Write a Short Note On Warren Hastings ? Major Works Done By Him

Write a Short Note On Warren Hastings ? Major Works Done By Him

In 1772, the Company appointed Warren Hastings as the Governor of Fort William

Write a Short Note On Warren Hastings ?

Reforms of Warren Hastings

1. Abolition of the Dual System

• The East India Company decided to act as Diwan and to undertake the collection of revenue by its own agents.
• Hence, the Dual System introduced by Robert Clive was abolishedWrite a Short Note On Warren Hastings ?
• Warren Hastings reduced the Nawab’s allowance of 32 lakhs of rupees to half that amount
• He also stopped the annual payment of 26 lakhs given to the Mughal Emperor
• A Board of Revenue was established at Calcutta to supervise the collection of revenue.
• English Collectors were appointed in each district.
• The treasury was removed from Murshidabad to Calcutta and an Accountant General was appointed
• Calcutta thus became the capital of Bengal in 1772and shortly after of British India
• The Board of Revenue farmed out the lands by auction for a period of five years instead of one year in order to find out their real value.
• Yet, the system was a failure. Many zamindars defaulted and the arrears of revenue accumulated.

2. Reorganisation of the Judicial System

  • The judicial system at the time of Warren Hastings’ ascendancy was a store-house of abuses.
  • The Nawab who was hitherto the chief administrator of justice, misused his powers.
  • The zamindars who acted as judges at lower levels within their own areas were highly corrupt and prejudiced
  • Each district was provided with a civil court Under the Collector A criminal court under an Indian Judge
  • To hear appeals from the district courts two appellate courts, one for civil cases and another for criminal cases, were established at Calcutta
  • The highest civil court of appeal was called Sadar Diwani Adalat,
  • Which was to be presided over by the Governor and two judges recruited from among the members of his council.
  • Similarly, the highest appellate criminal court was known as Sadar Nizamat Adalat
  • Which was to function under an Indian judge appointed by the Governor-in-Council
  • Experts in Hindu and Muslim laws were provided to assist the judges.
  • An English translation of it – Code of Hindu Laws – was prepared by Halhed.

3. Trade Regulations and other Reforms

  • Warren Hastings abolished the system of dastaks, or free passes and regulated the internal trade.
  • He reduced the number of custom houses and enforced a uniform tariff of 2.5 percent for Indian and non-Indian goods
  • He reduced the number of custom houses and enforced a uniform tariff of 2.5 percent for Indian and non-Indian goods
  • Weavers were given better treatment and facilities were made to improve their condition.
  • He also introduced a uniform system of pre-paid postage system.
  • A bank was started in Calcutta.

The Regulating Act of 1773 (Background)

  1. The Regulating Act of 1773 opened a new chapter in the constitutional history of the Company.
  2. Previously, the Home government in England consisted of the Court of Directors and the Court of Proprietors.
  3. The Court of Directors were elected annually and practically managed the affairs of the Company
  4. In India, each of the three presidencies was independent and responsible only to the Home Government.
  5. The government of the presidency was conducted by a Governor and a Council
  6. The following conditions invited the Parliamentary intervention in the Company’s affairs.
  7. The English East India Company became a territorial power when it acquired a wide dominion in India and also the Diwani rights.
  8. The disastrous famine which broke out in Bengal in 1770 affected the agriculturists. As a result, the revenue collection was poor
  9. In short, the Company was on the brink of bankruptcy. In 1773, the Company approached the British government for an immediate loan.
  10. Under these circumstances that the Parliament of England resolved to regulate the affairs of the Company.
  11. Lord North, the Prime Minister of England, appointed a select committee to inquire into the affairs of the Company.
  12. The report submitted by the Committee paved the way for the enactment of the Regulating Act.

Provisions of the Act

  1. The term of office of the members of the Court of Directors was extended from one year to four years. One-fourth of them were to retire every year and the retiring Directors were not eligible for re-election.
  2. The Governor of Bengal was styled the Governor-General of Fort William whose tenure of office was for a period of five years.
  3. The Governor-General in Council was made supreme over the other Presidencies in matters of war and peace
  4. Provision was made in the Act for the establishment of a Supreme Court at Calcutta consisting of a Chief Justice and three junior judges. It was to be independent of the Governor-general in Council.
  5. In 1774, the Supreme Court was established by a Royal Charter
  6. This Act prevented the servants of the Company including the Governor-General, members of his council and the judges of the Supreme Court from receiving directly or indirectly any gifts in kind or cash.
  7. The significance of the Regulating Act is that it brought the affairs of the Company under the control of the Parliament.
  8. The greatest merit of this Act is that it put an end to the arbitrary rule of the Company
  9. Provided a framework for all future enactments relating to the governing of India.
  10. The main defect of the Act was that the Governor-General was made powerless
  11. Because the council which was given supreme power often created deadlocks by over-ruling his decision
  12. However, many of these defects were rectified by the Pitt’s India Act of 1784.

Warren Hasting Expansionist Policy Will Be Covered In Full Details In Separate Posts – Here are Some Important Highlights of Warren Hasting Expansionist Policy

  • Rohilla War – 1774
  • First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-82)
  • The Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84)
  • Pitt’s India Act, 1784

The Impeachment of Warren Hastings

1. The Pitt’s India Act of 1784 was a rude shock and bitter disappointment for Warren Hastings.
2. His image and reputation were tarnished in England. Therefore, he resigned and left India in June 1785
3. In 1787, Warren Hastings was impeached in the Parliament by Edmund Burke and the Whigs for his administrative excess.
4. Burke brought forward 22 charges against him
5. He received pension from the Company and lived till 1818.

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Estimate of Warren Hastings

1. He was a gifted personality endowed with ‘strong will, great energy and resourcefulness’.
2. Since he considered Indian culture as a basis for sound Indian administration, he patronised the learning of Indian languages and arts.

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