The Regulating Act - 1773
|India's History : Modern India : The Regulating Act passed by the British Parliament - 1773|
By 1773 the East India Company was in dire financial straits. The Company was important to Britain because it was a monopoly trading company in India and in the east and many influential people were shareholders. The Company paid £400,000 annually to the government to maintain the monopoly but had been unable to meet its commitments because of the loss of tea sales to America since 1768. About 85% of all the tea in America was smuggled Dutch tea. The East India Company owed money to both the Bank of England and the government; it had 15 million lbs of tea rotting in British warehouses and more en route from India.
Lord North decided to overhaul the management of the East India Company with the Regulating Act. This was the first step along the road to government control of India. The Act set up a system whereby it supervised (regulated) the work of the East India Company but did not take power for itself.
The East India Company had taken over large areas of India for trading purposes but also had an army to protect its interests. Company men were not trained to govern so North's government began moves towards government control. India was of national importance and shareholders in the Company opposed the Act. The East India Company was a very powerful lobby group in parliament in spite of the financial problems of the Company.
The Act said that:
- That, for the government of the presidency of fort William in Bengal, there shall be a Governor General, and a Council consisting of four councillors with the democratic provision that the decision of the majority in the Council shall be binding on the Governor General.
- That Warren Hastings shall be the first Governor General and that Lt. General John Clavering, George Monson, Richard Barwell and Philip Francis shall be four first Councillors.
- That His Majesty shall establish a supreme court of judicature consisting of a Chief Justice and three other judges at Fort William, and that the Court's jurisdiction shall extend to all British subjects residing in Bengal and their native servants.
- That the company shall pay out of its revenue salaries to the designated persons in the following rate: to the Governor General 25000 sterling, to the Councillors 10,000 sterling, to the Chief Justice 8000 sterling and the Judges 6000 sterling a year.
- That the Governor General, Councillors and Judges are prohibited from receiving any gifts, presents, pecuniary advantages from the Indian princes, zamindars and other people.
- That no person in the civil and military establishments can receive any gift, reward, present and any pecuniary advantages from the Indians.
- That it is unlawful for collectors and other district officials to receive any gift, present, reward or pecuniary advantages from zamindars and other people.
|India's History : Modern India : The First Anglo-Maratha war - 1775 - 1782|| |
The First Anglo-Maratha War
First Anglo-Maratha War, the result of the Bombay government's alliance with the would-be Maratha peshwa, Raghoba. Hastings sent an expedition across the peninsula from Calcutta to Surat (1778, arrived 1779) and broke the coalition between the Marathas, Haidar Ali, and the nizam. The company had already showed its might by defeating the combined forces of Mughal Shah Alam and Bengal's Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah at the Battle of Plassey. Soon hostilities broke out between the Company and the Marathas. The first Anglo-Maratha war took place between 1775-82 and resulted in a humiliating defeat of the Company's forces, which in turn resulted in the treaty of Salbai. Soon the Maratha Empire was in a position to regain its lost glory and it had found a genius in Madhaji Schindia. But his death in 1794 dashed all hopes of Maratha revivalism. Soon they followed the Mughals into dissolution. The Treaty of Salbai (1782) obtained for Bombay 20 years' peace with the Marathas and the cession of Salsette and Elephanta.
Second Mysore War
| ||India's History : Modern India : Second Mysore War : The British defeat Hyder Ali - 1780-1784|| |
Second Mysore War - The British wins over Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali used to work as a general in the army of the King of Mysore before overthrowing him and establishing his own kingdom, he is famous for his epic battles with the British. He is best known for his invasions of the Malabar coast region between 1766 until his death and the historic defeat of the British in the first Mysore war in 1767-69. Warren Hastings sent from Bengal Sir Eyre Coote, who, though repulsed at Chidambaram, defeated Hyder thrice successively in the battles of Porto Novo, Pollilur and Sholingarh, while Tippoo was forced to raise the siege of Wandiwash, and Vellore was provisioned. On the arrival of Lord Macartney as governor of Madras, the British fleet captured Negapatam, and forced Hyder Ali to confess that he could never ruin a power, which had command of the sea. He had sent his son Tippoo to the west coast, to seek the assistance of the French fleet, when his death took place suddenly at Chittur in December 1782. Tipu took over as ruler of Mysore after the death of his father around 1782.
