the State of Awadh was captured by them in 1856. Due to certain reasons a decisive war of independence was fought between the Indians and the British in 1857. The British won this war and occupied the whole of India.

Government of India Act (1858)

The first Act after East India Company is known as the Government of India Act (1858). The Act was passed by the British Parliament for India. The East India Company raised some objections but it was approved. Its key points were as under:

1. All powers were transferred from East India Company to the British Government.

2. The Crown nominated a Governor General who was delegated the powers of the Viceroy. He would get directives from the Secretary of State.

The Company’s army control was handed over to the British Government.

4. In the British cabinet, a minister, namely the Secretary of State was nominated who would issue directives to the Governor General.

word image 8 All the powers of the East India Company were to be transferred to the Crown. The announcement would be made by the Viceroy at Allahabad Durbar.

It was an important act in the history of India. It ended long occupation of the company and India came under the direct control of the Crown which lasted for about ninety years. Salient Features of Queen Victoria’s Proclamation

Allahabad Durbar was held on 1st November, 1858, wherein the Governor General Lord Canning read out the proclamation. Its key points were as under:

  1. This announcement was to assume I the control directly and to relieve the Company of the administration.
  2. People were told to remain loyal to the Indian Government because it was the representative of the British Crown.

Canning was appointed as the first Governor General. He was directed to receive orders from the Crown through the Secretary of State for India. He British Government will not take any aggressive steps against princely states whose rulers will retain their power and respect.

5. Progress and prosperity of the people of India will be ensured.

6. There will be no interference in religious affairs.

7. Subjects will be treated equally and the government jobs will be provided on the basis of merit and capability.

8. Before enacting any law in India religious customs and traditions will be taken into account.

Priority will be given to law and order and all the crimes of Indians will be forgiven except that of killing the British. This proclamation of the British Crown was a landmark in the political history of Indian administration till 1917.

British Administration in India

British Administration

After gaining full control of India, the British took the following steps in order to run the government smoothly and peacefully:

1. The Indian administration was under the Crown.

2. A Secretary of State was appointed by the Crown from among the members of the British Cabinet who looked after the directives of the British Government. An Executive Council was set up for Indian administration.

3. A Legislative Council was set up by the Governor General to make laws for the country.

4. Indian Civil Service, 1858 was set up to run the government affairs. Indians were given the opportunity to participate in it but they had to take training in England.

5. The Royal Army was organized for national defense.

6. The country was divided into provinces to facilitate administration. There were a British Governor in each province and an Executive and Legislative Council for his assistance.

7 A judiciary was set up for justice and the last appeal was to be filed in the British Privy Council for review.

8. There were several independent States in India and every State was ruled by its own ruler.

9. The key point of the British administration was to maintain its supremacy. But with the passage of time they had to include Indians in it.

Policies of Sharing Power and Peace of British in Indo Pak.

word image 9 After the War of Independence (1857) the British adopted many policies to perpetuate their rule in India, which are discussed in the following lines:

(1)Lord Canning: (1858-1862)

• Lord Canning was the Governor General of India during 1858-1862.

• He spent most of his time in the War of Independence.

• During the war the British suffered great loss of life and property.

• They wanted to take severe revenge, but Lord Canning adopted the policy of peace. In a letter, he wrote that he would not change his policy in his life time.

• He said that his policy was based on justice and in line with the requirement of time.

• He said “I will not rule with cruelty. Instead, I will bring justice.

• I will not allow the British government to deal Indians with anger and discrimination.”

• After suppressing all the revolts harshly, there will be patience, peace and justice.

Lord Canning was a noble person. He was lenient and sympathetic. Due to his generous policies the British government demanded his return to London.

word image 10 • Lord canning wrote to England ‘My present policy is based on mercy without any weakness. It will not affect the government supremacy”.

(2)Lord Elgin (1862-1863)

Lord Elgin continued the polices of Canning during his short government period. Elgin adopted the policy of peace and cooperation. He held several Durbars at Agra. Banaras, Kanpur and Amboina with the aim to remove misperception between the government and the Indian states to set up good relations. He imposed taxes and had a

• cut on military expenses

3. Lord Lawrence (1864-1869)

word image 11 Lord Lawrence was Chief Commi-

Sooner of Punjab before Viceroy of India. It was his political wisdom that Punjab did not participate in the freedom struggle. During his stay in

Punjab as Chief Commissioner, he knew the psychology of the Indians. Using that experience, he was successful as Viceroy. He was

word image 12 Lord 1 a man of action and by sheer hard work, he had gained status among them. Lord Lawrence paid special attention to the farmers and safeguarded their interests and gave them the right of ownership. In Awadh, he also gave the right of ownership on low rate. He protected their rights and gave them legal protection. The farmers became prosperous due to this policy. He paid special attention to the country’s economy. During his period. Canals and railway lines were constructed and many other welfare schemes started. He was moderate in solving public issues. He was just in the running of state affairs.

