British India

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British India flag
British India on a map in the Imperial Gazetteer, 1909
British India (purple) as part of the British Empire in 1920 after the First World War

British India ( English British India or British Raj , from Hindi [ राज ] rāj [ rɑːdʒ ] listening ? / I ) refers in the narrower sense to the British colonial empire on the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947. British India became after the suppression of the Indian 1857 Uprising founded by converting the former British East India Company possessions into a crown colony . At the time of its greatest expansion, British India included not only the territory of today's Republic of India , but also the territories of today's Pakistan , Bangladesh , Nepal , Bhutan , Myanmar and parts of Kashmir under today's control of the People's Republic of China . In 1876, Queen Victoria of Great Britain was proclaimed Empress of India , and the Indian Empire was widely regarded as the " Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire" . Audio file / audio sample

A peculiarity of British India was that only about two-thirds of its population and half of the land area were under direct British rule. The remainder were under the rule of indigenous princely dynasties who were personally loyal to the British crown. There were a total of more than 500 such princely states , which were very different in size. Some maharajas ruled only a few villages, while some ruled over vast countries with millions of subjects.

Under the name India , this union was a participant in both world wars, a founding member of the League of Nations , the United Nations and a participant in the Olympic Games of 1900 , 1920 , 1928 , 1932 and 1936 .

British India gained independence in 1947 and the partition of India split it into two dominions , the Union of India and Pakistan . The province of Burma (today's Myanmar) in the east of British India, on the other hand, had already been declared an independent colony in 1937 , which finally gained independence in 1948.


initial situation

After the fall of the Mughal power with the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the empire of the Marathen (1674-1818, founded by Shivaji ) rose in south-west India. The Marathas were the last Indian great power before British rule, alongside them the rulers of Hyderabad and Mysore also played a role in Indian politics, whereby the fiction of a continuing Mughal empire was maintained until 1857 because it formed the legal framework of every rule.

The East India Company

In the second half of the 18th century, the British and the British East India Company expanded their sphere of influence in India after the French ( Carnatic Wars ) and Portuguese ( Goa ) had been ousted. At first, under Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, they only secured their commercial interests in Bengal . But a pure involvement in Indian trade quickly turned into tangible power interests. The company interfered in the disputes of the Indian princes ( Battle of Plassey in 1757) and took over the tax privilege in Bengal from the Mughal emperors. In 1758 Clive had refused it, in 1765 he accepted it.

Arthur Wellesley leads his troops into the Battle of Assaye , 1803

Soon the British proved to be ambitious and flexible rulers. Warren Hastings came in 1769 , he became Governor of Bengal in 1771 and instructed his people to take over the administration: previously the company had always hidden behind the fictitiously maintained rule of the Nawab . He and his successors linked Indian soldiers with European warfare and British trade profits with Indian taxes, fought corruption (which is widespread among Indians and British alike) , concluded protection treaties and took over land after land. Where they were not in power themselves, East India Company officials served as advisors.

The British were able to organize a uniform policy with the office of the governor general and his advisory body (1773, then a board of directors in London after 1784). On the other side stood an India torn apart by many conflicts, in which there was always a party that was ready to make pacts with the British. The technological lead through the industrial revolution was added and since the beginning of the 19th century the East India Company was able to bring more and more parts of India under its control. In 1803 Delhi fell to the British, so the Mughal emperor (still the nominal ruler of India) was under their control.

With the increasing conquests, the company itself became more and more disorganized. Their employees became millionaires through bribes from Indian princes and private trade, while the war costs had to be covered by the shareholders and the company pushed a mountain of debt in front of them. Several laws therefore gradually changed the East India Company in 1773 (Regulating Act) , 1784 ( India Act ) , 1793, 1813 (far-reaching abolition of the trade monopoly), 1833/4 (administrative body without trading offices) from a trading company to an autonomous administrative organization under the control of the British government around. The trade workers were replaced by civil servants and India opened to British trade; H. broken the monopoly of society.

