History of British Raj in India and List of Governor Generals/Viceroys

History of British Rule in India:

British Raj The Indian subcontinent was ruled by the British between 1858 and 1947. Territories under direct British control – commonly referred to as "India" in contemporary usage – include territories over which Britain was directly administered (contemporarily, "British India") and princely states ruled by individual rulers. . But the British Crown had paramount authority over them. The British Raj spread over almost the whole of present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh except Goa and Puducherry.

At times this included Aden (from 1858 to 1937), Lower Burma (from 1858 to 1937), Upper Burma (from 1886 to 1937), British Somaliland (from 1884 to 1898) and Singapore (from 1858 to 1867). Burma was governed directly under the British Crown from 1937 until its independence from India in 1948. The Trussal States of the Persian Gulf were also considered in principle as princely states of British India until 1946, and the rupee was used as currency there.

List of Governor Generals / Viceroys of the British Raj:

Governor General / Viceroy Tenure period Essential information
Warren Hastings 1774 - 1785 The first Governor General in India (he had been appointed Governor General of Fort William but had control over all the officers of the East India Company stationed in India). He was impeached in England for some of his wrongdoings, (ie the Rohilla War, the execution of Nand Kumar, the case of Raja Chait Singh and the Begums of Awadh).
lord cornwallis 1786 - 1793 Permanent Settlement, an agreement between the East India Company and the Bengal zamindars to fix the revenue to be taken on land, was implemented during his period.
Lord William Bentinck 1828 - 1835 Appointed the first Governor General of India in 1828. He outlawed the practice of Sati and introduced English education in India.
Lord Dalhousie 1848 - 1856 He started the infamous Doctrine of Lapse. The arrival of railways and telegraph in India happened during his period. He is also known as the builder of modern India.
lord canning 1856 - 1862 He was the Governor General during the war of 1857. He was appointed the first Viceroy after the war.
lord mayo 1869 - 1872 He was killed by a criminal in the Andaman Islands. The first census in India was done in this period but not all the states were included in it.
Lord Lytton 1876 - 1880 The Delhi Durbar or Royal Durbar, in which Queen Victoria was proclaimed Kesar-i-Hind on 1 January 1877, was held during her period. The Vernacular Press Act, 1878, an act governing Indian language newspapers, was passed during this period.
Lord Rippon 1880 - 1884 He introduced the dual system of governance. The first complete and simultaneous census of India was conducted in 1881. He was also associated with the Ilbert Bill under which Indian judges could punish British criminals.
Lord dufferin 1884 - 1888 The Indian National Congress was established during his period.
Lord Curzon 1899 - 1905 Partition of Bengal and the beginning of the Swadeshi Movement.
lord hardinge 1910 - 1916 In 1911, the capital of India was shifted from Calcutta to Delhi. The King of England, George V came to India in 1911 to attend the Delhi Durbar. An attempt was made to assassinate him by Rash Behari Bose and others.
Lord Chelmsford 1916 - 1921 The Jallianwala Bagh tragedy of 1919 occurred during his period. Events like Montague Chelmsford Reform, Rowlatt Act, Khilafat Movement etc. are also associated with their period.
Lord Reading 1921 - 1926 The incident of Chauri-Chaura happened during his period. During this time Mahatma Gandhi was sent to jail for the first time.
lord irwin 1926 - 1931 Their period is associated with the Simon Commission, the Gandhi Irwin Pact, the First Round Table Conference and the famous Dandi March.
Lord Willingdon 1931 - 1936 The holding of the second and third Round Table Conferences, the communal decision of Ramsay MacDonald and the Poona Pact between Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar are events related to this period.
Lord linlithgow 1936 – 1943 The Kirps Mission's visit to India and the Quit India Movement are associated with his period.
Lord Wavell 1943 - 1947 Shimla Conference and Cabinet Mission's visit to India took place during this period.

Important years during British rule in India:

The year Importance
1857 The first war of Indian independence which was named as Sepoy Mutiny by the British.
1885 Formation of the Indian National Congress.
1905 Partition of Bengal, Swadeshi Movement.
1909 Minto Morley Reforms.
1911 Transfer of the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi.
1919 Government of India Act 1919, Rowlatt Act, Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy.
1920 Khilafat Movement.
1922 Chauri Chaura outrage in Uttar Pradesh.
1928 Simon Commission coming to India, Lala Lajpat Rai's death.
1929 Resolution of complete independence at the Lahore session of the Indian National Congress.
1930 Dandi March, the beginning of the civil disobedience movement.
1931 Gandhi Irwin Pact, execution of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.
1935 Government of India Act, 1935.
1942 Quit India Movement, Structure of Azad Hind Fauj.
1943 Cripps Commission's visit to India.
1946 British Cabinet Mission's visit to India.

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British Governor General FAQs:

Lord Canning was the Governor General of India during the Revolt of 1857. He held this position from 1856 to 1862 and was the principal leader of the actions of the British Government during the Revolt.

C. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India as India became a republic in 1950. He was also the only Indian-born Governor-General, as all previous holders of the post had been British citizens.

Lord Mountbatten was the first Governor General of independent India. He was the last Governor General of British power, who established the new constitutional structure in India after independence.

The first Governor General of the East India Company in India was Lord Warren Hastings. He was appointed to serve as the first Governor General of the East India Company from 1774 to 1785.

Lord Dalhousie was the British Governor General who started the postal system in India. He started reforms in postal and railway services in 1853 AD.

  Last update :  Sat 15 Apr 2023
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