4. Lord Mayo (1869-1872)

Lord Mayo was the Viceroy of India from 1869 to 1872. He established friendly relations with

the princely states. He founded a college in Ajmer for the children of princely rulers. Lord Mayo adopted centralized policy for the political. Participation of the people. Mayo handed over some departments to provinces for better administration in 1870. He developed peace and political representation in India. He established a responsible government in India.

5. Lord Northbrook (1872-1876)

word image 13 Lord Northbrook acted upon the policies of previous rulers and made no new experience. He tried to satisfy the people. Once he stated about his policy ”l want to run the government smoothly and

Peacefully”. He declared to cut taxes and stop unnecessary

Legislation. This shows that Lord Northbrook was a moderate and peace loving person. In his time, there was a famine-like situation in Bihar and Bengal. Brook’s government helped the people generously.

6. Lord Lytton (1876-1880)

Lord Lytton ruled from 1876 to 1880. A Famine Commission was set up to control famine situation. He developed trade. Lord Lytton followed the policy of Lord Mayo. Some more departments were given to the provinces for provincial autonomy. Civil service system was introduced and decided that the Indians might be given government services. The aim of decentralization policy was to ensure more participation of the people. But one thing must be kept in mind that the British did not show enough generosity in the decentralization policy.

Steps for Social Transformation

The British started interference in the religious and social values of Indians. This was against the Royal Proclamation. The British Government introduced such social reforms which were intolerable to both the Hindus and the Muslims. The system of re-marriage for Hindu widows was introduced. Christianity was preached openly. Street children were made Christians. The Britishers introduced western system of education which was the cause of concern for Indians. The soldiers who belonged to the sub-continent would get much less salary and other allowances as compared to that of British soldiers.

The behavior of the British officers towards the local soldiers was based upon hatred and cruelty. The government introduced such rules and reforms which caused revolt in the army. The Non-Muslim local soldiers were compelled to go overseas which was against their religious values. Local soldiers would get no promotion. Soldiers were abused and disgraced for no fault of them. The division of army was imbalanced in India.

After the War of Independence, the British took full control over the sub-continent and started to rule directly.

The Secretary of state appointed and the Indian Council was\ established. Separate army of the East India Company was abolished and the British Crown army was established. They brought changes in rules and regulations of army. The British adopted the policy of “Divide and Rule”.

British Education Policy

After occupying India, the British came to know that every nation was getting education of its own religion. Therefore, the British did not change the education system in the beginning. With the passage of time, the British advised their government to introduce modern education. The British Education Policy in India was adopted in the light of Macaulay’s Minutes (1836-37) and Woods Dispatch (1854).

1. In 1811, Lord Mayo presented proposals to establish new educational institutions and improve the existing institutions.

2. A clause was added in the Act of 1813 and it was decided that one Lac Rupees would be allocated for the promotion of science and literature every year.

word image 14 3. In 1818, a Christian bishop established an educational institution at Calcutta. In this institution, the Christian youth were taught Christianity. Muslims and the Hindus were given education in English Language.

4. Elphinstone established a college at Bombay in 1824 and a school at Puna in 1833 to educate the upper class of Indians in English. His idea was to educate a specific class in Science, Geography and History in English language. These people would educate general public in their own languages. In this way, highly educated people will get government jobs.

5. The demand of English books increased in that period. A problem raised whether the medium of education should be the local languages or English. The British set up a committee in 1835 to resolve this problem. Lord Macaulay was the chairman of that committee. Before leaving for India, he had long discussion on the prevailing education system in India. They summed up that the government should focus on English and Science. On the basis of Lord Macaulay’s proposals, the government adopted a resolution that discouraged oriental education and the institutions that imparted it. It was recommended that all the funds would be allocated to English and Science studies. The Muslims staged severe protest.

