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Main features of The Charter Act of 1833

31-OCT-2017 18:23

    Charter Act of 1833 was the outcome of Industrial Revolution in England which envisages that Indian’s had to function as market for the English mass production on the basis of ‘Laissez Faire’. Thus the Charter act of 1833 was institutionalised on basis of liberal concept. This was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that gave East India Company to rule India for another 20 years. The act legalized the British colonization of India and the territorial possessions of the company but were held “in trust for his majesty” for the service of Government of India.

    British Empire

    Features of Charter Act

    1. It made the Governor-General of Bengal as the Governor-General of India and vested in him all civil and military powers. Thus, the act created, for the first time, a Government of India having authority over the entire territorial area possessed by the British in India. Lord William Bentick was the first governor-general of India.

    2. It deprived the governor of Bombay and Madras of their legislative powers. The Governor-General of India was given exclusive legislative powers for the entire British India. The laws made under the previous acts were called as Regulations while laws made under this act were called as Acts.


    3. It ended the activities of the East India Company as a commercial body, which became a purely administrative body. It provided that the company’s territories in India were held by it ‘in trust for His Majesty, His heirs and successors’.

    4. This Act attempted to introduce a system of open competition for selection of civil servants, and stated that the Indians should not be debarred from holding any place, office and employment under the Company. However, this provision was negated after opposition from the Court of Directors.

    This act allowed wider space to the British in the India’s administration. It ended the British India Company's commercial activities and transformed into the British Crown’s trustee in administering India.

    History of Modern India: A Complete Study Material

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