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The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in the Indian subcontinent. Collectively, they have been called British India. In one form or another, they existed between 1612 and 1947, conventionally divided into three historical periods: *Between 1612 and 1757 the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
set up "factories" (trading posts) in several locations, mostly in coastal India, with the consent of the
Mughal emperors The Mughal (or Moghul) emperors built and ruled the Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire, Mogul or Moghul Empire, was an Early modern period, early modern empire in South Asia. Quote: "Although the first two Timurid emperors and many of their ...

Mughal emperors
,
Maratha empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formally existed from 1674 with the coronation of Shivaji Shivaji Bhonsale I (; 19 ...

Maratha empire
or local rulers. Its rivals were the merchant trading companies of Portugal, Denmark, the Netherlands, and France. By the mid-18th century three ''Presidency towns'':
Madras Chennai (, ), also known as Madras (List of renamed Indian cities and states#Tamil Nadu, the official name until 1996), is the capital city of the states and territories of India, Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The state's largest city in area ...
,
Bombay Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay — the official name until 1995) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, ...

Bombay
and
Calcutta Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...

Calcutta
, had grown in size. *During the period of
Company rule in India Company rule in India (sometimes, Company ''Raj'', from hi, राज्, rāj, lit=rule) refers to the rule or dominion of the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HE ...
, 1757–1858, the Company gradually acquired sovereignty over large parts of India, now called "Presidencies". However, it also increasingly came under British government oversight, in effect sharing sovereignty with the Crown. At the same time, it gradually lost its mercantile privileges. *Following the
Indian Rebellion of 1857 The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857–58 against the rule of the British East India Company, which functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. The rebellion ...

Indian Rebellion of 1857
the company's remaining powers were transferred to the Crown. Under the
British Raj The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the In ...

British Raj
(1858–1947), administrative boundaries were extended to include a few other British-administered regions, such as
Upper Burma Upper Myanmar ( my, အထက်မြန်မာပြည်, also called Upper Burma) refers to a geographic region of Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicat ...
. Increasingly, however, the unwieldy presidencies were broken up into "Provinces". In this sense, "British India" did not include the
princely states A princely state, also called a native state, feudatory state or Indian state (for those states on the subcontinent), was a vassal state A vassal state is any state that has a mutual obligation to a superior state or empire, in a status simi ...
directly ruled by Indian princes, though under a close eye from the British authorities. At Indian Independence in 1947 there were over 500 of these (most extremely small, but with a few very large ones), making up 40% of the area and 23% of the population of the whole
British Raj The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the In ...

British Raj
.


British India (1793–1947)

In 1608,
Mughal Mughal or Moghul may refer to: * The Mughal Empire of South Asia ** Mughal dynasty ** Mughal emperors ** Mughal people, a social group of South Asia ** Mughal Army, the Army of Mughal Empire * Cultural influences of the Mughal Empire ** Mughal arc ...
authorities allowed the English
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
to establish a small trading settlement at
Surat Surat is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. ...

Surat
(now in the state of
Gujarat Gujarat (, ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Gujarat
), and this became the company's first headquarters town. It was followed in 1611 by a permanent
factory A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an Industry (manufacturing), industrial site, often a complex consisting of several buildings filled with Outline of industrial machinery, machinery, where workers manufacturing, manufactu ...
at
Machilipatnam Machilipatnam (), also known as Bandar, is a city in Krishna district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a municipal corporation and the administrative headquarters of Krishna district. It is also the Tehsil, mandal headquarters of Mach ...
on the
Coromandel Coast The Coromandel Coast is the southeastern coastal region of the Indian subcontinent, bounded by the Utkal Plains to the north, the Bay of Bengal to the east, the Kaveri The Kaveri (also known as Cauvery, the name) is an Indian river ...
, and in 1612 the company joined other already established European trading companies in
Bengal Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, p ...

Bengal
in trade. However, the power of the Mughal Empire declined from 1707, first at the hands of the
Maratha The Marathi people, also rendered as Marathis or Maharashtrian, are an ethnolinguistic group An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is a group that is unified by both a common ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grou ...