Adaptation attempts

Map of the Indian subcontinent ("Hindostan") from 1814

The success of the British was bought with great difficulty, and above all, they were initially unable to combine the diverging cultural ideas of administration. So Warren Hastings let Islamic criminal law stand because it was easy to use. From 1774 there was then a Supreme Court under English law, which, however, was only valid for Europeans after a regulation in 1781. The cruelest punishments of Islamic law ( staking , mutilation ) were abolished, but until 1861 there was no binding penal code; rather, the British relied on local legal experts. English did not become the administrative language until the 1830s, before that it was Persian. All in all, until well into the 19th century, the British were unable to organize and standardize the administration: there were superfluous offices, contradicting contracts, wrong interpretations of earlier legal practice, etc. - in short, a chaos in all property and taxes -, official and sovereign issues.

In the last decades of the 18th century, efforts were also made to adapt India's time-honored agricultural system to the European system of landed property. This led to the indebtedness of the land through speculation (land could be sold under the British in the event of insolvency; 1793 "permanent leasing" creates new landowners).

Silver rupee from the “ Madras Presidency ”, minted before the unification of coins in 1835; until then, the British had oriented themselves towards the local design

Lord Dalhousie and the Road to the Great Revolt of 1857

In the course of the 19th century, officials (e.g. Justice Minister Lord Macaulay), who wrote about the transformation of India in the English sense and the teaching of progressive, Christian values, took the place of the businessmen who were once concerned with intensive language skills. and knowledge of the country tried. In 1834, for example, marriages and social relationships with Indians that had been common up to that point were banned and a separation between the two groups was introduced.

Lord Dalhousie held the post of Governor General from 1848-1856. With great energy he created a tight fabric of a tightly organized administration. The old free spaces of the kind “Create order in the country, make the people happy and ensure that there is no spectacle” no longer existed for the officials (many of them also officers working in the civilian sector). The practice of adopting heirs to the throne, which is valid in India , was subjected to the right of objection of the governor general and Lord Dalhousie annexed a handful of these dependent princely states (so-called doctrine of lapse ). In addition, there was in Avadh (capital: Lucknow , today part of Uttar Pradesh ) a repeatedly denounced mismanagement, which he used as an excuse to annex it in 1856 (albeit this time on the instructions of his directors in London ).

Relief from Lucknow , 1857

The landlord class was also affected by the Lord's reforms. In the Deccan , around 20,000 plots of land were expropriated, some with dubious claims, without respecting traditional values ​​and customs and without compensating for injustices. (The jats in the Delhi area had, for example, taxed their pastureland like farmland - they suffered from the tax.) In the prisons, the caste separation was broken by letting everyone eat together. The Brahmins were robbed of their authority by modern Western education.

The consequences of these energetic policies were felt in the Sepoy uprising . This uprising is seen variously as the first independence movement against the British, as it was based on resistance to the curtailment of ancestral rights and traditions. Not only was there a discontent that ran through all castes, but also the ancestral leadership for an uprising: Nana Sahib , responsible for the massacre of English women and children in Kanpur , was, for example. B. the adopted son of the last Peshwas Baji Rao II and was deprived of his pension by Dalhousie's policies. He had a capable general named Tantia Topi . The Rani of Jhansi Lakshmibai , a legendary insurgent leader, had been deprived of the successor to her adopted son. The ex-king of Avadh also had his agitators in the sepoy regiments and many sepoys came from there.

The Indian soldiers ( sepoy ) trained on the European model were commanded by the British and in 1830 numbered 187,000 men compared to 16,000 British. Indians could only be promoted to company commander. The balance of power on the eve of the uprising was as follows: 277,746 sepoys against 45,522 British soldiers. Nevertheless, the British triumphed and in retrospect, Dalhousie's policy established not only the era of imperialist British India, but also the modern unified Indian state.

After the sepoy uprising

Map of the Empire of India

After the Sepoy uprising in 1857/58, the rule of the East India Company ended and its last powers and special rights were transferred to the Crown.