The Pitt's Act
| ||India's History : Modern India : Pitt's India Act - 1784|| |
The Pitt's Act
After the Regulating Act of 1773 to regulate the affairs of the Company in India, the second 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 was constituted with two members of the British Cabinet and four of the Privy Council. One of who was the President and who soon became, in effect, the minister for the affairs of the East India Company. The Board had all the powers and control over all the acts and operations, which related to the civil, military and revenues of the Company.
The Council was reduced to three members and the Governor-General was empowered to overrule the majority. The Governors of Bombay and Madras were also deprived of their independent powers. Calcutta was given greater powers in matters of war, revenue, and diplomacy, thus becoming in effect the capital of Company possessions in India.
By a supplementary the Bill passed in 1786, Lord Cornwallis was appointed 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. The constitution set up by the Pitt's India Act did not undergo any major changes during the existence of the Company's rule in India.
The Charter Act of 1813 abolished the trading activities of the Company and henceforth became purely an administrative body under the Crown. Thereafter, with few exceptions, the Governor-General and the Council could make all the laws and regulations for people (Indians and British).
The salient features relating to the governance of the kingdom of Bengal were:
- There shall be a Board of Control consisting of maximum six parliamentarians headed by a senior cabinet member to direct, superintend and control the affairs of the company's territorial possessions in the East Indies.
- The Court of Directors shall establish a Secret Committee to work as a link between the Board and the Court.
- The Governor General's council shall consist of three members one of whom shall be the commander-in-chief of the King's army in India. In case the members present in a meeting of the council shall any time be equally divided in opinion, the Governor General shall have two votes (one his own and another casting vote).
- The government must stop further experiments in the revenue administration and proceed to make a permanent settlement with zamindars at moderate rate of revenue demand. The government must establish permanent judicial and administrative systems for the governance of the new kingdom.
- All civilians and military officers must provide the Court of Directors a full inventory of their property in India and in Britain within two months of their joining their posts.
- Severe punishment including confiscation of property, dismissal and jail, shall be inflicted on any civilian or military officer found guilty of corruption.
- Receiving gifts, rewards, presents in kind or cash from the rajas, zamindars and other Indians are strictly prohibited and people found guilty of these offences shall be tried charged with corruption.
Parliament directly appointed Lord charles cornwallis to implement the Act. Immediately after his joining as Governor General in 1786, Cornwallis embarked upon the responsibility of reform works reposed on him by parliament. In 1793 he completed his mission. He introduced permanent settlement, announced a judicial code, established administrative and police systems and then left for home in the same year.
The Third Mysore War
| ||India's History : Modern India : Third Mysore War between the British and Tipu - 1790-1792|| |
The Two Rivals-Marathas & The Nizam
The Treaty of Mangalore carried the seeds of strife with the Marathas, because they were disappointed in their expectation of acting as the mediators and of recovering their losses in the North of Mysore. Tipu had emerged with enhanced prestige whom even the mighty English could not humble. This excited the jealousy of both the Martha's and the Nizam who fought a war with him for two years from 1785 to 1787. The Nizam was also not friendly towards Mysore ever since he had come to power in 1761. He regarded himself as the overlord of the entire south, and expected Haidar and Tipu to be his tributaries. As he was military imbecile he allied himself either with the Marathas or the English to distress the Mysore rulers. There was always a pro-British party at Hyderabad which dissuaded the Nizam from begin cordial to Tipu. In the war that followed Tipu had the upper hand despite the alliance of his two neighbors. The war came to an end in April 1787 by the Treaty of Gajendragadh by which he ceded Badami to the Marathas hoping to win their support against the English or at least to prevent them from joining the English.
