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Saturday, September 11, 2021

British Law in India before 1857 - JPSC/ JSSC/ PSC

British Law in India before 1857

After the victory in the Battle of Plassey (1757), the Company made the imperialist expansion and consolidation of the Company in India by two-pronged methods;

  • Policy of amalgamation through diplomatic and administrative machinery.

Under the first policy, the company defeated big Indian powers like Bengal, Mysore, Maratha, and Sikh one by one and subjugated their empire. But to subjugate other princely states and princely states, he adopted three major diplomatic and administrative policies-

British Law in India before 1857

  • Warren Hasting's Ring Fence Policy
  • Wellesley Subsidiary Treaty
  • Dalhousie's Lapse Principle.

Policy of Ring Fence: The purpose of this policy was to protect the company's borders by creating a buffer zone. In these policies, the states included within the 'ring fence' were assured of military assistance against external aggregation, at their own expense.

Subsidiary Alliance: It was a type of friendship treaty Lord Wellesley used during 1798-1805 to establish relations with the native states. According to the rulers of this treaty, the company will decide the foreign relations of the Indian kings. The big states would keep the British army in their state at their own expense. Those states would have to have an English resident in their court. The company will protect the state from external enemies but will not interfere in the internal affairs of the state.

With this treaty, the independence of Indian states ended, the economic burden increased and they became dependent on the mercy of the British. But, the British benefited immensely from this.

Principle of Lapse: It is also called the 'Policy of Peaceful Merger'. It was used by Lord Dalhousie, who was the Governor-General of India from 1848-1856 AD. Dalhousie believed that the problems of the subjects increased due to the old system of administration by false princely states and artificial intermediary powers. Therefore, to remove the problems of the public, these princely and intermediary powers should be under the company. Based on this arbitrary logic, he annexed the following states in their Company;

This policy of Dalhousie caused intense discontent among the Indian princely states, which became a major cause of the Revolt of 1857.

In this way, the Company, due to its power, diplomacy, and efficiency of administrative machinery, subjugated most of the Indian territory and established the supremacy of the Company.

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