Viceroys of India
The British rule in India was steady and paced out. It took its time by starting off as a trading unit after Queen Elizabeth I gave the Royal Charter to the East India Company on 31 December 1600. What started as a trading power, turned Britain into one of the most powerful countries in the world.
Despite being a geographically small island county, Britain established one of the largest empires in the world. It was famously called the empire on which the Sun never sets.
This success that Britain enjoyed was backed up by the strongly rooted and efficient form of bureaucracy that they established in each of their colonies. This formed a proper chain of command and hierarchy in the system, making it very systematic. In India, the British were able to establish this control through Governor-General & Viceroys. The progression from a Governor-general to a Viceroy has been explained below;
Governor-General of Bengal (1773-1833)
Upon the inception of the East India Company's settlement in India, the company ran its order in Bengal through a post called the Governor of Bengal'. The first Governor of Bengal was Robert Clive who played a vital role in the subsequent battles with regional kingdoms to strengthen the British stronghold over India.
- Besides Bengal, the EIC had two other presidencies, namely Bombay and Madras. Each had its own Governor.
- It was after the Regulating Act of 1773 was passed when the post of Governor of Bengal was changed into Governor-General of Bengal', giving it control over the other two presidencies of Bombay and Madras.
- The first Governor-General of Bengal was Warren Hastings.
Governor-General of India (1833-58)
It was under the Charter Act of 1833 that the post name of Governor-General of Bengal was changed into Governor-General of India'.
- This post was primarily administrative in nature that tended to the official matter. The Governor-General of India detailed to the Court of Directors of the East India Company.
- The first Governor-General of India was William Bentinck.
Viceroy of India (1858-1947)
The revolt of 1857 was the first organised rebellion attack that the somewhat docile Indian population has launched on the EIC. It worried the English monarch back in Britain who feared losing India as its cash cow. To appease the crowds with the promise of a better administration and efficient rule-making, the company rule was terminated by the Crown and India came under its direct control.
- The Government of India Act of 1858 was passed that changed the name of the post of Governor-General of India to the Viceroy of India'.
- The Viceroy was to be directly appointed by the British government.
- The first Viceroy of India was Lord Canning.
List of the Viceroys of India
Viceroys of India- Relevant Facts for UPSC
The Revolt of 1857 happened during his service.
The establishment of three universities at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay in 1857
The rule of the East India Company was abolished and the control was transferred to the Crown by the Government of India Act, 1858
Indian Councils Act of 1861
Wahabi Movement happened under his reign.
Lord John Lawrence
The Bhutan War (1865) happened in his service.
The High Courts at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were established in 1865.
The financial distribution between the centre and the state was introduced for the first time.
India's first Census was done in 1872
The Mayo College for the royal elite was set up
Establishment of Statistical Survey of India
The only Governor-General to die in India was Lord Mayo. Sher Ali Afridi murdered him in Port Blair.
Civil Marriage under the Universal Marriage Act was introduced in 1872
This act allowed intercaste marriage.
Arya Samaj was established.
Kuka Movement was observed in Punjab
Several acts were introduced; the Vernacular Press Act (1878), and the Arms Act (1878).
The Second Afghan War happened from 1878-80
Queen Victoria took the title of Kaiser-i-Hind' which translates to Queen Empress of India
Upon receiving backlash, the Vernacular Press Act (1882) was repealed.
The first Factory Act of 1881 was introduced.
There was a government resolution passed on the establishment of local self-government (1882)
The Ilbert Bill controversy (1883-84)
Hunter Commission on education (1882)
The Third Burmese War (1885-86).
One of the most noteworthy events was the establishment of the Indian National Congress in 1885.
Another Factory Act was introduced in 1891.
Indian Councils Act (1892)
The Durand Commission was set up in 1893.
Lord Elgin II
Brothers Ramkrishna and Damodar Chapekar killed the first British officer, Rands. During the time of British control in India, it was the very first political assassination.
The Police Commission was appointed in 1902.
The appointment of the Universities Commission happened in 1902.
Indian Universities Act of 1904 was introduced.
Partition of Bengal of 1905 was Curzon's master move towards the British Policy of Divide and Rule'.
Lord Minto II
The Swadeshi Movement was observed from 1905 to 1911.
Surat Split of Congress (1907)
The Muslim League was established in 1906.
Morley-Minto Reforms came in 1909.
Lord Hardinge II
The Partition of Bengal was annulled in 1911.
The British capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi (1911)
Establishment of the Hindu Mahasabha (1915)
Chelmsford's India saw a lot of change and tragedy.
The Lucknow pact occurred in 1916.
The Champaran Satyagraha was launched in 1917.
Montagu's August Declaration (1917)
The Government of India Act (1919) was introduced.
The Rowlatt Act (1919) or the Black laws were introduced. There were nationwide protests.
This led to one of the most tragic events in Indian history, the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre (1919).
Launch of Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movements
The Chauri Chaura incident (1922) happened which lead to the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922 by Mahatma Gandhi
Establishment of Swaraj Party(1922)
Kakori train robbery (1925)
The Simon Commission came to India in 1927.
Harcourt Butler, Indian States Commission (1927)
Nehru Report (1928)
Deepavali Declaration (1929)
Lahore session of the Congress where the Purna Swaraj Resolution was taken happened in 1929
The revolutionary Dandi March was from 12 Mar 1930 – 6 Apr 1930 which successfully launched the Civil Disobedience Movement the same year.
First Round Table Conference (1930)
Gandhi-Irwin Pact (1931)
Establishment of the Communal Award (1932)
Second & Third Round Table Conference (1932)
The Poona Pact (1932) resolved the issues between Dr BR Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi over separate electorates for Dalits.
Government of India Act of 1935
Resignation of the Congress ministries after the outbreak of the Second World War (1939)
Tripuri Crisis & formation of forward Bloc (1939)
Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League (demand for a separate state for Muslims) 1940
August Offer' of 1940
Formation of the Indian National Army (1941)
Cripps Mission (1942)
Quit India Movement (1942)
C. Rajagopalachari's CR Formula (1944)
Wavell Plan and the Simla Conference (1942)
Cabinet Mission (1946)
Direct Action Day was announced by the Muslim League (1946)
Announcement of the end of British rule in India by Clement Attlee (1947)
June Third Plan (1947)
Redcliff commission (1947)
India's Independence (15 August 1947)
The last Governor-General of India, before the office, was permanently abolished in 1950
Viceroy of India UPSC Questions
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Viceroy of India UPSC
Viceroy of India is a relevant topic in the History syllabus for UPSC. they have been pivotal in the Indian independence struggle, making it an often enquired-about topic in the UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, and optional papers. Candidates should brush up on their basics well and commit all the facts to their memory. Follow appropriate History books for UPSC exam preparation. You can also refer to our collection of Indian History notes for UPSC for a concise way of cracking the huge syllabus.
Viceroy of India UPSC Notes PDF
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