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The Doctrine of Laps

The spurt of annexations took place under Lord Dalhousie who was the Governor-General from 1848 to 1856.

Lord Dalhousie

  • Lord Dalhousie devised a policy that came to be known as the Doctrine of Lapse.
  • The doctrine declared that if an Indian ruler died without a male heir his kingdom would "lapse", that is, become part of Company territory.
  • One kingdom after another was annexed simply by applying this doctrine.

The kingdoms annexed under the Doctrine of ‘lapse’ were:-

  • Satara in 1848
  • Sambalpur in 1850
  • Udaipur in 1852
  • Nagpur in 1853
  • Jhansi in 1854
  • Awadh in 1856​

A great revolt broke out against the British in the year 1856 the people of Awadh joined in the revolt.


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