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Charter Act of 1813

Charter Act of 1813

Introduction

  • The Charter Act of 1813 passed by the British Parliament renewed the East India Company’s charter for another 20 years.
  • This is also called the East India Company Act, 1813.
  • This act is important in that it defined for the first time the constitutional position of British Indian territories.

Background of Charter Act 1813

  • Due to Napoleon Bonaparte’s Continental System in Europe (which prohibited the import of British goods into French allies in Europe), British traders and merchants suffered.
  • So they demanded they be given a share in the British trade in Asia and dissolve the monopoly of the East India Company.
  • The company objected to this.
  • Finally, British merchants were allowed to trade in India under a strict licensing system under the Charter Act of 1813.
  • But in trade with China and the tea trade, the company still retained its monopoly.

Reasons For Coming Up Of This Act

  • Due to Napoleon Bonaparte’s Continental System in Europe british goods into French allies areas was prohibited, due to this British traders and merchants suffered.
  • They demanded entry to the ports of Asia and monopoly of company to end so that they can also trade in Asia.
  • Under this Act British merchants were allowed to trade in India under a strict licensing system.
  • Company still retained monopoly over tea and trade with China.

Features of this Act

  • It abolished the trade monopoly of the company in India i.e., the Indian trade was thrown open to all British merchants.
  • However, it continued the monopoly of the company over trade in tea and trade with China.
  • It asserted the sovereignty of the British Crown over the Company’s territories in India.                                        Charter Act of 1813
  • It allowed the Christian missionaries to come to India for the purpose of enlightening the people.
  • It provided for the spread of western education among the inhabitants of the British territories in India.
  • It authorised the Local Governments in India to impose taxes on persons. They could also punish the persons for not paying taxes.

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