(Last Updated on : 02/02/2019)
Lord Dalhousie was one of the Indian Viceroys
and Governor Generals
of British ruled India. He was appointed in the year 1848 and his 8 year of ruling is termed as one of the greatest periods. Lord Dalhousie is regarded as one of the greatest Governor Generals of India. His annexation policy was a strong weapon of invasion that raised the British East India Company
's rule to the stature of success. Lord Dalhousie had initiated the setting up of the main Railway Lines, Telegraph Network and pioneered several modifications in the Secretariat and parts of Administration. He also worked for the establishment of Universities
at Calcutta (Kolkata
), Madras (Chennai
) and Bombay (Mumbai
Early Life of Lord Dalhousie
Lord Dalhousie was born as James Andrew Broun-Ramsay on April 22nd, 1812 in Scotland to the parents George Ramsay and Christina Broun. His father, George Ramsay, was the 9th Earl of Dalhousie. Lord Dalhousie spent the most of his childhood in Canada, along with his parents. In the year 1825, he was admitted to Harrow school. In 1829, he joined Christ Church, Oxford, and passed with distinction with his efforts.
Reform Policies of Lord Dalhousie
Lord Dalhousies chief aim was the consolidation of British rule in India
. So he adopted the principle of centralization. Various reforms were brought during the rule of Lord Dalhousie to improve the conditions of India. His policy mainly focussed on seizure of different regions of India, which had still not come under the dominion of the British. The policy of annexation known as the Doctrine of Lapse
was based on the forfeiture of the right to rule in the absence of a natural heir. In 1848, Satara
was annexed, Sambalpur
was captured in 1849 and in 1853 Jhansi
was captured. Punjab
was annexed to the British Rule in the year 1849. In the year 1850, Sikkim was annexed due to the alleged reasons of mistreatment and abuse of British officials. After the death
of the Raja of Nagpur in 1853, Nagpur
too was annexed through the policy of Lord Dalhousie. He proved his worth in the matters of administration by the demarcation of various departments of the administrative machinery and appointment of Lieutenant Governor for Bengal
. He introduced the non-regulation system under which the non-regulation provinces were to be under a Chief Commissioner responsible to the Governor General in council.
Lord Dalhousie also introduced Railways
and Telegraph in India
with a purpose to improve communication, which was essential to administer the far, flung areas of this vast country. During his tenure, first railway line between Bombay and Thane
was opened in 1853 and in the same year Calcutta and Agra
were connected by telegraph. He also reformed the postal system. To undertake works for the public benefit he introduced the public works department
. In the educational field, Lord Dalhousie's introduced system of vernacular education
that was praise worthy; hence Anglo Vernacular Schools were established. In the matters of commerce the policy of free trade
was introduced by declaring free ports.
The military reforms of Lord Dalhousie included the shift of the Bengal Artillery
. The Army
head quarter shifted to Shimla
from Kolkata. After recognising the dangers of the increasing Indian troops he proposed reduction of Indian soldiers. He encouraged the inclusion of Gurkhas
to the Indian Army
and organised an irregular force for Punjab.
Lord Dalhousies policy of annexations and reforms only appealed to the English interests in India. After Lord Dalhousie, Lord Lytton
took the charge as the Governor General in the year 1876.
Death of Lord Dalhousie
In the year 1856, Lord Dalhousie returned to England, where he died on December 19th 1860, in the Dalhousie Castle.
Established in 1854 by the British Empire in India as a summer retreat for its troops and bureaucrats, the hill station of Dalhousie
was named after Lord Dalhousie who was Governor General of India at that time.