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Relations With Princely States

Relations With Princely States

  • Before 1857, British had availed themselves of every opportunity to annex princely states.
  • The Revolt of 1857 led the British to reverse their policy towards the Indian States.
  • Most of the Indian princes had not only remained loyal to the British but had actively assisted in suppressing the Revolt.
  • Canning declared in 1862 that “the Crown of England stood forward, the unquestioned Ruler and Paramount Power in all India.” Princes were made to acknowledge Britain as the paramount power.
  • In 1876, Queen Victoria assumed the title of the ‘Empress of India’ to emphasize British sovereignty over the entire Indian subcontinent.
  • Lord Curzon later made it clear that the princes ruled their states merely as agents of the British Crown.
  • The princes accepted this subordinate position and willingly became junior partners in the Empire because they were assured of their continued existence as rulers of their states.
  • As the paramount power, the British claimed the right to supervise the internal government of the princely states.
  • They not only interfered in the day to day administration through the Residents but insisted on appointing and dismissing ministers and other high officials.
  • After 1868, the Government recognized the adopted heir of the old ruler and in 1881, the state was fully restored to the young Maharajah.
  • In 1874, the ruler of Baroda, Malhar Rao Gaekwad, was accused of misrule and of trying to poison the British Resident and was deposed after a brief trial.

Relations With Princely States – Relations With Princely States – Relations With Princely States

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