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Setting up a New Administration

  • Warren Hastings played an important role in the expansion of the company power.
  • The East India Company had established itself in Bengal; Bombay and Madras. British territories were broadly divided into administrative units called Presidencies.

There were three Presidencies:

1. Bengal

2. Madras

3. Bombay
  • Each Presidency was ruled by a Governor.
  • The supreme head of the administration was the Governor-General.
  • Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General.
  • He introduced several administrative reforms, especially in the sphere of justice.

Each district was to have two courts:-

  • A criminal court
  • A civil court
1. Maulvis and Hindu pandits interpreted Indian laws for the European district collectors who presided over civil courts.

 2. The criminal courts were still under a qazi and a mufti but under the supervision of the  collectors.

This system of courts had its limitations as the laws were interpreted in different ways by different pandits according to their discipline and religious teachings.

  • In 1775, a common code of Hindu laws was complied 11 pandits.
  • These laws was translated into English by N.B. Halhed.
  • In 1778, a common code of Muslim laws were complied.
  • Under the Regulating Act of 1773, a new Supreme Court was established.
  • The principal figure in an Indian district was the Collector.
  • The Collector was responsible for collecting revenue and taxes and maintaining law and order in his district.
  • The Collectorate – became the new centre of power.

The Company Army : 

The Strength of the British Colonial government was its military power.

The East India Company formed its own army known as the ‘Sepoy Army’.

The Sepoy Army was established on the same lines as the Mughal army.

Let us look at the structure of the Mughal army to understand the essence of the Sepoy army.

Mughal Army :

  • The Mughal army was mainly composed of cavalry and infantry.

Cavalry Soldiers

Infantry Soldiers

  • The soldiers were trained in archery and Sword fight.

Archery : The Activity of Shooting with a Bow and Arrow

Sword Fight

  • The cavalry dominated the army.

  • The Mughal states had a large number of armed peasants who were trained as professional soldiers.

As the Sepoy Army maintained by the British gathered strength the warfare technology changed from the 1820s.
The cavalry requirements of the Company’s army declined.

The British Empire was fighting in Burma, Afghanistan and Egypt

In the early nineteenth century the British began to develop a uniform military culture.

Soldiers were increasingly subjected to European-style training, drill and discipline.

Conclusion :
The East India Company was transformed from a trading company to a territorial colonial power.

As modes of transport became modern and fast, more and more British and their families came and settled in India.

By 1857 the Company came to exercise direct rule over about 63 per cent of the territory and 78 per cent of the population of the Indian subcontinent.

The Company had indirect on the rest of the country.

Thus the British East India Company had virtually control over the whole of India.

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