This happened with the Government of India Act 1858 , which the British Parliament passed on August 2, 1858 at the request of Prime Minister Palmerston . The main points of the law were:

  • the takeover of all territories in India from the East India Company, which at the same time lost the powers and powers of control that had previously been transferred to it.
  • the government of the estates on behalf of Queen Victoria as a crown colony . A Secretary of State for India was appointed to head the India Office , which oversaw the administrative administration from London.
  • the takeover of all the company's assets and the entry of the crown into all previously concluded contracts and agreements.

At the same time, the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II was deposed. From now on the Council of the Governor General ruled, which was subordinate to the India Office in London. The Indians were promised the same rights as the British, including access to all government posts. In reality, however, harsh reception conditions made it almost impossible for Indians to obtain higher administrative positions. The princely states could again be inherited through adoption.


In 1876 Queen Victoria of Great Britain accepted the title " Empress of India / Kaisar-i Hind", documenting that India had become the mainstay of the British Empire . The imperial title was created not least to create a kind of legal basis for British rule: after all, the East India Company had ruled in the name of the Mughal emperor until the end. The "Empire India" was divided into the areas under direct control (just under 2/3 of the country) and in the areas under native princes, the so-called princely states ( Princely States or Native States ). Therefore, the additional title viceroy was introduced for the governor general in 1858 .

Burma was occupied by Great Britain in several wars (1852, 1866 and 1886) and also annexed to the Empire of India (until 1937). There were also protracted battles on the north-western border with Afghanistan , where the feared Russian advance was to be countered. However, direct control over Afghanistan turned out to be impracticable. In 1893 the Durand Line was drawn, which still forms the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan today.

Administrative division

"British Raj", the administrative division
A Brit in India

At the head of the provincial administrations, depending on the size, a governor or (chief) commissioner:

  • Ajmer-Merwara : separated from the north-west provinces in 1871.
  • Balochistan : The parts of Balochistan under direct rule were organized as a province in 1887, with Robert Groves Sandeman becoming the first commissioner .
  • Bengal : 1765 presidency of the British East India Company. Expanded after the wars against the Marathas. 1858 province, this also included today's Bihar. 1874, 1905–1912 divided, when the heartlands were reunified, Bihar and Orissa were separated.
  • Berar : Territory of the Nizam of Hyderabad , under British administration from 1853, united with the central provinces in 1903.
  • Bombay : 1668 presidency of the British East India Company. Expanded in the wars against the Marathas . 1858 province.
  • Delhi , after the government moved from Calcutta on Sept. 30, 1912, was spun off from Punjab as a separate province (Delhi Imperial Enclave) , and in 1915 the area was expanded.
  • Madras (officially Presidency of Fort St. George ): founded in 1640, presidency of the British East India Company in 1652, greatly expanded at the end of the 18th century. 1858 province.
  • Mysore & Coorg : 1869–1881, then again own princely states.
  • Nagpur : created in 1853 from an annexed princely state, attached to the central provinces in 1861.
  • Northwest Provinces ( North-Western Provinces, capital Agra ): separated from the Bengal Presidency in 1835; 1877 joint administration with Oudh; In 1902 the two provinces were formally united and renamed United Provinces of Agra & Oudh ('United Provinces of Agra and Oudh').
  • Oudh : Princely state annexed in 1857, administered by the north-west provinces since 1877.
  • Punjab : formed in 1849 from territories acquired in the Sikh Wars . When the North-West Frontier Province (reduced 1901 North West Frontier Province was formed).
  • Central provinces (Central Provinces): 1861 from the union of Nagpur with the Saugor- and Nerbudda Territories emerged. Renamed Central Provinces and Berar after the annexation of Berar in 1903 .
Peripheral areas
  • Aden and Persian Gulf Residency : separated from the Bombay Presidency in 1932; The former became an independent crown colony in 1937.
  • Assam : Separated from Bengal in 1874, enlarged in 1905 and renamed Eastern Bengal & Assam .
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands : Organized as a separate province in 1872.
  • Burma : Lower Burma (Unter-Burma) formed in 1862 from Arakan , Pegu and Tenasserim , expanded to include Upper Burma (Upper Burma) in 1886 , separated from the Empire of India in 1937 and raised to an independent crown colony.

