Lord Hastings & William Bentinck - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC & IAS Study Material

Lord Hastings & William Bentinck

by Devender 06-Jul-21

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After Lord Minto 1, Lord Hastings got the charge and he stayed in power from 1813 to 1823 and did many things that made him very famous. William Bentinck came to power in 1828.

Lord Hastings

He fought the Gorkha war against Nepal in which the Treaty of Sagauli was signed according to which, Subsidiary alliance with Nepal was set up. He also fought the third Anglo Maratha war in which he suppressed the Pindaris and totally suppressed the Marathas.

He established the Ryotwari system of land revenue mainly in Madras, Bombay & Assam with Thomas Munroe. According to it, Farmers were personally responsible for direct payment of land revenue for 20-40 years, and the land revenue for not irrigated land is set at 50% whereas irrigated land was set at 60%.

  • The establishment of Hindu college at Calcutta for English & western education by Raja Rammohan Roy & David Hare was during his period in 1817
  • The government also set 3 Sanskrit colleges at Calcutta, Delhi, and Agra in the same year
  • He always encouraged press freedom
  • He also abolished the censorship issued in 1799 during the Wellesley period
  • The first local newspaper Samachar Patrika was also published during his time period.


  • Lord Amherst:
  • He came to power after Lord Hastings in 1823 and stayed in power till 1828. He is only known for the First Anglo Burmese War (1824-26) and the Mutiny of Barrackpur in 1824.


    Lord William Bentinck

    He came to power after Amherst in 1828 and he became the first British reformer who worked for the Indian people. He considered taking care of Indians as his primary duty and it is been said about him that "He acted where others talked". He was associated with many social reforms that had a great impact like:

  • He abolished the Sati system
  • He made female infanticide an offense
  • He also banned the human sacrifices
  • He reformed the Hindu law of inheritance
  • He also suppressed thugs by colonel Sleeman
  • He adopted the policy of non-intervention and only captured states to end misgovernment. He ended Mysore's misgovernment and set it under Lord Cubbon. He was not only associated with social reforms, but he also did some financial reforms to cut down expenditure like:

  • He abolished the double Bhatta system
  • He reduced the salaries which were increased by Cornwallis to consolidate finance
  • He also terminated provincial courts set up by Cornwallis to cut down expenditure
  • He abolished the office of SP
  • He provided the collector/magistrate with polish powers
  • He introduced the Mahalwari system under James Thompson in Punjab, Delhi, and central provinces according to which, the whole village was responsible for revenue settlements. He introduced the use of local languages in lower courts and the use of English in higher courts instead of Persian. He also made English official & the literary language of India under the Macaulay committee. He laid the foundation of Calcutta Medical College in 1835.


    Charter Act of 1833

    It ended the monopoly of EIC in India completely and allowed other British companies to trade in India. Acc. to this act, EIC was no longer a commercial agency but a political party working under the Crown. This act changed General of Fort William to Gov. General of India.

  • William Bentinck became the first Gov. General of India
  • This act appointed a law commission in India
  • It also added a law member to the Council of Ministers Gov. General
  • The first member to be added to Bentinck's council was T. B. Macaulay
  • This act also stated that every native of India has equal rights in holding any place, office, or employment irrespective of color, religion, cast,e or place of birth
  • It basically did Indianization of civil services but the exam was still to be held in Britain.


    Lord Macaulay’s Minute

    It happened in 1835 and it stated that government resources were to be devoted to teaching western sciences and literature through the medium of the English language alone. The Government soon made the English language the only language used in its schools and colleges. The government also started some new English schools despite having many elementary schools. It was a means to neglect mass education.

  • Downward filtration theory:
  • According to this theory, the Britishers planned to educate a small section of the high and middle-class section to create a class that is "Indian in blood and color but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect". They wanted to use this class as a medium between the Government and the masses. They thought it would enrich the vernaculars by which knowledge of western sciences and literature would reach the masses.


    Sir Charles Metcalfe

    He was in power temporarily from 1835 to 1836 and all he did was remove the restrictions from the local press.


  • Lord Auckland:
  • He held power from 1836 to 1842 and he was in the first Afghan war where the Britishers suffered a major blowback and Afghans tasted victory. He signed a Tripartite Treaty among the English, Ranjit Singh, and Shah Shuja of Afghanistan.


  • Lord Ellenborough:
  • He held power from 1842 to 1844 and ended the Afghan war. He withdrew British forces from Afghanistan and annexed Sindh to the British empire.


  • Lord Hardinge:

He held the post from 1844 to 1848 and fought the first Anglo-Sikh war in which British forces emerged victoriously. He signed the Treaty of Lahore after the war.




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