Tipu was disappointed in his expectations. Far from joining him to remove the English from India, both of them, the Marathas and the Nizam joined the English in a powerful confederacy against Tipu in the Third Mysore war.
The allies struggled hard for nearly two years from 1790 to 1792. Lord Cornwallis who had surrendered to the Americans at Saratoga in the new world assumed the command, and with great difficulty he was successful in a surprise night attack to enter into the island of Srirangapatna on 6th Feb. 1792. Tipu was made to make peace by surrendering half of his kingdom, and paying three crores has indemnity, apart from sending two of his sons as hostages to Madras. This was a serious blow to Tipu.
Permanant Settlement of Bengal
| ||India's History : Modern India : Permanent Settlement of Bengal - 1793|| |
Permanent Settlement Concluded by the Cornwallis administration in 1793, Permanent Settlement was a grand contract between the east india company government and the Bengal landholders (zamindars and independent talukdars of all denominations). Under the contract, the landholders or zamindars were admitted into the colonial state system as the absolute proprietors of landed property. Besides being turned into proprietors of land, the zamindars were endowed with the privilege of holding their proprietary right at a rate which was to continue unchanged for ever. Under the contract the government was barred from enhancing its revenue demand on the zamindars.
Objectives and effects of Permanent Settlement The conclusion of the permanent settlement with zamindars had some immediate objectives in view. These may be classified as:
- placing revenue paying on a definite footing and making revenue collection sure and certain;
- ensuring a minimum revenue;
- relieving officials of revenue matter and engaging them to other spheres of administration; and finally,
- forging an alliance between the zamindar class and the colonial rulers.
Though not entirely but largely, government succeeded in achieving these short-term goals. The revenue-paying agency was put on a definite footing in the person of zamindar. The government now knew how much was to be its annual inflow from land and the zamindars also knew for certain their contractual obligation to government. Formerly, neither the government nor the revenue payers knew exactly where did they stand as regards revenue collection and payment.
Tipu Sultan : Fourth Battle of Mysore
| ||India's History : Modern India : Fourth Mysore War: The British defeat Tipu; Death of Tipu; Partition of Mysore ; Tipu's history - 1799|| |
The second half of the eighteenth century was a period of great confusion in Indian history, which witnessed the rise of a colonial power. The only state that offered stiff resistance to their expansion was Mysore, which fought not one but four wars. Tipu participated in all those four Mysore wars, in two of which he inflicted serious blows on the English. In fact Tipu’s rule starts in the midst of a war against the English and ends in the midst of war against them. His short but stormy rule was eventful for his several engagements with his neighbours, the Marathas and the Nizam, as well, whose shortsighted policy prompted them to join the colonials against Mysore. Tipu remained fully involved in warfare from his youth until his fall in the fourth Mysore war. From 1760 when Haidar Ali allied himself with the French against the English to 1799 when Wellesly destroyed Tipu, Mysore had become “the terror of Leadenhall Street”, the headquarters of the East India Company. These forty years of Tipu both as a prince and a ruler witnessed continuous warfare.
Having learnt the western technique of warfare, Tipu was not slow in making use of it. He was himself bold, dashing, and a person of undaunted adventurous spirit. Under his leadership Mysore army” proved a school of military science” to Indian princes. The dread of an European army no longer wrought any magic on him. Tipu’s infliction of serious blows on the English in the first and second Mysore wars damaged their reputation as an invincible power. Grant wrote to Shelburne, “An English army much superior to one which under a Lawrence, or a Clive, five and twenty ago made Hindoostan, nay some of the powers of Europe tremble at the bare recital of its victories, now for the first time was retreating in the face of an Indian army.” This was a reference to colonel Bailey’s capture and general Munro’s flight in the second Mysore war. Alexander Dow wrote his history, “We were alarmed, as if his horses had wings to fly over our walls.”