Administration after 1919

According to the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1919 (in force from April 1, 1921) eleven provinces existed under a Governor's Provinces . He was responsible to the London Parliament and appointed for five years. He was given a council with two to four appointed members. If Indians were allowed to decide certain questions, they asked two or three specialist ministers. Each province had a legislative council that was elected every three years. In 1935 the provinces of Sindh (capital Karachi ) and Orissa were newly created. The North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) was spun off from Punjab on November 9, 1901 and administered from Peshawar .

The provinces were further divided into divisions under Commissioners , in Madras they were called Collectorates . These were in turn divided into Districts (1935: 273), the entire administration of which was directed by a District Officer or Deputy Commissioner . Sindh was separated from Bombay in 1936 . Panth-Piploda was ceded by the princely state of Jaora in 1942 .

Representatives of the people
Provinces (before 1935) Capital (S: in summer) Member of the Council of State
(appointed / elected)
Member of the Legislative Council
(appointed / elected)
Members of the Provincial Parliament
total (appointed / elected)
Number of princely states
Madras Madras, S: Ootacamund 2/5 4/16 132 * ( 034/98) -
Bombay Bombay, Poona; S: Mahabaleshwar 2/6 6/16 114 * ( 028/86) 152
Bengal Calcutta, S: Darjeeling 2/6 5/17 140 (26/114) -
United Provinces of Agra and Oudh Allahabad, S: Nainital 2/5 3/11 123 * (23/100) -
Punjab Lahore, S: Shimla 3/3 2/12 094 * ( 023/71) 021st
Bihar & Orissa Patna, Ranchi 1/4 2/12 103 ( 027/76) 026th
Central Provinces (with Berar) Nagpur, S: Pachmarhi - / 2 3/ 06 073 * ( 018/55) 015th
Assam Shillong - / 1 3/ 06 053 ( 014/39) 016

In Myanmar , women had the right to vote in 1923. However, as with men, this was a census option that depended on tax revenue. Since a poll tax was only imposed on men and therefore significantly more men than women paid tax, we cannot speak of comparable criteria for the sexes here. The right to vote for women with high income qualifications also existed at the Indian level and to the legislatures marked with *.

There were also five provinces headed by a Chief Commissioner appointed for three years ; without parliament they were directly subordinate to the central government:

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the capital Port Blair , whose notorious Circular Jail was used to banish political prisoners. To the 28,000 inhabitants (1937) there were 6,158 convicts; In 1921 there were 11,500
  • Ajmer-Merwana with the summer capital Mount Abu
  • Balochistan , capital Quetta ; the tahsil Quetta was part of the state of Kalat until 1879 . Bori were added in 1886, Khétran in 1887, Zhob and Kakar Khurasan in 1889, Chagai and West Sinjrani in 1896, Nuski Niabat in 1899 and Nasirabad in 1903.
  • The status of Delhi remained unchanged; a legislature consisted of 41 appointed and 104 elected representatives
  • Coorg was under the resident of Mysore since 1881. The advisory assembly had 20 members, five of whom were civil servants.

Princely states

On the princely states combined as protectorates under various agencies (1941: 560, 119 of them with salute rights ).

Period of the independence movement

In 1885 the Indian National Congress (INC) was founded, which initially only had the function of approaching the colonial government with inquiries and requests. Initially, it was a rather elitist association, “which was formed in the West, shaped by European thinking and eager to take on government responsibility” ( Gita Dharampal-Frick; Manju Ludwig and lima raja : Colonialization and Independence, 153). In the further course of the story, it was this INC that had a decisive influence on India's independence. Because of the growing influence of the Hindus in the INC, the rival Muslim League was founded in 1906 . The INC and the Muslim League jointly drafted a declaration in 1916 calling for Indian independence ( Lucknow Pact ). This was answered by the British government in August 1917 with a political declaration of intent to allow India a gradual transition to self-government.