Maratha
s and later due to invasion from Persia (1739) and Afghanistan (1761); after the East India Company's victories at the
Battle of Plassey A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
(1757), and
Battle of Buxar The Battle of Buxar was fought on 22/23 October 1764, between the forces under the command of the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Compan ...
(1764)—both within the
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
established in 1765—and the abolition of local rule (Nizamat) in Bengal in 1793, the Company gradually began to formally expand its territories across
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
. By the mid-19th century, and after the three
Anglo-Maratha Wars The Anglo–Maratha War were three wars fought in the Indian sub-continent between the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. ...
the East India Company had become the paramount political and military power in south Asia, its territory held in trust for the
British Crown The Crown is the state (polity), state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as the Crown Dependencies, British Overseas Territories, overseas territories, Provinces and territorie ...

British Crown
. Company rule in Bengal (after 1793) was terminated by the
Government of India Act 1858 The Government of India Act 1858 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a Poli ...
, following the events of the Bengal
Rebellion of 1857 The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857–58 against Company rule in India, the rule of the East India Company, British East India Company, which functioned as a sovereign power on beha ...
. Henceforth known as British India, it was thereafter directly ruled as a colonial possession of the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, and India was officially known after 1876 as the
Indian Empire The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, ...
. India was divided into British India, regions that were directly administered by the British, with Acts established and passed in British Parliament, and the
Princely State A princely state, also called a native state, feudatory state or Indian state (for those states on the subcontinent), was a vassal state under a local or indigenous or regional ruler in a subsidiary alliance with the East India Company and af ...
s, ruled by local rulers of different ethnic backgrounds. These rulers were allowed a measure of internal autonomy in exchange for recognition of British
suzerainty Suzerainty () is a relationship in which one state or other polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized soci ...
. British India constituted a significant portion of India both in area and population; in 1910, for example, it covered approximately 54% of the area and included over 77% of the population. In addition, there were
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
and French
exclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly ...

exclave
s in India. Independence from British rule was achieved in 1947 with the formation of two nations, the
Dominion The term dominion was used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other D ...

Dominion
s of
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...
and
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...
, the latter including
East Bengal ur, , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
, present-day
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
. The term ''British India'' also applied to
Burma Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos a ...

Burma
for a shorter time period: beginning in 1824, a small part of Burma, and by 1886, almost two thirds of Burma had been made part of British India. This arrangement lasted until 1937, when Burma was reorganized as a separate British colony. ''British India'' did not apply to other countries in the region, such as
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
(then
Ceylon Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO; ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island ...
), which was a British
Crown colony A Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original coun ...
, or the
Maldive Islands Maldives (, ; dv, ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ, translit=Dhivehi Raajje), officially the Republic of Maldives, is a small archipelagic state in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and Indi ...
, which were a British
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
. At its greatest extent, in the early 20th century, the territory of British India extended as far as the frontiers of
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Tu ...

Persia
in the west;
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
in the northwest;
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
in the north,
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
in the northeast; and China,
French Indochina French Indochina (previously spelled as French Indo-China; french: Indochine française; vi, Đông Dương thuộc Pháp, , lit. 'East Ocean under French Control; km, សហភាពឥណ្ឌូចិន), officially known as the Indochi ...
and
Siam ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai language, ...

Siam
in the east. It also included the Aden Province in the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
.


Administration under the Company (1793–1858)

The
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
, which was incorporated on 31 December 1600, established trade relations with Indian rulers in
Masulipatam Machilipatnam (), also known as Masulipatnam, Masulipatam, Masula, and Bandar, is a city in Krishna district Krishna district is one of the nine districts in the Coastal Andhra region of the States and union territories of India, Indian stat ...
on the east coast in 1611 and
Surat Surat is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. ...

Surat
on the west coast in 1612. The company rented a small trading outpost in
Madras Chennai (, ), also known as Madras (List of renamed Indian cities and states#Tamil Nadu, the official name until 1996), is the capital city of the states and territories of India, Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The state's largest city in area ...
in 1639. Bombay, which was ceded to the British Crown by
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
as part of the wedding dowry of
Catherine of Braganza Katherine, also spelled Catherine, and Catherina, other variations are feminine Given name, names. They are popular in Christian countries because of their derivation from the name of one of the first Christian saints, Catherine of Alexandria. ...

Catherine of Braganza
in 1661, was in turn granted to the East India Company to be held in trust for the Crown. Meanwhile, in eastern India, after obtaining permission from the Mughal Emperor
Shah Jahan Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram ( fa, ; 5 January 1592  – 30 January 1666), better known by his regnal name, Shah Jahan ( fa, ), was the fifth Mughal emperor of India, and reigned from 1628 to 1658. Under his reign, the Mughal Empire ...

