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TN Textbook Class XIl History SIVA PRASAD
INDIA UNDER THE ENGLISH EAST INDIA COMPANY: WARREN HASTINGS (1772-1785)
Trade Regulations and other Reforms Warren Hastings abolished the system of dastaks, or free passes and regulated the internal trade. . He reduced the number of custom houses and enforced a uniform tariff of 2.5 percent for Indian and non-Indian goods. Private trade by the Company's servants continued but within enforceable limits. Weavers were given better treatment and facilities were made to improve their condition A bank was started in Calcutta. He improved the police in Calcutta and the dacoits were severely dealt with.
The Regulating Act of 1773 The Regulating Act of 1773 opened a new chapter in the constitutional history of the Company. Previously, the Home government in England consisted of the Court of Directors and the Court of Proprietors. The Court of Directors were elected annually and practically managed the affairs of the Company. . In India, each of the three presidencies was independent and responsible only to the Home Government. The government of the presidency was conducted by a Governor and a Council.
The Regulating Act of 1773 The following conditions invited the Parliamentary intervention in the Company's affairs . The English East India Company became a territorial power when it acquired a wide dominion in India and also the Diwani rights. Its early administration was not only corrupt but notorious. . When the Company was in financial trouble, its servants were affluent. The disastrous famine which broke out in Bengal in 1770 affected the agriculturists. As a result, the revenue collection was poor. In short, the Company was on the brink of bankruptcy.
The Regulating Act of 1773 In 1773, the Company approached the British government for an immediate loan. .It was under these circumstances that the Parliament of England resolved to regulate the affairs of the Company. .Lord North, the Prime Minister of England, appointed a select committee to inquire into the affairs of the Company. The report submitted by the Committee paved the way for the enactment of the Regulating Act
Provisions of the Act The term of office of the members of the Court of Directors was extended from one year to four years. One-fourth of them were to retire every year and the retiring Directors were not eligible for re-election. . The Governor of Bengal was styled the Governor-General of Fort Willianm whose tenure of office was for a period of five years. .A council of four members was appointed to assist the Governor-General. The government was to be conducted in accordance with the decision of the majority. The Governor- General had a casting vote in case of a tie.
Provisions of the Act The Governor-General in Council was made supreme over the other Presidencies in matters of war and peace Provision was made in the Act for the establishment of a Supreme Court at Calcutta consisting of a Chief Justice and three junior judges. It was to be independent of the Governor- General in Council. In 1774, the Supreme Court was established by a Royal Charter. This Act prevented the servants of the Company including the Governor- General, members of his council and the judges of the Supreme Court from receiving directly or indirectly any gifts in kind or cash.
Merits and Demerits of the Act The significance of the Regulating Act is that it brought the affairs of the Company under the control of the Parliament. Besides, it proved that the Parliament of England was concerned about the welfare of Indians. . The greatest merit of this Act is that it put an end to the arbitrary rule of the Company and provided a framework for all future enactments relating to the governing of India The main defect of the Act was that the Governor-General was made powerless because the council which was given supreme power often created deadlocks by over-ruling his decision. However, many of these defects were rectified by the Pitt's India Act of 1784.
The Rohilla War (1774) . Rohilkand was a small kingdom situated in between Oudh and the Marathas. Its ruler was Hafiz Rahmat Khan. . He concluded a defensive treaty in 1772 with the Nawab of Oudh fearing an attack by the Marathas. But no such attack took place. But, the Nawab demanded money. When Rahmat Khan evaded, the Nawab with the help of the British invaded Rohilkand. . Warren Hastings, who sent the British troops against Rohilkand was severely crticised for his policy on Rohilla affair.
First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-82) . In 1776, Warren Hastings sent Colonel Upton to settle the issue. He cancelled the Treaty of Surat and concluded the Treaty of Purander with Nana Fadnavis, another Maratha leader. According to this treaty Madhava Rao ll was accepted as the new Peshwa and the British retained Salsette along with a heavy war indemnity. However, the Home authorities rejected the Treaty of Purander. Warren Hastings also considered the Treaty of Purandar as a 'scrap of paper' and sanctioned operations against the Marathas. In the meantime, the British force sent by the Bombay Government was defeated by the Marathas
First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-82) The Treaty of Salbai established the British influence in Indian politics. . It provided the British twenty years of peace with the Marathas . The Treaty also enabled the British to exert pressure on Mysore with the help of the Marathas in recovering their territories from Haider Ali. Thus, the British, on the one hand, saved themselves from the combined opposition of Indian powers and on the other, succeeded in dividing the Indian powers.
The Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84) Main causes for the second Anglo-Mysore War were: The British failed to fulfill the terms of the defensive treaty with Haider when he was attacked by the Marathas in 1771. There was an outbreak of hostilities between the English and the French (an ally of Haider) during the American War of Independence. The British captured Mahe, a French settlement within Haider's territories. . Haider Ali formed a grand alliance with the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas against the British in 1779.
The Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84) . The War began when the British led their forces through Haider's territory without his permission to capture Guntur in the Northern Sarkars. . Haider Ali defeated Colonel Baillie and captured Arcot in 1780. In the next year, Warren Hastings, by a clever stroke of diplomacy, divided the Confederacy. . He made peace with the Nizam, won the friendship of Bhonsle and came to an understanding with the Scindia (both Marathas). Consequently, Haider was isolated without any alliance. . He was defeated by Sir Eyre Coote at Porto Novo in March 1781. In December 1782, Haider died of cancer at the age of sixty . The Second Mysore War came to an end by the Treaty of Mangalore in 1783. Accordingly, all conquests were mutually restored and the prisoners on both sides were liberated.
Pitt's India Act, 1784 . A Board of Control consisting of six members was created. They were appointed by the Crown. The Court of Directors was retained without any alteration in its composition The Act also introduced significant changes in the Indian administration. It reduced the number of the members of the Governor-General's Council from four to three including the Commander-in-Chief.
Pitt's India Act, 1784 . Pitt's India Act constitutes a significant landmark with regard to the foreign policy of the Company. A critical review of the Act reveals that it had introduced a kind of contradiction in the functions of the Company. . The Court of Directors controlled its commercial functions, whereas the Board of Control maintained its political affairs . In fact, the Board represented the King, and the Directors symbolised the Company.