Richard Outram Essays On His Works - …
Richard Outram: Essays on His Works
Viceroy Mayo (Richard Bourke) met with Sher Ali at Ambala in March 1869. That year the Russians occupied Bukhara. Mayo tackled the debt problem by cutting spending on the military, public works, and education grants. He created surpluses by increasing the income tax from one to two percent and then to three percent; the salt tax was also raised. The poor were especially oppressed, and in his third year he reduced the income tax back to one percent and exempted the half of tax-payers with lower incomes. Transportation between England and India was made faster by the opening of the Suez Canal, and more European wives and families began to live in India. By 1870 telegraph lines connected London with India, and home authorities could now issue orders based on current information. Mayo also decentralized India by allowing the provincial governments to decide on their own expenditures and taxes. He founded a college at Rajkot in Kathiawar and the Mayo College at Ajmere in Rajputana to educate Indians. Hardly any Indians had qualified for the civil service because the qualifying examinations were only given in London to horse-riding males no older than 22. Mayo appointed George Campbell as lieutenant-governor of Bengal, and his improvements doubled the number of children in village schools.
and editor of Richard Outram: Essays on His Works
In January 1852 Lambert sent interpreter Edwards to arrange a meeting with the new governor; but his deputation was put off when they were told the governor was asleep. Lambert gave asylum to British subjects on his ships and blockaded the rivers. Despite a warning that a yellow ship belonged to the king of Burma, Lambert seized it and refused to give it back even when the Governor offered to pay compensation for the grievances. Lambert provoked the Burman batteries to fire and then destroyed them. Dalhousie admitted that Lambert started the war by seizing the king's ship. Even though Dalhousie repudiated Lambert's action, he accepted responsibility and gave the king an ultimatum to pay one million rupees by April first. He sent the 38th Native Infantry by the Dacca road, because they were not required to fight overseas by their enlistment contract. John Lawrence later criticized Dalhousie for sending a commodore if he wanted peace, and Richard Cobden wrote a pamphlet on the origin of the Burman war, condemning the whole affair.
General Godwin arrived in Rangoon on April 2, 1852, and the war began. Rangoon was captured on April 14, and the British took Bassein in May. They captured the city of Pegu and installed a prince from an old ruling family. In July the British captured the fortress of Prome; but after the interlude of the rainy season these two places had to be recaptured in the fall. Dalhousie rejected a march on the capital at Ava and ordered annexation to somewhere beyond Prome. The Burman king declined to negotiate a treaty, and in December the annexation was proclaimed. In February 1853 King Pagan Min was replaced by his half-brother Mindon, who wanted peace; he ordered his officers to stop attacking British forces and released their prisoners. Major Arthur Phayre was appointed commissioner of the new province that extended fifty miles beyond Prome.
In 1847 Hardinge had warned Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh (Oudh) that he had two years to put his house in order or face annexation. Wajid Ali was an accomplished poet and liked to spend his time with musicians and artists. Dalhousie asked Resident William Sleeman to investigate, and he described the corruption and anarchy in the country. The property-owning Talukdars regularly terrorized the poor cultivators. Robbery and murder were common. The Awadh shah complained later that Sleeman had interfered with his administration by urging people to submit complaints and even gathered names on a list of those who wanted the East India Company to govern Awadh. Bishop Heber had described Awadh as a prosperous country in 1825, and the two British residents between 1839 and 1847 testified that Nasir-ud-daullah had improved agriculture, reformed the police, revenue, and the judiciary, encouraged commerce, and sponsored public works such as schools, colleges, tanks, and wells.
Wajid Ali Shah was open to improvements by British administration, and Sleeman advised the British government to help without taking over the revenues of Awadh. Henry Lawrence recommended letting Awadh be governed by its own people. Sleeman wrote about Dalhousie's intentions regarding annexation, "There is no pretext, however weak, that is not sufficient, in their estimation, for the purpose; and no war, however cruel, that is not justifiable, if it has only this object in view."2 Sleeman saw the danger and warned that the native states were the breakwaters. If the annexations swept them away, they would be left at the mercy of the native army, which they may not always be able to control. Dalhousie wanted to warn the king again; but the Council felt the risk of recalling British troops should not be taken. Finally in January 1856 the Court of Directors extended Dalhousie's term and approved his annexation of Awadh. He sent Outram with a treaty; but Wajid Ali told him that treaties were for equals, and being treated as an inferior he would not sign nor accept the pension. Annexation was proclaimed four days later. Many Talukdars lost their land, and cultivators suffered from high assessments. About 50,000 sepoys were dismissed. The tax on opium was increased, and prices generally went up.
In October 1855 the last Karnatak nawab Muhammad Ghaus Khan died without a son, and Dalhousie would not recognize his uncle Azim Jah as nawab. That same month Raja Shivaji of Tanjore also died without a male heir. The Court of Directors declared that no daughter of a Hindu sovereign could succeed, and Dalhousie avoided deciding about the claim of the senior widow. The next Governor-General Canning decided to restore the property but not the regalia of the family.
Dalhousie also implemented internal reforms and promoted western education, planning three universities. In Bengal the Santals rebelled against harassment by police and revenue officials. Bengal had been under the busy Governor-General. The Company Charter was renewed again in 1853, and the new Charter Act created a lieutenant-governor to oversee Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and Assam. Since 1833 complaints had been made that the Indians were not appointed to higher positions, but the 1853 Act did little to remedy that. Competitive examination for the Company's covenanted service took away patronage from the Directors; their number was reduced from 24 to 18, and six were to be appointed by the Crown. The Act abolished the Military Board and transferred public works to a new department that was staffed with engineers as well as military men. A system of railroads was planned, and the first 150 miles were constructed. A telegraph system was created and extended wires for nearly 4,000 miles. Reformed postal facilities fixed a uniform rate for letters. Charles Wood took responsibility for improving education. Forest conservancy and tea plantations were established, and jails were reformed. Military force was used to suppress human sacrifices in the hills of Orissa.
Schools were taught in the vernacular languages at the lower levels with English used more in the colleges. The Educational Dispatch of 1854 proposed an administrative department of education, universities in the three Presidency cities, institutions for training teachers, increasing government schools and colleges, establishing middle schools, increasing vernacular elementary schools, and providing grants. During 1857 universities were incorporated in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras. Their faculties were in the arts, law, medicine, engineering, and science. Lahore University was established in 1869.