Tipu was a far-sighted ruler, who discerned the danger to the freedom of the land by the colonial expansion, which necessitated continuous warfare. Apart from this he had his own agenda to assert his own authority over the neighbours, the Marathas and the Nizam, who were not reconciled to the rise and growth of Mysore as an independent powerful state. This weakness of the neighbours was fully exploited by the English whose shrewd political sense involved them as allies against Mysore. In all four Mysore wars the Marathas and the Nizam were willing to support the English rather than either Haider or Tipu. In the third Mysore war all three formed a powerful confederacy against Tipu, and in the fourth Mysore war the Nizam was an ally of the English. The third cause for the continuous warfare was the need to suppress the far too many units of independent power, the feudatories and small principalities, whose mutual rivalries and ambition had caused great confusion in Karnataka. It was Tipu’s policy to establish a strong central authority which would serve the people better.
Thus the English, the Marathas, the Nizam and the feudatories were the principal causes for Tipu’s wars. The most serious wars were against the English, who had never been confronted with a more formidable foe. In the first Mysore War Tipu, a lad of 17 years, suddenly surprised the English when he appeared at the gates of Madras in September 1767. He caused great consternation to the governor of Madras, to the Nawab of Carnatic, Muhammad Ali, and to almost all the councillors who “very narrowly escaped being taken in the country house in the company’s garden. Happily for them a small vessel that by accident was opposite the garden furnished them with the means of escaping. “ Thus, it was a providential escape of the entire Madras government, which were about to be captured by Tipu, who had been placed in independent command of a body of troops in the first Mysore war.
Tipu’s training in the art of war started as early as 1763, when he was hardly 13 years old, in Haidar’s attack on Malabar where Tipu displayed great dash and courage. That was his first experience of war. He was present in Haidar’s negotiations with the Nizam in the first Mysore war when the tact and resourcefulness of the young prince impressed the Nizam and won him over to Haidar’s side. It was Tipu who obtained the ratification of the treaty of Alliance between the Nizam and Haidar in 1767. Tipu had gone to the Nizam’s camp at the head of 6000 troops and successfully concluded the treaty. This was the first diplomatic assignment of Tipu, who was well received by the Nizam, who conferred on him the title of “Nasib-ud-daula” (fortune of the state) and also “Fateh Ali Khan.”
Tipu had taken great interest in the Mysore-Maratha war of 1769-72. After the death of Peshwa Madhava Rao in 1772, he was sent to the northern part of the Mysore to recover the territories which the Marathas had occupied. By the time of second Mysore war he had gained great experience both of warfare and diplomacy. In September 1780 he inflicted a crushing defeat on Colonel Baillie near Polilur. This was the first and the most serious blow the English had suffered in India. The whole detachment was either cut or taken prisoners. Of the 86 European officers 36 were killed, and 3820 were taken prisoners of whom 508 were Europeans. The English had lost the flower of their army. Baillie himself was taken prisoner. This defeat caused so much consternation in Madras that half of its Black Town was deserted. Sir Hector Munroe, the hero of Buxar, who had defeated three rulers of India (Mughal Emperor Shah Alam, Oudh Nawab Shuja-ud-daulah, and the Bengal Nawab Mir Qasim) in a single battle, would not face Tipu. He ran for his life to Madras throwing all his cannons in the tank of conjeevaram.
Likewise, Tipu inflicted a serious defeat on Colonel Braithwaite at Annagudi near Tanjore on 18 February 1782. This army consisted of 100 Europeans, 300 cavalry, 1400 sepoys and 10 field pieces. Tipu seized all the guns and took the entire detachment prisoners. One should remember that the total force of a few hundred Europeans was the standard size of the colonial armies that had caused havoc in India prior to Haidar and Tipu. In December 1781 Tipu had successfully seized Chittur from British hands. Thus Tipu had gained sufficient military experience by the time Haidar died in December 1782.