Shah Jahan
to trade with Bengal, the company established its first factory at
HooglyHooghly or Hughli can refer to: Places *Hooghly, West Bengal, colonial port town now part of Hugli-Chinsura *Hooghly district Hooghly district () is one of the districts of the state of West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali language, Bengali ...
in 1640. Almost a half-century later, after Mughal Emperor
Aurengzeb Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad (3 November 16183 March 1707), commonly known by the sobriquet A sobriquet ( ), or soubriquet, is a nickname A nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing. Commonly used to expres ...
forced the Company out of Hooghly for its tax evasion,
Job Charnock Job Charnock (; –1692/1693) was an employee and administrator of the East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Compa ...
purchased three small villages, later renamed
Calcutta Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...

Calcutta
, in 1686, making it the company's new headquarters. By the mid-18th century, the three principal trading settlements including factories and forts, were then called the Madras Presidency (or the Presidency of Fort St. George), the Bombay Presidency, and the Bengal Presidency (or the Presidency of Fort William) — each administered by a Governor.


The presidencies

Joppen1907India1700a.jpg , The Indian peninsula in 1700, showing the
Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, ge ...
and the European trading settlements. India1760 1905.jpg , The Indian peninsula in 1760, three years after the
Battle of Plassey A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
, showing the
Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formally existed from 1674 with the coronation of Shivaji Shivaji Bhonsale I (; 19 ...

Maratha Empire
and other prominent political states. IGI1908MadrasTown2(1).jpg, The presidency town of Madras in a 1908 map. Madras was established as
Fort St. George Fort St. George (or historically, White Town) is the first English colonial empire, English (later Kingdom of Great Britain, British) fortress in India, founded in 1639 at the coastal city of Madras, the modern city of Chennai. The constru ...

Fort St. George
in 1640. IGI1908IsleBombay2(1).jpg, The presidency town of Bombay (shown here in a 1908 map) was established in 1684. IGI1908CalcuttaTown2.jpg, The presidency town of Calcutta (shown here in a 1908 map) was established in 1690 as
Fort WilliamFort William may refer to: Places * Fort William, Ghana, a fort in Anomabu, Central Region, built in the 18th century * Fort William Lighthouse, in Cape Coast, Central Region, Ghana, built in the 19th century, now used as a lighthouse * Fort Will ...
.
*
Madras Presidency The Madras Presidency, or the Presidency of Fort St. George, also known as Madras Province, was an Presidencies and provinces of British India, administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India. At its greatest extent, the presidency inc ...
: established 1640. *
Bombay Presidency The Bombay Presidency, also known as Bombay and Sind from 1843 to 1936 and the Bombay Province, was an administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still e ...
: East India Company's headquarters moved from
Surat Surat is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. ...

Surat
to Bombay (Mumbai) in 1687. *
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
: established 1690. After
Robert Clive Major-General Major general (abbreviated MG, maj. gen. and similar) is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparen ...
's victory in the
Battle of Plassey A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
in 1757, the puppet government of a new
Nawab of Bengal The Nawab of Bengal (Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language th ...

Nawab of Bengal
, was maintained by the East India Company. However, after the invasion of Bengal by the
Nawab of Oudh The Nawab of Awadh or the Nawab of Oudh was the title of the rulers who governed the state of Awadh Awadh (), known in British historical texts as ''Avadh'' or ''Oudh'', is a region in the modern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which was be ...
in 1764 and his subsequent defeat in the
Battle of Buxar The Battle of Buxar was fought on 22/23 October 1764, between the forces under the command of the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Compan ...
, the Company obtained the ''Diwani'' of Bengal, which included the right to administer and collect land-revenue (land tax) in ''Bengal'', the region of present-day Bangladesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and
Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by population and list of states and union territories of India by area ...

Bihar
beginning from 1772 as per the treaty signed in 1765. By 1773, the Company obtained the ''Nizāmat'' of Bengal (the "exercise of criminal jurisdiction") and thereby full sovereignty of the expanded
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
. During the period, 1773 to 1785, very little changed; the only exceptions were the addition of the dominions of the ''
Raja ''Raja'' (; from sa, राजन्, IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguis ...

