British Governor Generals and Viceroys, Viceroys of India, Indian National Movement

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British Governor Generals and Viceroys

  • Warren Hastings: (1772-85) First Governor General of Bengal of East India Company. Appointment of Board of Revenue - Interference in Rohilla War, Nanda Kumar’s murder, the case of Chet Singh and acceptance of bribes. Impeachment proceedings in London prolonged for seven years.

  • Lord Cornwallis: (1786-93) Permanent Settlement of Bengal. Reorganisation of the Revenue Courts - Criminal Courts - compilation of Cornwallis Code.

  • Sir John Shore: (1793-98) Non-intervention policy.

  • Lord Wellesley: (1798-1805) Subsidiary Alliance - a scheme to keep British forces under the Indian rulers - opened a college to train the Company’s servants in Calcutta. He is called the “Father of the Civil Service in India”.

  • Sir George Barlow: (1805-1807) Mutiny in Vellore.

  • Lord Minto I: (1807-1813) Treaty of Amritsar.

  • Marquess of Hastings: (1813-1823) He was the first to appoint Indians to high posts. The first vernacular newspaper Samachar Patrika began to be published. Passed the Tenancy Act to protect the cultivators.

  • Lord Amherst: (1823-1828) Mutiny of Barrackpur. The Indians refused to be carried away by ships to Burma and it led to mutiny.

  • Lord William Bentinck: (1829-1835) English accepted as the medium of instruction after the famous Macaulay’s recommendations-Medical College of Calcutta was started. Abolition of Sati, suppression of thugee, banning of female infanticide, abolition of human sacrifice, reform in the Hindu Law of inheritance. First Governor of India under East India Company.

  • Sir Charles Metcalfe: (1835-1836) He removed the restrictions on the vernacular press.

  • Lord Auckland: (1836-1842) Grand Trunk Road from Calcutta to Delhi.

  • Lord Hardinge: (1844-1848) The First Sikh War (1845- 1846 AD) started in his period. The success in this war extended the British Empire up to the Doab of Jallunder.

  • Lord Dalhousie: (1848-1856) Doctrine of Lapse - annexing the princely states whose ruler died without a natural heir. Accordingly, Satara, Jaipur, Sambalpur, Baghat, Udaipur, Jhansi and Nagpur annexed. Simla made summer capital. First Railway Line was laid from Bombay to Thana in 1853. Competitive examination for the I.C.S. began.

Viceroys of India

  • Lord Canning: (1856 -1858) Hindu Widow re-marriage Act. First Universities in India were established at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. On May 10, 1857, the Sepoy Mutiny called First War of Independence began. Mutiny was suppressed. Queen Victoria’s Proclamation called Magna Carta of India was announced. East India Company Rule ended. Canning was appointed the first Viceroy of India. He had given amnesty to persons who took part in mutiny. Lord Canning is therefore called “Canning the Clemency”. Penal Code was prepared. High Courts were set up at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.

  • Lord Lawrence: (1864-1869) Telegraphy System was opened between India and Europe.

  • Lord Mayo: (1869-1872) First Census was taken in 1871

  • Lord Northbrook: (1872-1876) Suez Canal was opened and trade between India and England greatly flourished.

  • Lord Lytton: (1876-1880) Famine Fund was created. Vernacular Press Act was passed. Indian Arms Act forbade Indians from keeping or dealing in arms without the permission of the Government.

  • Lord Ripon: (1880-1884) The Vernacular Press Act was repealed. Formed Local self-Government, was called the “Father of Local Self-Government”. Factory Act was passed. 1881 census was taken and it would be repeated after every 10 years.

  • Lord Dufferin: (1884-1888) in his period Burma (now Myanmar) was invaded in 1895 and then was annexed to the British empire in 1889. Indian National Congress was formed during this time. Public Service Commission was appointed in 1886.

  • Lord Lansdowne: (1888-1894) a weekly holiday was awarded to all factory workers.

