Marquess of Hastings
In 1813, Lord Marquess of Hastings (1813-1823) was appointed Governor-General of India after Lord Minto. He pursued a strong program and faced many conflicts. His harsh and imperialist policies laid the ground for the British Empire’s expansion. The British power in India increased further in his tenure.
In India, the conditions in which he took office constituted a grave threat to the British government. Central India had anarchy at that time. The Pindaris looted the entire region, and the Marathas were unable to control it. There was also infighting between the chiefs of Maratha. However, they sought the removal from India of the British. The rise of the Gurkha power also troubled Hastings.
Anglo-Nepalese War (War against Gurkhas) 1814-1816
In 1768 Nepal was established as a mighty state of Gurkha (Before Nepal, there was a Gurkha kingdom). It is located on the north side of India, with its northern borders touching China and on the east side and the south side of Bengal and Oudh. In 1801 Gorakhpur and Basti were bought from the Nawab of Oudh by the British. This movement moved Nepal’s border to the British edge.
The attacks on British territory by the Gurkhas culminated in a Anglo-Nepalese war. In May 1814, 18 policemen and their officers were killed when Gurkha forces attacked the British Police Station. After this, Hasting declared war at Gurkha (today Nepal). Several conflicts between the British and the Gurkhas were fought during 1814-1816 in Anglo-Nepalese war. But at last Gurkha general, Amar Singh surrendered in 1816 and signed the treaty of Sugauli.
Treaty of Sugauli-1816
The Sugauli Treaty was signed in March 1816 between Gurkhas ( Nepalis) and the Indian British Government. It ended the Anglo Nepalese war. The Terai region was abandoned by the Gurkhas, who were given to the British. The British now secured Simla and touched the Himalayas on their northwest frontiers. The Gurkhas had to leave Sikkim and agreed to maintain a British residence in Kathmandu.
The kingdom of Gurkha (Nepal) also promised that it would not employ a foreigner other than English in its services. The British had also acquired the places and developed them in tourism and health destinations such as Simla, Mussoorie, Nainital, or Ranikhet. Hastings was honoured for this victory in the Gurkha War with the Marquess of Hastings.
The Pindari War (1817-1819)
Pindaris was an irregular army in the Subcontinent. They looted and plundered different areas. Firstly Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb recruited them in his army. But later on, the Maratha Empire used them against the Mughal Empire. Wasil Muhammad, Chitu, and Karim Khan were the leaders of Pindaris. Thousands of followers were there at that time. Pindaris provided the news and army positions in return for money. As time passed, they were increasing in numbers.
The Pindari looted the Mirzapur and Shahabad areas in 1812 and ravaged the dominions of Nizam in 1815. The Northern Circars was plundered in 1816. Lord Hastings decided that the Pindaris should be suppressed. To this end, he raised a great army of 1,13,000 men and 300 weapons, and from four sides, attacked the Pindaris. He controlled the force himself from the north, while Thomas Hislop from the south commanded it.
The Pindaris was suppressed in1818, and all their groups had collapsed.
3rd Anglo-Maratha War (1817-1818)
The Marathas made one last attempt to recover their former status after the Second Anglo-Maratha War. The main reason for third maratha war was the British conflict with the Pindaris under the protection of the Maratha.
The Marathas leaders Peshwa Bajirao, Malharrao and Bhonsle, Malharrao Holkar, and Mudhoji II created a united front. Diplomatic pressure was exerted on Daulat Rao Shinde, the fourth major Maratha head. But they were defeated by the British in the Battle of Mahidpur.
Creation of Bombay Presidency-1818
Bombay came under British control When the British defeated the Maratha in the Third Anglo-Maratha war. The British made it Presidency “Bombay Presidency, also known as Mumbai-Sindh Presidency”. In 1843 when Sindh was captured by the British, it also became part of the Bombay Presidency. In 1935 Sindh was separated from Bombay and made a separate province.
The Ryotwari System by Marquess of Hastings
Sir Thomas Munro, Governor of Madras in 1820, established this land revenue scheme in the late 18th century which is called the Ryotwari system.. It was done in the provinces of Madras, Bombay and Assam, and Coorg. In this system, the government started to collect taxes directly from the farmers instead of Nawabs of states.
In the Ryotwari system the rates in dryland were 50% and in wetland were 60%. The charges were high, and they were open to increasing, as opposed to the permanent system. If taxes were not paid, the government would expel farmers. There were no intermediaries in the Ryotwari System. However, as heavy taxes only had to be paid in cash, the moneylenders’ dilemma came into play.
Establishment of Mahalwari System
In 1822 Holt Mackenzie introduced the Mahalwari system. This technique was introduced in the Gangetic Valley, Agra, North-West Frontier, Central Province, and Punjab. It had both Zamindari and Ryotwari components. It split the country into Mahals. Sometimes one or more villages were made up of a Mahal. The village tax was collected by the village headman, who was called “Lambardar”.
Different types of soils were introduced. And on the soil base, the tax was collected. The government proportion of revenues was 66% of the rental.
Reforms by Marquess of Hastings in 1813-1823
Hastings also pushed missionaries and others to set up vernacular schools. In 1817, the Hindu College of English and Western Sciences was established in Calcutta by the public. The patron of this college was Hastings. He promoted press freedom and eliminated the censorship established in 1799.
In 1823 he retired from Governor-General and was succeeded by William Pit Amherst or 1st Earl Amherst.