Raja
'' of to the western boundary of the Bengal Presidency, and the addition of
Salsette Island Salsette Island is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...
to the
Bombay Presidency The Bombay Presidency, also known as Bombay and Sind from 1843 to 1936 and the Bombay Province, was an administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still e ...
. Portions of the
Kingdom of Mysore The Kingdom of Mysore was a realm in southern India South India is a region consisting of the southern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of count ...
were annexed to the
Madras Presidency The Madras Presidency, or the Presidency of Fort St. George, also known as Madras Province, was an Presidencies and provinces of British India, administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India. At its greatest extent, the presidency inc ...
after the
Third Anglo-Mysore War The Third Anglo–Mysore War (1790–1792) was a conflict in South India between the Kingdom of Mysore and the East India Company, Travancore, Kingdom of Travancore, Maratha Empire, and the Nizam of Hyderabad. It was the third of four Anglo–My ...
ended in 1792. Next, in 1799, after the defeat of
Tipu Sultan Tipu Sultan (born Sultan Fateh Ali Sahab Tipu, 01 December 1751 – 4 May 1799), also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore The Kingdom of Mysore was a realm in southern India South India is a re ...

Tipu Sultan
in the
Fourth Anglo-Mysore War The Fourth Anglo–Mysore War was a conflict in South India between the Kingdom of Mysore against the British East India Company and the Hyderabad Deccan in 1798–99. This was the final conflict of the four Anglo-Mysore Wars. The British cap ...
more of his territory was annexed to the Madras Presidency. In 1801, Carnatic, which had been under the
suzerainty Suzerainty () is a relationship in which one state or other polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized soci ...
of the company, began to be directly administered by it as a part of the Madras Presidency. File:IGI1908India1765a.jpg, Map of India in 1765. File:Joppen1907India1795a.jpg, Map of India in 1795. File:Joppen1907India1805a.jpg, Map of India in 1805. File:Joppen1907India1823a.jpg, Map of India in 1823. File:IGI1908India1837a.jpg, Map of India in 1837. File:Joppen1907India1848a.jpg, Map of India in 1848. File:IGI1908India1857b-coloured.jpg, Map of India in 1857. File:Joppen1907BritishBengalBritishBurmaA.jpg, Expansion of British Bengal and Burma.


The new provinces

By 1851, the East India Company's vast and growing holdings across the sub-continent were still grouped into just four main territories: *
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
with its capital at
Calcutta Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...

Calcutta
*
Bombay Presidency The Bombay Presidency, also known as Bombay and Sind from 1843 to 1936 and the Bombay Province, was an administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still e ...
with its capital at
Bombay Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay — the official name until 1995) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, ...

Bombay
*
Madras Presidency The Madras Presidency, or the Presidency of Fort St. George, also known as Madras Province, was an Presidencies and provinces of British India, administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India. At its greatest extent, the presidency inc ...
with its capital at
Madras Chennai (, ), also known as Madras (List of renamed Indian cities and states#Tamil Nadu, the official name until 1996), is the capital city of the states and territories of India, Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The state's largest city in area ...
*
North-Western Provinces The North-Western Provinces was an Presidencies and provinces of British India, administrative region in British India. The North-Western Provinces were established in 1836, through merging the administrative divisions of the Ceded and Conquere ...
with the seat of the Lieutenant-Governor at
Agra Agra (, ) is a city on the banks of the Yamuna The Yamuna (Hindustani Hindustani may refer to: * something of, from, or related to Hindustan (another name of India) * Hindustani language, an Indo-Aryan language, whose two official norms ...

Agra
. The original seat of government was at
Allahabad Allahabad (), List of renamed Indian cities and states, officially known as Prayagraj, also known as Ilahabad, is a metropolis in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.The other five cities were: Agra, Kanpur, Kanpur (Cawnpore), Lucknow, Meerut ...

Allahabad
, then at
Agra Agra (, ) is a city on the banks of the Yamuna The Yamuna (Hindustani Hindustani may refer to: * something of, from, or related to Hindustan (another name of India) * Hindustani language, an Indo-Aryan language, whose two official norms ...