  • Lord Curzon: (1899-1905) Agricultural Banks were established. He founded the Agricultural Research Institute at Pusa in Bengal. Ancient Monuments Protection Act passed. Archaeological Department was established. Partition of Bengal in 1905 created trouble. Emperor George cancelled the partition.

  • Lord Minto II: (1905-1910) Minto-Morley Reforms.

  • Lord Hardinge II: (1910-1916) Capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. Foundation of the Banaras Hindu University, Banaras, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was the founder-Chancellor of this University.

  • Lord Chelmsford: (1916-1921) Rowlett Act called Black Act was passed. Under the Act Government armed itself with unlimited rights even to detain a person and arrest him without producing him before a Court. The Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy took place in April 13, 1919 under the command of Gen. Dyer. Khilafat Movement, Non co-cooperation movement took place.

  • Lord Reading: (1921-1926) Visit of Prince of Wales. Moplah Rebellion (1921) on the South Western coast of India.

  • Lord Irwin: (1926-31) Simon Commission. Demand for complete Independence. Civil Disobedience Movement (1930) First Round Table conference-Gandhi-Irwin Pact.

  • Lord Wellington: (1931-1936) Second and Third Round Table Conferences - Communcal Award - Poona Pact - Government of India Act 1935 passed. Cripps Mission. Quit India Movement (1942).

  • Lord Linlithgow: (1936-1943) during his viceroyalty, provincial autonomy was established. The State of Pakistan for the Muslims was demanded by Muslim League leader, Jinnah. Second World War broke out in 1939.

  • Lord Wavell: (1943-1947) Simla Conference. Muslim League launched “Direct Action Day”.

  • Lord Mountbatten: (1947-48) Deputed by the British Prime Minister Lord Atlee. Indian Independence Act 1947 passed-India and Pakistan created under the Mountbatten Plan - Lord Mountbatten became the first Governor General of Free India and the last Viceroy of India. India attained Independence on August 15, 1947.

  • C.Rajagopalachari was the first & the last Indian Governor-General of free India. Dr.B.R. Ambedkar was the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. The Constitution of India was adopted on the November 26, 1949 and it came into force on January 26, 1950. Dr. Rajendra Prasad - the first President of India and Jawaharlal Nehru - the First Prime Minister of India. Dr. S.Radhakrishnan-the first Vice-President of India. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel-first Deputy Prime Minister of India.

Indian National Movement

  • Indian National Movement— National freedom movement and attainment of independence-contribution of national leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopalakrishna Gokhale, Dada Bhai Naorji, M.K. Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and others-role of Tamil Nadu in freedom movement, Bharathiyar, V.O.C., Subramaniya Siva, Rajaji and others.

  • The National Movement or the movement for Independence from the British Rule nearly started in 1857 which the British historians have called “Sepoy Mutiny” and the Indian historians, as the “First War of Independence”. Previously Indian soldiers have broken out in open mutiny against British Officers at Vellore in 1806, in 1842 in Bengal, in 1844 in Sind, then in Bihar and Punjab.

  • The immediate cause which precipitated the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 was due to the introduction of cartridges greased into cows and pig’s fat. The revolt started from Meerut and the first sepoy who refused to use the greased cartridge was Mangal Pandey. Mangal Pandey was killed by the British Army. The Indian soldiers have massacred the British personnel marched to Delhi in May 1857. The revolt of 1857 started from Meerut.

  • The Indian Soldiers proclaimed the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II as the Emperor of India. The heroine of this first war of Independence for India was Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, one of the most courageous and capable leaders of the mutiny. She fought the British forces strongly but fell. Among others who fell fighting were Nana Saheb and Tantya Tope, the brave commander of Nana Saheb’s forces. The leaders lost the war mainly because of lack of unity of purpose effective organisation, and a unified system of leadership.

  • One of the immediate results of the mutiny was that it led to the assumption of direct responsibility for administration of India by the British Crown. Queen Victoria’s Proclamation was issued in 1858. Queen Victoria was proclaimed the Empress of India and the Governor - General was designated the Viceroy and the Governor-General Lord Canning became the first Viceroy of India.

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