The second Mysore war came to an end by the treaty of Mangalore. It is an important document in the history of India. It was the last occasion when an Indian power dictated terms to the English, who were made to play the role of humble supplicants for peace. Warren Hastings called it a humiliating pacification, and appealed to the king and parliament to punish the Madras government for “the faith and honour of the British nation have been equally violated.” The English would not reconcile to this humiliation, and worked hard from that day, 11 March 1784, to subvert Tipu’s power. The treaty redounds great credit to the diplomatic skill of Tipu. He had honourably concluded a long-drawn war. He frustrated the Maratha designs to seize his northern possessions. The great advantage was psychological, the mode of conclusion was highly satisfactory to him. The march of the commissioners all the way from Madras to Mangalore seeking peace made Munro remark that such indignities were throughout poured upon the British”, that united efforts seemed necessary to repudiate the treaty at the earliest time.” Such public opinion in the country highly gratified Tipu who felt it was his great triumph over the English. That was the only bright spot in his contest with the English, the only proud event which had humbled a mighty power.
The treaty of Mangalore carried the seeds of strife with the Marathas, because they were disappointed in their expectation of acting as the mediators and of recovering their losses in the north of Mysore. Tipu had emerged with enhanced prestige whom even the mighty English could not humble. This excited the jealousy of both the Marathas and the Nizam who fought a war with him for two years from 1785 to 1787. The Nizam was also not friendly towards Mysore ever since he had come to power in 1761. He regarded himself as the overlord of the entire south, and expected Haidar and Tipu to be his tributaries. As he was militarily imbecile he allied himself either with the Marathas or the English to distress the Mysore rulers. There was always a pro-British party at Hyderabad which dissuaded the Nizam from being cordial to Tipu. In the war that followed Tipu had the upper hand despite the alliance of his two neighbours. The war came to an end in April 1787 by the treaty of Gajendragadh by which he ceded Badami to the Marathas hoping to win their support against the English or at least to prevent them from joining the English.
Tipu was disappointed in his expectations. Far from joining him to remove the English from India, both of them, the Marathas and the Nizam, joined the English in a powerful confederacy against Tipu in the third Mysore war. The allies struggled hard for nearly two years from 1790 to 1792. Lord Cornwallis who had surrendered to the Americans at Saratoga in the new world assumed the command and with great difficulty he was successful in a surprise night attack to enter into the island of Srirangapatana on 6 February 1792. Tipu was made to make peace by surrendering half of his kingdom, and paying three crores as indemnity, apart from sending two of his sons as hostages to Madras. This was a serious blow to Tipu.
Very soon Tipu was able to build up his power again, paid the indemnity, and got his sons back. He intensified his contacts with the French, the Turks and the Afghans. The Nizam was also made friendly, who was made to recruit a contingent of 14000 troops under a French, Raymond, who was friendly to Tipu. Napoleon was also on the way to India to help Tipu, who had invited Zaman Shah of Afghanistan as well to help him remove the English from India. When all these plans were about to mature, destiny willed otherwise. Napoleon was defeated at Accre in Syria and forced back to France. Zaman Shah was made to beat a hasty retreat to Kabul because of British machinations that brought about a rear action from Iran on Afghanistan. Wellesley forced the Nizam to disband Raymond and accept a British detachment under subsidiary system. Having finished this task he declared war on Tipu, sending the largest English army ever assembled in India. The fourth Mysore war was a short affair. Keeping Tipu in false hopes, he suddenly surprised him by unacceptable demands. When Tipu refused to accept them, the English breached the fort and in a bloody encounter, fighting against heavy odds he was killed on 4 May 1799. The last hope for the freedom of the land was thus extinguished. He died a solider’s death for the defence of the cherished values of his land under a spontaneous combustion of hostile forces.
|Attached: DAY 4 1773-4t mysore war|