Agra
from 1834 to 1868. In 1833, an Act of the British Parliament (statute 3 and 4, William IV, cap. 85) promulgated the elevation the ''
Ceded and Conquered Provinces The Ceded and Conquered Provinces constituted a region in northern Company rule in India, India that was ruled by the British East India Company from 1805 to 1834; it corresponded approximately—in present-day India—to all regions in ...
'' to the new ''Presidency of Agra'', and the appointment of a new Governor for the latter, but the plan was never carried out. In 1835 another Act of Parliament (statute 5 and 6, William IV, cap. 52) renamed the region the ''North-Western Provinces'', this time to be administered by a Lieutenant-Governor, the first of whom, Sir Charles Metcalfe, would be appointed in 1836. By the time of the
Indian Rebellion of 1857 The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857–58 against the rule of the British East India Company, which functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. The rebellion ...

Indian Rebellion of 1857
, and the end of Company rule, the developments could be summarised as follows: *
Bombay Presidency The Bombay Presidency, also known as Bombay and Sind from 1843 to 1936 and the Bombay Province, was an administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still e ...
: expanded after the
Anglo-Maratha Wars The Anglo–Maratha War were three wars fought in the Indian sub-continent between the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. ...
. *
Madras Presidency The Madras Presidency, or the Presidency of Fort St. George, also known as Madras Province, was an Presidencies and provinces of British India, administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India. At its greatest extent, the presidency inc ...
: Expanded in the mid-to-late 18th century
Carnatic Wars The Carnatic Wars were a series of military conflicts in the middle of the 18th century in India's coastal Carnatic region, a dependency of Hyderabad State Hyderabad State (), also known as Hyderabad Deccan, was an Indian princely state ...
and
Anglo-Mysore Wars The Anglo–Mysore Wars were a series of wars fought during the last three decades of the 18th century between the Kingdom of Mysore The Kingdom of Mysore was a realm in southern India South India is a region located in the southern p ...
. *
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
: Expanded after the battles of Plassey (1757) and
Buxar Buxar is a nagar parishad A nagar parishad or city council is a form of an urban political unit in India comparable to a municipality. An urban local body that administers with less than 100,000 and more than 20,000 inhabitants is classifi ...
(1764), and after the
Second The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, th ...
and
Third Anglo-Maratha War The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1819) was the final and decisive conflict between the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), ...
s. *
Penang Penang, officially the State of Penang, is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Strait of Malacca, Malacca Strait. It has two parts: Penang Island, where t ...

Penang
: became residency within the Bengal Presidency in 1786, the fourth presidency of India in 1805, part of the presidency of the
Straits Settlements The Straits Settlements (; ms , Negeri-negeri Selat; ta, ஜலசந்தி குடியிருப்புகள்) were a group of British Empire, British territories located in Southeast Asia. Originally established in 1826 as pa ...

Straits Settlements
until 1830, again part of a residency within the Bengal Presidency when the Straits Settlements became so, and finally separated from British India in 1867. *
Ceded and Conquered Provinces The Ceded and Conquered Provinces constituted a region in northern Company rule in India, India that was ruled by the British East India Company from 1805 to 1834; it corresponded approximately—in present-day India—to all regions in ...
: Established in 1802 within the
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British India, British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now So ...
. Proposed to be renamed the Presidency of Agra under a Governor in 1835, but proposal not implemented. * Ajmer-Merwara-Kekri: ceded by
Sindhia Scindia dynasty (anglicized from Shinde and also spelled popularly as Shinde in Maharashtra), is a Hindu Maratha dynasty of Kunbi origin that ruled the erstwhile Gwalior State, State of Gwalior. It had the patel-ship of Kumberkerrab in Wai. It ...
of Gwalior in 1818 at the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Maratha War. * Coorg: Annexed in 1834. *
North-Western Provinces The North-Western Provinces was an Presidencies and provinces of British India, administrative region in British India. The North-Western Provinces were established in 1836, through merging the administrative divisions of the Ceded and Conquere ...
: established as a Lieutenant-Governorship in 1836 from the erstwhile ''Ceded and Conquered Provinces'' * Sindh, Sind: annexed to the Bombay Presidency in 1843. * Punjab: Established in 1849 from territories captured in the First Anglo-Sikh War, First and Second Anglo-Sikh War, Second Anglo-Sikh Wars. * Nagpur Province: Created in 1853 from the princely state of Nagpur, seized by the doctrine of lapse. Merged into the Central Provinces in 1861. * Oudh annexed in 1856 and governed thereafter until 1905 as a Chief Commissionership, as a part of
North-Western Provinces The North-Western Provinces was an Presidencies and provinces of British India, administrative region in British India. The North-Western Provinces were established in 1836, through merging the administrative divisions of the Ceded and Conquere ...
and Oudh. File:Pope1880NorthWesternProv2.jpg,
North-Western Provinces The North-Western Provinces was an Presidencies and provinces of British India, administrative region in British India. The North-Western Provinces were established in 1836, through merging the administrative divisions of the Ceded and Conquere ...
, constituted in 1836 from erstwhile
Ceded and Conquered Provinces The Ceded and Conquered Provinces constituted a region in northern Company rule in India, India that was ruled by the British East India Company from 1805 to 1834; it corresponded approximately—in present-day India—to all regions in ...
. File:Pope1880Panjab3.jpg, Punjab annexed in 1849. File:Pope1880Oudh2.jpg, Oudh annexed in 1856.


