The British Raj


The British Raj refers to the era of direct British rule in India. It started through the Government of India Act of 1858, which dissolved the East India Company, allowing the British Crown to take over the rule of India. The Raj lasted until 1947.

The new organization of the Indian colony included numerous reforms, although it kept much of the old bureaucracy developed by the East India Company.

In terms of social policy, the British Empire announced it would neither interfere in religious matters in India nor in aspects related to native princes. Because the British feared other revolts, they allowed some princely rulers to survive across the colony.

British officials living in India during the Raj typically lived in their own closed communities, avoiding mixing in any way with the Indian community.

During the British Raj, new towns and infrastructure were constructed and the British army expanded. In theory, qualified Indians were also given access to become civil servants, but the practical rules to gain such positions only allowed a minority of Indians to do so.

In 1876, Queen Victoria officially took the title of Empress of India.

Development, influence, and exploitation

Up until 1909, the government was highly centralised and relied on strong bureaucratic networks. During this time, commercial agricultural production increased and led to more trade and gradual industrial development. The government thrived ...

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