6. In 1844, it was declared in a resolution that preference will be given to people who knew English and Science. According to Lord Auckland, “Indians will be educated in the European literature, Science and Philosophy”.

7. Sir Charles Woods presented his theory of education which is called Woods Dispatch. He presented his proposals to the government in a letter in 1854 which were very important. He emphasized the European studies and English. He recommended establishing schools for primary and secondary education. He recommended the British level universities in India. It was suggested that universities would be established at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. Appointments of Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Senate and skilled professors were recommended. All higher secondary and degree colleges would function under these universities. It was recommended that there would be an education department in every province. It was said that there would be training institutions for teachers. Educational scholarship, women education and provincial directorate of education were recommended. Establishment of private institutions would be appreciated. It was suggested that standard institutions would be accepted. There would be a Director General of education in the country. The British Viceroy Lord Dalhousie acted upon the recommendations of Woods. It is regarded as a landmark of education in India.

word image 15 8. Hunter Commission: Lord Ripon established a commission to review Woods’ recommendations. This commission presented several proposals. The Commission said that institutions would be privatized gradually. Higher education would be promoted.

Rules would be set for free textbooks and remission of fee would be I Lord Ripon developed. Lectures would be

Arranged on the duties of citizens. Education officers would be appointed. Scholarships, mental and physical education would be arranged. The government approved these recommendations.

9. Universities Act 1904: Lord Curzon appointed a commission to make universities more efficient and on the basis of the report of that commission, he approved universities Act. According to this Act, positive changes were made in the directorate of universities. The power of appointment of professors was given to universities through this Act. The hold of the government on universities was strengthened and the institutions assumed a European standard.

word image 16 10. Other Reforms: The responsibility of secondary and higher secondary education would be given to Secondary Boards. A board would be set up to encourage women education. Education up to high level would be given in mother tongue. Higher education might be given in English.

11. In the 1919 and 1935 Acts, education departments were handed over to ministers and more responsibility was delegated to provinces.

Objectives of British Education System

We can understand the priorities and objectives of the British Education Policy from the above steps. These objectives can be covered in the following points:

  1. The government wanted to promote modern education and

English would be introduced as a compulsory subject.

2. The goal of this education system was missionary. It was to pave the way for preaching Christianity. The British Government encouraged all missionary educational institutions.

3. The British were afraid of the Muslims and their religious institutions were a challenge to them. They specially involved the Muslims in their modern educational system.

Education was considered necessary for organized civil service. One of its important goals was to produce good servants to run civil service with the help of locally educated people according to the wishes of the British.

The British thought that Islam is against science, therefore they wanted to use science to combat Islam.

6. To give special attention to vocational and women education.

7. The British government wanted to tighten its grip on education. It is necessary to control a nation by means of education.

The British established European type of institutions in India to enforce European culture. Once Lord Macaulay stated that the objectives of Indian educational system were to produce such Indians who would be physically Indians but mentally British.

Results of British Education System

1. The people of India started learning English language as compared to other languages. It is still prevalent and superior language.

2. Christian preachers established missionary institutions everywhere. In this way, they tried to get religious objectives.

3. The Muslim educational system was indirectly targeted.

4. Muslims gained benefits through their achievements in science.

5. The University Act 1904 was severely criticized by the public and elite class because due to this act the government tried to tighten grip on education.

word image 17 Poet of the East llama Muhammad lqbal criticized the objectives of western educational system and said;

The British Education Policy provided a golden chance to the Muslim intellectuals. They established educational institutions which promoted their Islamic culture, religion and customs. These institutions played an important role in the freedom movement.

Social and Economic Policies and Communication Networks

Social Policy

Lord Canning took notice of the exploitation of the poor peasants at the hands of land owners and approved an Act in 1859. Through act, peasants were given protection to some extent. High Courts were established at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras for speedy and affordable justice. Besides, universities were established in these three cities for educational progress.