Administration under the Crown (1858–1947)


Historical background

The British Raj began with the idea of the Presidencies as the centres of government. Until 1834, when a General Legislative Council was formed, each Presidency under its Governor and Council was empowered to enact a code of so-called 'Regulations' for its government. Therefore, any territory or province that was added by conquest or treaty to a presidency came under the existing regulations of the corresponding presidency. However, in the case of provinces that were acquired but were not annexed to any of the three Presidencies, their official staff could be provided as the Governor-General pleased, and was not governed by the existing regulations of the Bengal, Madras, or Bombay Presidencies. Such provinces became known as "Non-Regulation Provinces" and up to 1833 no provision for a legislative power existed in such places. The same two kinds of management applied for districts. Thus Ganjam district, Ganjam and Visakhapatnam district, Vizagapatam were non-regulation districts.Geography of India
1870
Non-Regulation Provinces included: *Ajmir Province (Ajmer-Merwara) *Cis-Sutlej states *Saugor and Nerbudda Territories *North-East Frontier (Assam) *Cooch Behar *South-West Frontier (Chota Nagpur) *Jhansi Province *Kumaon Province File:Pope1880BritishIndia1.jpg, British India in 1880: This map incorporates the Provinces of British India, the Princely States and the legally non-Indian Crown Colony of Ceylon. File:IndiaPolitical1893ConstablesHandAtlas.jpg, The Indian Empire in 1893 after the annexation of
Upper Burma Upper Myanmar ( my, အထက်မြန်မာပြည်, also called Upper Burma) refers to a geographic region of Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicat ...
and incorporation of Baluchistan (Chief Commissioner's Province), Baluchistan. File:Jopen1907IndianEmpire1907a.jpg , The British Raj, Indian Empire in 1907 during the partition of Bengal (1905–1912). File:IndianEmpireCeylon1915.jpg, The Indian Empire in 1915 after the reunification of Bengal, the creation of the new province of Bihar and Orissa Province, Bihar and Orissa, and the re-establishment of Assam.


Regulation provinces

* Central Provinces and Berar, Central Provinces: Created in 1861 from Nagpur Province and the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories. Berar was added to the province in 1903, and was renamed the Central Provinces and Berar in 1936. *
Burma Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos a ...

Burma
: Lower Burma annexed 1852, established as a province in 1862,
Upper Burma Upper Myanmar ( my, အထက်မြန်မာပြည်, also called Upper Burma) refers to a geographic region of Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicat ...
incorporated in 1886. Separated from British India in 1937 to become administered independently by the newly established British Government Burma Office. * Assam Province: separated from Bengal in 1874 as the North-East Frontier non-regulation province. Incorporated into the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1905. Re-established as a province in 1912. * Andaman and Nicobar Islands: established as a province in 1875. * Baluchistan (Chief Commissioner's Province), Baluchistan: Organised into a province in 1887. File:Pope1880MadrasPres2.jpg, Madras Presidency shown in an 1880 map. File:Pope1880BombayPres2.jpg, Bombay Presidency in an 1880 map. File:Pope1880BengalPres2.jpg, Bengal Presidency in 1880. File:Pope1880CentralProv2.jpg, An 1880 map of Central Provinces. The province had been constituted in 1861. File:IGI1908CPandBerar2.jpg, 1908 map of Central Provinces and Berar. Berar was included in 1903. File:Pope1880Beluch2.jpg, Beluchistan, shown as an independent kingdom along with Afghanistan and Turkestan, in an 1880 map. File:IGI1908Beluchistan2.jpg, Baluchistan in 1908: the Districts and Agencies of British Baluchistan are shown alongside the States, mostly: Kalat. * North-West Frontier Province (1901–1955), North-West Frontier Province: created in 1901 from the north-western districts of Punjab Province. * Eastern Bengal and Assam: created in 1905 upon the partition of Bengal, together with the former province of Assam. Re-merged with Bengal in 1912, with north-eastern part re-established as the province of Assam. * Bihar and Orissa Province, Bihar and Orissa: separated from Bengal in 1912. Renamed Bihar in 1936 when Odisha, Orissa became a separate province. * Delhi: Separated from Punjab in 1912, when it became the capital of British India. * Odisha, Orissa: Separate province by carving out certain portions from the Bihar-Orissa Province and the Madras Province in 1936. * Sindh, Sind: Separated from Bombay in 1936. * Panth-Piploda: made a province in 1942, from territories ceded by a native ruler.