After the First World War , in which 1.3 million men of the Indian Army fought on the British side, India, which was still under British rule, was one of the founding members of the League of Nations . With Mahatma Gandhi , the INC came to its most famous and also most charismatic leader. He knew how to move a large crowd and take the process of Indian independence to the next level. This led to non-violent resistance to British rule in the interwar period. Gandhi strove for the political unity of Hindus and Muslims, he dreamed of a unified, undivided India. In his striving for independence, religious and political motivations were intertwined in a peculiar way. For example, his political measures were always "accompanied by religious rituals (prayers, fasting, processions)" ( Michael Bergunder : Pluralism and Identity, 162). In 1919 the Amritsar massacre took place, in which at least 379 demonstrators were shot dead by British soldiers. Between 1920 and 1922, the so-called non-cooperation campaign , initiated by Gandhi, took place. In 1930 the famous salt march took place. But despite the great national and international response, no far-reaching changes in terms of co-government or even independence could be achieved. In 1935, the Government of India Act of 1935 initiated elections to provincial parliaments, which the INC won in 1937 in seven out of eleven provinces. In the same year Burma was elevated to an independent crown colony.

Although the Indian public not at all with the Nazis sympathized and Britain's attitude towards Germany welcomed, declared the leading political forces of India (like Subhash Bose ), only in the war to want to happen if would get in return India its independence. The British Governor General Lord Linlithgow declared the state of war between the Indian Empire and Germany at the outbreak of World War II, but without consulting Indian politicians. This step made it clear how little the co-government won so far actually meant in terms of self-determination, so that the INC's demand for independence after the end of the war was voiced. However, these demands were rejected and the ensuing uprisings and unrest were violently suppressed. At the beginning of the war India had an army of around 200,000 men, at the end of the war 2.5 million men had registered, the largest volunteer army in World War II. According to official figures, India lost 24,338 soldiers in this war, 64,354 were wounded and 11,754 went missing. An estimated two million people died of starvation due to the war-related lack of food (see also Bengal Famine in 1943 ).

After the Second World War, contrary to the announcements, negotiations about a possible independence of India took place. In addition to Mahatma Gandhi, his successor Jawaharlal Nehru as a representative of the INC and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League, who pursued the establishment of Pakistan as a goal, were also involved. The different interests and ideas led to a dispute and a sudden end to the negotiations. The result was riots between Muslims and Hindus, and as Great Britain saw itself unable to control the situation, the prospect of independence for both states was promised. This should actually only take place in June 1948, the British decided spontaneously to a faster transfer of power in June 1947. According to the two-nation theory (see also Mountbatten Plan ), the country became a Hindu part (today's India ) and a Muslim part (today's Pakistan ) divided . The then independent Bangladesh also belonged to Pakistan . The hasty transfer of power and rash drawing of borders led to serious conflicts between the two states.

The fact that a two-nation solution even came about is related, among other things, to Gandhi's religious-national interests. For him, India presented itself “primarily as a religious idea” ( Michael Bergunder : Pluralism and Identity, 162). Gandhi understood Hinduism as an inclusive religion. It was clear to him that other religions also represented a path to God, but for Gandhi at the same time, at least implicitly, the primacy of Hinduism applied. An example of this is his commitment to the holiness of the cow. He wanted to enforce this against Indian-Islamic groups and thus made their religious convictions in dispute. Jinnah's call for a Muslim Pakistan in the negotiations from 1945 onwards is to be understood as a demarcation from Gandhi's united India, which Gandhi thought of as an encompassing Hinduism. Jawaharlal Nehru, who played a key role in the later negotiations, advocated a strict separation of religion and politics. For him, India's politics therefore had to be under the auspices of secularism and not a Hindu national consciousness.

Economy and Social

Under the rule of the East India Company, India had increasingly sunk into an object of economic exploitation. The Indian weaving as an industry was z. B. ruined by the start of machine production in Europe : the European market was closed, and at the same time Great Britain introduced ready-made clothing in India; India became a sales market, while textile exports fell rapidly.

