Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General | Viceroy vs Governor General

By K Balaji|Updated : January 16th, 2023

The major Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General is their positions in the government. Viceroy and Governor-General were the two most crucial administrative posts in British India. The time span of the Governor General was between 1833 – 1858, and the Viceroy of India title came from 1858 to 1948. Many people don’t know about the Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General, and they think these terms are used interchangeably.

Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General PDF

The Governor General of India was appointed by the Court of Directors, whereas the British government monarch appointed the Viceroy. The difference between governor general and viceroy is based on their nature and function. The viceroy had diplomatic powers, whereas the Governor General had organizational goals. This article illustrates all the factual details about the difference Between Viceroy and Governor General along with their meanings.

Table of Content

Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General

Governor General and Viceroy difference are based on various elements, including the time period in which they governed, the process of their appointment, the powers they possessed, etc.

Viceroy vs Governor General

Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General

Governor General

Viceroy

The Governor-General of India post was created when the Charter Act 1883 was passed.

After the Revolt of 1857, the Post of Governor-General of India was changed to Viceroy of India.

William Bentinck was the first Governor-General.

Lord Canning was the first Viceroy.

The Governor-General was mainly for administrative purposes.

The viceroy had diplomatic powers.

The Governor-General reported to the Court of Directors of the East India Company.

The Viceroy reported directly to the British Crown.

Court of Directors appointed Governor-General of India

The Sovereign of the British Govt appointed Viceroy.

Duration of Post: 1833-1858

Duration of Post: 1858-1948

Last person to hold the Governor-General of India office C. Rajgopalachari

the Last person to hold the Viceroy office was Lord Louis Mountbatten

Viceroy and Governor General

The word “Viceroy” was employed in British colonialism to refer to a governor general of an overseas colony selected by the ruler. The Governor General represented the King or Queen in British territories.

The sovereign designated them, and they handled all parts of colonial administration, including selecting local officers, passing ordinances, forming guidelines, and supervising conflicts.

Who is a Governor General?

After Regulating Act of 1773, the post of governor of Bombay and Madras came under the Bengal Governor. And the post of Governor of Bengal was converted to the Governor-General of Bengal.

  • The Governor of Bengal preceded the positions of the Viceroy and Governor-General.
  • East India Company controlled Bengal through the post of Governor of Bengal, and at that time, the governor of Bengal was Robert Clive.
  • The first Governor-General of Bengal was Warren Hastings. 
  • When the Charter Act was passed in 1883, the post-Governer General of Bengal was renamed “ Governor General of India”.
  • The first Governor General of India was Willliam Bentinck.

Who is a Viceroy?

After the revolt of 1857, India became the direct common of the British crown. The post of Governor General of India was again converted to Viceroy of India. In August 1858, the British parliament passed an act that terminated the company's rule.

The British Governor-General of India was given the tag of the viceroy, which indicated the ruler's representative.

Conclusion:

Key Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General

The key Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General is that Viceroy was the post of Governor-General of India after the Revolt of 1857. In contrast, the Governor General was a post made during enacting the Charter Act of 1883.

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FAQs on Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General

  • The major difference between Viceroy and Governor General was their positions in the Government. Viceroy and Governor-General were the two different administrative posts in British India.

  • The British parliament enacted an act that set an end to the power of the company. The British Governor General of India was given the tag of Viceroy in August 1858, which denoted the monarch's representative.

  • The Difference Between Viceroy and Governor General based on their duration of tenure was that the Governor General was between the time period of 1833-1858, and the duration of the Viceroy was after Governor General, i.e., between 1858-1948.

  • Governor General is the officer of the Queen in a nation, while Viceroy is the representative of the King in a nation. Governors-General and Viceroys were the primary administrative cogs of British India.

  • Yes, there is a difference between Viceroy and Governor General based on their purpose. The Governor-General of India was mainly for administrative purposes, while the Viceroy had diplomatic powers.

  • The names of the first and last Governor General and Viceroy are as follows.

    • First Governor-General of British India - Lord William Bentinck. 
    • First Viceroy of the British India - Lord Canning.
    • Last Governor-General of British India - Chakravarti Rajagopalachari.
    • Last Viceroy of British India - Lord Louis Mountbatten.
  • The difference between Viceroy and Governor General based on appointment was that the Sovereign of the British Government appointed the Viceroy, and the Court of Directors selected the Governor General.

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