According to the Act of 1861, Indians were given representation in Legislative Councils. Lord Lytton paved the way for Indians to government jobs for higher positions. Lord Ripon encouraged local self government. He introduced electoral system. These governments were given power for the_ –WinsTrtioliaii-Vvork7promotion of education affd-tie-aftli.Hunter Commission was established, and the Commission’s recommendations were implemented. He made legislation to reduce the gap between the Indians and the British. In 1881 Lord Ripon approved Factory Act according to which the working time was limited to 9 hours for the children who worked in factories and issued orders to make the dangerous machines safer. Caretakers were appointed for the implementation of these

According to the Act of 1861, Indians were given representation in Legislative Councils. Lord Lytton paved the way for Indians to government jobs for higher positions. Lord Ripon encouraged local self government. He introduced electoral system. These governments were given power for the_ –WinsTrtioliaii-Vvork7promotion of education affd-tie-aftli.Hunter Commission was established, and the Commission’s recommendations were implemented. He made legislation to reduce the gap between the Indians and the British. In 1881 Lord Ripon approved Factory Act according to which the working time was limited to 9 hours for the children who worked in factories and issued orders to make the dangerous machines safer. Caretakers were appointed for the implementation of these rules and regulations. Later on, time limit was further reduced for women. A holiday in a week was approved for the factory workers. Archaeology Department was established to safeguard cultural heritage. Network of railway lines and roads were laid, due to which the living standard was improved. Workers used to travel from villages to the industries in cities.

Apart from these good steps, the British tried to deprive the Indians of higher position in government jobs. Islamic laws were discouraged in courts. Western types of land lords were given free hand and life of the poor peasants became miserable. They had to sell their children for the payment of their loans. Though industries showed progress, yet due to the interference of the British, the common people did not get any benefit. Christian missionaries and invasion of western culture worsened the social and religious situation. Low caste Hindus rapidly embraced Christianity. In reaction the Hindus and Islamic revivalist movements started. English was declared official language and great damage was done to Hindi, Urdu and Persian. The people of the subcontinent still pay for that loss.

Economic Policy

Economic experts were called from England to improve the economic situation of India. Through their consultation, tax system was introduced. Lord Mayo increased income tax and imposed duty on salt. He introduced the division of income between the centre and the provinces. Before it provinces were funded and supervised by the centre and the remaining money was to be returned to it. Mayo announced special aid for the provinces and gave them the option to find their own resources. The people of India depended upon agriculture. Therefore, Mayo established agriculture department. He established a network of canals, roads and railway lines for economic development. Free trade policy was adopted during Lord Lytton’s period. Several taxes on imports were reduced or finished. Lord Ripon was made Viceroy in 1880. He encouraged foreign trade and adopted free trade policy. He stopped taxes on several commodities. He reduced tax on salt. Local financial powers were delegated to the local Government.

Special attention was given to the peasant’s problems and land tax during Lord Curzon’s period. Arrangements were made to give less interest on loan to peasants. Special laws were made about land ownership for solving peasant’s problems. Inspector General for agriculture was appointed. Arrangements were made to run agriculture on scientific lines. Irrigation system was improved further. Trade and industry departments were established to reduce tax on salt.

The British free trade policy damaged local industry. Land owners policy of friendship with the British made the reforms meaningless. Farmers, peasants and the general public could not get benefit from agriculture. Industrial development provided jobs opportunities but the British officials exploited them. Though the Indians got opportunity to participate in political system yet the financial powers actually rested with the British who did not allow any benefits to the natives.

Railway lines and roads provided benefit to the British rather than general public as they were used for their exploitation.

Communication System

The British government attempted to introduce modern communication in India although the benefit of this system went to the British. However, the people of India also got supplementary benefits from it. During the company period, activities about reforms were continued. Lord Dalhousie founded public works department in 1854. Grand Trunk Road from Calcutta to Peshawar was repaired and Ganga Canal was completed. First railway lines were laid during Dalhousie period. During 1853, electric telegraph system was introduced. Postal system was made effective at the end of 18th century. Modern thinking was in stilled in the minds of the people in the rural areas of India. External trade flourished. Need for communication was felt. Need for link between cities and ports was felt due to the modern communication. Railway lines were laid in the mid of 19th century due to which communication and other sources made progress. The British repaired roads and constructed new ones.

Advantages of Communication System

• Communication development deeply affected the economic, political, and social life.

• Lord Dalhousie gave contract to English companies due to which foreign investments increased and these companies got financial benefits.

• Owing to the communication development, the British government got military and administrative benefits as well. • The British got advantage from electric telegram and they got success in the war of independence.

word image 18 • The British Government laid electric telegram and developed their contacts.

• Railway lines and roads strengthened the British Government so that they easily obtained raw materials for factories.

• Increased communication development enhanced military transportation.

• They developed the ports and took the trade in their own hands. Through the development of communication, the British made their government strong. On the other hand the people got economic benefits. Opportunities of employment brought development in trade.