The economic monopoly of the East India Company was abolished as early as 1813, but it still held the administration and had some privileges. So-called agency houses arose next to it , which financed their own ventures but did not yet have sufficient capital. Investments were kept within narrow limits, because the European and American markets were safer and had better logistical prerequisites. A series of bankruptcies of the Agency Houses and the cessation of all commercial transactions of the company in 1833/4 allowed an Indian to get on board : Dwarkanath Tagore (1794-1846). After that, the influence of British capital rose again, for example in connection with railway construction. As a countermeasure to the poor infrastructure, the expansion of the Grand Trunk Road began in 1839 , a road from Delhi that had existed since the Mughal times and led to Calcutta . Banks were set up, steamers were used on the rivers, and in 1853 the construction of the first railway line (planned in the 1840s) began .

There were further changes in the social area. The slavery was abolished and the burning of widows was in 1829 at least prohibited in the area under direct British administration. In 1829 the government also took action against the Thugs , a murder sect of the goddess Kali . One of the pioneers of a kind of spiritual renewal in India was the Brahmin son Ram Mohan Roy (1772–1833), who turned against the caste system , widow burning and the oppression of women. His aim was to reconcile Hinduism and Christianity , because he assumed that both beliefs were essentially moral and rational.

After the Sepoy uprising, the Indians were granted the same rights as the British, and also (with the appropriate qualifications) access to all government posts. This resulted in the rise of many Indians with modern training in the administration, also in higher positions in the army. Even under direct British rule, a controlled development of the colony took place, which followed the principle of extracting raw materials in the colony, processing them in the home country and at the same time using the colony as a sales market for finished products. Therefore, India was hardly industrialized , there was only an expansion of the infrastructure - especially the railroad - instead. The main products of the colony were cotton and tea as well as jute; Large quantities of grain ( wheat ) were also exported to Great Britain.

British India's rail network in 1909 spanned approximately 45,000 to 50,000 km.

The beneficiaries of the modernization of India (roads, canals, railways, factories, colleges and universities, newspapers, etc.), despite everything, were primarily the British. After all, the Indian administration was under the control of the India Office in London and thus the British Parliament, not the Indians. The language of the upper class was English . While the laws applied to everyone, they were made by the British, and the economic winners were first them, then the emerging Indian middle class.

Technical achievements such as printing were taken up by the Indians themselves and a lively Indian press emerged.

Modernization passed the masses of peasants (often uneducated and indebted) and artisans; for them it was foreign goods without any relation to their own tradition. On the other hand, the conversion to the cultivation of export products such as cotton instead of staple foods and the high tax burden exacerbated rural poverty . Droughts and floods repeatedly caused famines with millions of victims. In line with its laissez-faire economic policy, the British did little to help the hungry.

Public finances

The numerous colonial wars and the upkeep of the army in particular caused massive expenses. When the crown took over direct rule in 1858, it not only took over the debts of the East India Company, but also generously compensated its shareholders, which led to a comparatively high national debt (India Debt) . The public finances were mostly poor, which are offset by an export surplus had so through permanent cash drain (drain) led to permanent impoverishment of the country. Inflation must be taken into account in the figures given below: Price index 1873 = 100, 1913 = 143, 1920 = 281, based on all of India, which received another boost in World War II.

Revenue side

The main source of income was and remained land revenue, although its share overall decreased over time. The Permanent Settlement (1793) created a structure modeled on the British system. Big landowners ( zamindar ) were indirectly responsible for collecting the tax. The income of the middlemen from the land lease increased sevenfold between 1793 and 1872, but only a little more than double the tax was paid. In the south, a more direct form of tax payment, the Ryotwari system, was common. Between 1881 and 1901 the income rose by a further 22%. At the local level, a tax was levied on the villages to pay the village chief (chaukidar) . Quite a few Zamindar invented their own taxes, for example for the maintenance of their elephants. Tax collection was often carried out through extortion, foreclosure, but also often violence.

The introduction of fees on the use of forests and pastures (forest revenue) by the British hit the tribals in particular , who traditionally used forests as common land, and led to numerous uprisings in the 19th century, all of which were bloodily suppressed.