Major provinces

At the turn of the 20th century, British India consisted of eight provinces that were administered either by a Governor or a Lieutenant-Governor. The following table lists their areas and populations (but does not include those of the dependent Native States): During the partition of Bengal (1905–1912), a new Lieutenant-Governor's province of Eastern Bengal and Assam existed. In 1912, the partition was partially reversed, with the eastern and western halves of Bengal re-united and the province of Assam re-established; a new Lieutenant-Governor's province of Bihar and Orissa Province, Bihar and Orissa was also created.


Minor provinces

In addition, there were a few provinces that were administered by a Chief Commissioner:


Aden

* As the Settlement of Aden, a dependency of Bombay Presidency from 1839 to 1932; becomes a Chief Commissioner's province in 1932; separated from India and made the Crown Colony of Aden in 1937.


Partition and independence (1947)

At the time of independence in 1947, British India had 17 provinces: * Ajmer-Merwara * Andaman and Nicobar Islands * Assam Province, Assam * Baluchistan (Chief Commissioners Province), Baluchistan * Bengal Presidency, Bengal * Bihar Province, Bihar * Bombay Presidency, Bombay * Central Provinces and Berar * Coorg Province, Coorg * Delhi * Madras Presidency, Madras * North-West Frontier Province (1901–1955), North-West Frontier * Orissa Province, Orissa * Panth-Piploda Province, Panth-Piploda * Punjab Province (British India), Punjab * Sind Province (1936–1955), Sind * United Provinces (1937–50), United Provinces Upon the Partition of British India into the Dominion of India and Dominion of Pakistan, 11 provinces (Ajmer-Merwara-Kekri, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bihar, Bombay, Central Provinces and Berar, Coorg, Delhi, Madras, Panth-Piploda, Orissa, and the United Provinces) joined India, three (Baluchistan, North-West Frontier and Sindh) joined Pakistan, and three (British Punjab, Punjab,
Bengal Bengal (; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region located in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, p ...

Bengal
and Assam) were partitioned between India and Pakistan. In 1950, after the new Constitution of India, Indian Constitution was adopted, the provinces in India were replaced by redrawn states and union territories. Pakistan, however, retained its five provinces, one of which,
East Bengal ur, , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
, was renamed East Pakistan in 1956 and became the independent nation of
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...

Bangladesh
in 1971.


See also


Citations


General references

* ''The Imperial Gazetteer of India'' (26 vol, 1908–31), highly detailed description of all of India in 1901
online edition
* * *


Further reading

* * * * * * * * . * * * * * * Seymour, William. "The Indian States under the British Crown" ''History Today''. (Dec 1967), Vol. 17 Issue 12, pp 819–827 online; covers 1858 to 1947. * *


External links


Statistical abstracts relating to British India, from 1840 to 1920
at uchicago.edu

at latrobe.edu.au * Collection of early 20th century photographs of the cities of Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras with other interesting Indian locations from the magazine, ''India Illustrated'', at th
University of Houston Digital Library


{{DEFAULTSORT:Presidencies And Provinces Of British India 1612 establishments in India, 1947 disestablishments in India, Presidencies of British India, Subdivisions of British India, * British India Former British colonies and protectorates in Asia History of India History of Pakistan