Head quarters ofthe East India Company
at the bank of Tapi river.

After independence, these projects

Were further developed.

Quantum of Devolution of Power to the Indians through Acts 186111892, 1909 and 1919

The British government enacted several laws and constitutions to introduce political reforms. In these laws, efforts were made to empower the people in the government. Constitutions are those basic laws through which the administration of a country is run. The law defines the relationship between the ruler and the subjects. The British introduced certain constitutional measures from time to time. A brief detail is given below:

1. The Indian Councils Act 1861

An Act is made by the Legislative Council of a country. The British Legislative Council used to approve Act for India. In this regard the first step was the introduction of the Indian Councils Act 1861. Viceroy’s Legislative Council and its powers were reformed through this Act. The British tried their best to run the affairs of the government in a more democratic way. One of the main causes of the War of Independence 1857 was the least participation of the local people in the political system of India. The Indians were provided with opportunities to participate in the political affairs through thisAct. The number of members of the Legislative Council was increased and the Indians were given representation in it. The Legislative Councils were established in Madras and Bombay too. The viceroy was empowered to establish such councils in the other provinces as well.

2. The Indian Council Act 1892

According to this Act, the number of local people was increased in the Legislative Councils. Efforts were made to present electoral system in a better way. Councils were given some financial powers and the Indians were given more representation in the centre and provinces.

3. The Government of India Act 1909

It was an important constitutional step taken by the British Government. It was named as Minot Morley Reforms because it was constituted by the Viceroy of India, Lord Minto and the British cabinet minister for the Indian affairs, Morley. Legislative Councils were further reformed under this Act The powers of its members were increased. Positive changes were made in the Legislative Councils of the provinces. Members of the Legislative Councils were increased in different provinces. In the same way, the Indians were given more representation in the central and provincial legislative councils. Muslims were given the right of separate electorate in this Act. Indians were given representation in the

Governor’s Executive Council for the first time. S.P Sin ha was the first Indian to join the Executive Council.

4. The Government of India Act 1919

It is called Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms. In this Act the earlier shortcomings were addressed. In the centre. two legislative bodies came into existence. Some members were elected and some were nominated. There were conditions for the voters too. The central legislative powers were increased. Diarchy system was introduced in the provinces i.e. some ministers worked directly under the Governor and the others were chosen from provincial assembly and both were under the control of Governor. Yet this Act was more democratic. it was introduced in the provinces and it could be criticized. Seventy percent members of the provincial councils were to be elected by the people. It showed the right of the people to vote. Sikhs were also given the right of separate electorate. Powers of the Secretary of State for Indian affairs were reduced and the powers of Indians were increased.



1. Fill in the Blanks.

a. The British established an institution by the name of East

India Company for the purpose.

b. A Secretary of State was appointed in British cabinet.

c. The British established civil service to deal with the

Government affairs in

d. To protect cultural heritage department was established.

e. Mr. SP Sinha was the first Indian who was included in Council.

Choose the right answer.

a. The first constitutional Act of India is called, the act of

(i) 1858 (ii) 1861

(iii) 1892 (IV) 1909

B.Vsafe guarded the interest of peasants in Punjab.

(I) Lord Mayo (ii) Macaulay

(iii) Lawrence (IV) Lord Lytton

c. The British government encouraged educational institutions.

(I) Missionary (ii) Religious

(iii) Private (IV) Government

d. To change the Indian mindset, Western type of was introduced.

(I) Life (ii) Education (iii) Career (iv) Industry

E. Lord Dalhousie established in 1854.department

(i) Health (ii) Foreign (iii) Public Works (iv) Interior

3. Write short answers to the following.

a. When was the East India Company established?

b. When and to whom was the power shifted from East India Company and who approved it?

c. What happened to the Princely States after the transfer of power?

d. Describe the salient points of Factory Act 1881?

e. What was the other name of the Government of India Act 1919?

4. Write detailed answers to the following questions?

a. Whal was the impacts of the proclamation of Queen Victoria on the people of the subcontinent?

b. Describe the key points of British administration.

c. Discuss the objectives and results of British Educational System.

word image 19 d. Describe the stages of different laws for the transfer of power to the Indians.

1. Arrange a speech competition on the merits and demerits of the British Educational System Arrange a quiz in your class about British economic policy and communication system.

3. Arrange an essay competition on the topic “Freedom”.

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