Plans to introduce an income tax had been drafted since 1860 and did not come into effect until 1886 to cover the high war costs of previous years. The tax base was greatly expanded in 1917.

The VAT (sales tax) was designed regressive and has greatly increased the 1888th Excise taxes e.g. B. on alcohol gained in importance (1882: 6 million Rs., 1920: 54 million). The salt tax , which particularly affected the common people, was never significant in the total amount. A license fee was payable to permit business operations .

The tariffs were kept low for political reasons so as not to affect the import of finished goods from the mother country, especially fabrics. For authorities and courts to act, stamp duty was required in the form of fee stamps.

Expenditure side

The largest item in the Indian budget has always been the cost of the army. This not only included expenses in India, but also a large part of the British war costs from 1885-86 against the Mahdi and during the Boxer Rebellion (1900/01) were borne by India, as well as the costs of all overseas-based Indian units. The share of the household rose from 41.9% in 1881 to 45.4% in 1891 and then to 51.9% by 1904. After the Sepoy uprising, a third of the army had to be made up of European soldiers who received roughly three times the pay of an Indian.

After 1873 there was a creeping devaluation of the rupee, based on the silver standard, against the gold-backed pound. This was particularly important for paying home charges . These were expenses billed in pounds, which were paid to the motherland. They amounted to £ 17.3 million in 1901, of which 6.4 million were interest on guaranteed bonds from the railway construction, a further three million were used to service the general public debt. £ 4.3m was used to support British troops, only £ 1.9m was used to purchase materials. This also included pensions for former members of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) and British officers, a total of £ 1.3 million . This also covered the costs of the India Office in London.

See also


  • Joachim K. Bautze: Colonial India. Photographs from 1855 to 1910. Torch bearer, Cologne 2007, ISBN 978-3-7716-4347-8 .
  • Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya: Financial Foundations of the British Raj. Menand Ideas in the post-mutiny Period of Reconstruction of Indian Public Finance, 1858-1872. Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla 1971.
  • Ulbe Bosma: Emigration: Colonial circuits between Europe and Asia in the 19th and early 20th century. 2011. On: European History Online . Accessed November 17, 2015.
  • Thomas Henry Holland (Ed.): Provincial geographies of India. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1913-1923;
    • Volume 1: Edgar Thurston: The Madras Presidency, with Mysore Coorg and the associated States. 1913, ( digitized version) .
    • Volume 2: James Douie: The Panjab, Northwest Frontier Province and Kashmir. 1916, ( digitized version) .
    • Volume 3: Lewis SS O'Malley: Bengal Bihar and Orissa Sikkim. 1917, ( digitized version) .
    • Volume 4: Herbert Thirkell White: Burma. 1923, ( PDF; 12.9 MB) .
  • Lawrence James: Raj. The Making and Unmaking of British India. Little, Brown and Co, London 1997, ISBN 0-316-64072-7 .
  • Denis Judd: The Lion and the Tiger. The Rise and Fall of the British Raj, 1600-1947. Oxford University Press, Oxford u. a. 2004, ISBN 0-19-280358-1 .
  • Yasmin Khan: The Raj at War: A People's History of India's Second World War . Brodley Head, 2015
  • Dharma Kumar, Tapan Raychaudhuri (Ed.): The Cambridge economic history of India. Tape. 2: Dharma Kumar, Meghnad Desai (Eds.): C. 1757 - c. 1970. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. a. 1983, ISBN 0-521-22802-6 .
  • Bernd Lemke , Martin Rink : British India. From the beginning of the European expansion to the emergence of Pakistan. In: Bernhard Chiari , Conrad Schetter (ed.): Pakistan (= guide to history. ). Published on behalf of the Military History Research Office. Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 2010, ISBN 978-3-506-76908-4 , pp. 2-15.
  • Emil Schlagintweit : India in words and pictures. A description of the Indian Empire. 2 volumes. Schmidt & Günther, Leipzig 1880–1881, (digitized: Volume 1 , Volume 2 )
  • Joseph E. Schwartzberg (Ed.): A historical atlas of South Asia (= Association for Asian Studies. Reference Series. 2). 2nd impression, with additional material. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, NY, etc. a. 1992, ISBN 0-19-506869-6 .
  • Philip J. Stern: The Company-State. Corporate Sovereignty And The Early Modern Foundations Of The British Empire In India. Oxford University Press, Oxford u. a. 2011, ISBN 0-19-539373-2 .

