William Pitt Amherst
William Pitt Amherst, was the first Earl of Amherst. He was born on January 14, 1773. Between 1823 to 1828 he served as Governor-General of India after Lord Marquess of Hastings. He was not a capable Governor-general. In 1824 he founded the Calcutta Sanskrit College. Before appointing as Governor-General of India, he was sent as an ambassador to China in 1816.
THE FIRST ANGLO-BURMESE WAR OF 1824–1826
When William Pitt Amherst became Governor-General, he remained in the war for the first two years with Burma. In 1824 Burma captured the area of Assam and chacha, which started the First Anglo-Burma war in 1824. It ended with the British victory that gained total British control of Assam, Manipur, Cachar and Jaintia, the province of Arakan and Tenassenim, mainly over the management of Northeast India. The Burmese gave 1 million pounds compensation to the British and signed a trade treaty.
Consequences of this War
This war was British Indian history’s most protracted and most costly war. Fifteen thousand soldiers from Europe and India, along with unknown numbers of military and civilians, died.
The high cost of the British campaign, which cost 5–13 million pounds., contributed to British India’s severe economic crisis, which cost the company severly. Even if the British East India Company was strong enough to threaten its interests, the Burmese damaged it very badly. For years to come, the cost of the compensation was very severe.
Treaty of Yandabo 1826
After the first war between the British and Bruma, the Treaty of Yandabo was signed in 1826. After two years of conflict between the British and Burmese, this Treaty was signed on February 24, 1826.
Principal Conditions of the Treaty
It was signed between the King of Burma and the British. At that time, the capital of Burma was Ava which remained capital from 1364-1841. According to this Treaty:
- The Chachar Kingdom and Jaitia were given to Burma.
- British captured Taninthai, Manipur, Arakan and Assam.
- Burmese had to pay nearly 1million pounds to the British annually.
- Burmese also signed a trade treaty with Burma at that time.
- Burmese agreed to allow diplomatic representatives from the British.
William Pitt Amherst was retired in 1828 and succeded Lord William Bentinck.