What was the Ring Fence Policy?

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : November 10th, 2022

The Ring Fence Policy was enacted by Warren Hastings to create buffer zones to protect the Company's borders. The Company used the Ring-Fence Policy to defend the borders of its neighbours in order to protect its own territories. The policy lasted for a few years from 1765 to 1813.

Ring Fence Policy

The Ring-Fence Policy was a doctrine enacted by Warren Hastings at the time of East India Company’s struggle against the Marathas and the Kingdom of Mysore. The East India Company would send troops to strengthen its allies' defences, and the expenses for the troops' upkeep were borne by the ruler of that kingdom. As a result, the ally kingdoms relied on the East India Company for defence.

  • The policy established buffer zones to protect the Company's borders.
  • The Company defended the borders of its neighbours in order to protect its own territories.
  • The British claimed no sovereignty over the native rulers, treated them as independent, did not interfere in their internal affairs, and signed treaties with them on an equal and reciprocal basis as part of the policy.
  • However, in the case of the Hindu ruler of Mysore, this was not followed.
  • The policy lasted from 1765 to 1813. Wellesley's subsidiary alliance policy was an extension of the Ring-Fence Policy, which sought to reduce states' reliance on the British government in India.

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FAQs on Policy of Ring Fence

  • The Ring Fence Policy was implemented by Warren Hastings to create buffer zones to protect the Company's borders. It was a policy of defending their neighbours' borders in order to protect their own territories.

  • The Ring Fence Policy was enacted in 1765 and it continued till 1813. The policy was formulated against the backdrop of the Company’s struggle against the Marathas and the Kingdom of Mysore. 

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