Web links

Commons : British India  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files


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  2. ^ The British Empire. Retrieved September 20, 2016 .
  3. ^ Robert H. Taylor: Colonial Forces in British Burma: A National Army postponed. In: Karl Hack, Tobias Rettig (Eds.): Colonial Armies in Southeast Asia (= Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia. 33). Routledge, London a. a. 2006, ISBN 0-415-33413-6 , pp. 195–209, here p. 207.
  4. Michael W. Charney: A History of Modern Burma. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 2009, ISBN 978-0-521-85211-1 , pp. 46-72.
  5. ^ William Dalrymple : The Anarchy. The Relentless Rise of the East India Company. London u. a. 2019.
  6. The employees were poorly paid , at least until the time of Cornwallis (r. 1786–93). However, they were allowed to trade on their own and also claim a certain quota of the company's cargo space.
  7. without Burma
  8. ^ Jad Adams: Women and the Vote. A world history. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, ISBN 978-0-19-870684-7 , page 437.
  9. ^ Jad Adams: Women and the Vote. A world history. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, ISBN 978-0-19-870684-7 , page 440.
  10. Gita Dharampal-Frick, Manju Ludwig: The colonization of India and the way to independence. In: Lpb, State Center for Political Education Baden-Württemberg (Ed.): India (= The Citizen in the State. Vol. 59, Issue 3/4, ISSN  0007-3121 ). Weinmann, Filderstadt 2009, pp. 157–173.
  11. Michael Bergunder : Religious Pluralism and National Identity. The conflict over political legitimacy of the Indian state. In: Michael Bergunder (ed.): Religious pluralism and Christianity. Festival ceremony for Helmut Obst on his 60th birthday (= Church - Denomination - Religion. Vol. 43). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, ISBN 3-525-56547-X , 2001, pp. 157-173.
  12. Johannes H. Voigt : India in the Second World War (= studies on contemporary history. Vol. 11). Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, Stuttgart 1978, ISBN 3-421-01852-9 , p. 304 (also: Stuttgart, University, habilitation paper, 1973).
  13. Michael Michael Bergunder: Religious Pluralism and National Identity. The conflict over political legitimacy of the Indian state. In: Michael Bergunder (ed.): Religious pluralism and Christianity. Festival ceremony for Helmut Obst on his 60th birthday (= Church - Denomination - Religion. Vol. 43). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, ISBN 3-525-56547-X , 2001, pp. 157-173.
  14. ^ Judith M. Brown: Gandhi's Rise to Power. Indian Politics 1915-1922 (= Cambridge South Asian Studies. 11). Cambridge University Press, London a. a. 1974, ISBN 0-521-08353-2 , p. 125.
  15. ^ Sumit Sarkar: Modern India. 1885-1947. Macmillan, Delhi et al. a. 1983, ISBN 0-333-90425-7 , p. 17 f: total: 1881: 42%, 1901: 39%; Madras Presidency : 1880: 57%, 1920: 28%
  16. ^ Sumit Sarkar: Modern India. 1885-1947. Macmillan, Delhi et al. a. 1983, ISBN 0-333-90425-7 , p. 17: 1881: 19.67 crore Rs., 1901 (after years of devastating famine): 23.99 crores Rs.
  17. ^ Sumit Sarkar: Modern India. 1885-1947. Macmillan, Delhi et al. a. 1983, ISBN 0-333-90425-7 , p. 17: 1873: 1 R. = 2 '; 1893: 1 row = 1 '2d, d. H. −42%
  18. all numbers according to: Sumit Sarkar: Modern India. 1885-1947. Macmillan, Delhi et al. a. 1983, ISBN 0-333-90425-7 , especially Chapter II: Political and Economic Structure.