British Policy in India 1900-47

The Partition of Bengal

  • Curzons attempt at "divide and rule"
  • Done without consultation of the Indians 
  • Created two parts of Bengal one was now Muslim dominated, the angered Congress
  • Congress was based in Calcutta, Bengal to put pressure on the British 
  • Gokhale described the partition as "concoted in the dark and carried out in the fiercest opposition"
  • Conservative Government 
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1909 Government of India Act

  • Liberal Government 
  • 4000 could now vote, numbers of elected members on councils rose, separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims, 60 Indians would serve on the viceroys council but they were only advisory 
  • Viceroy still had ultimate power 
  • Only 24 resolutions made in the legislature were passed 
  • Isolated the radicals from the moderates
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The Rowlatt Acts

  • Isolated Bombay, Bengal and Punjab as centres of revolutionary activity and recommended old wartime controls there 
  • The powers were found to be unneccessary but the damage had been done 
  • Made the promises made by the Montagu-Chelmsford Report seem meaningless 
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1919 Government of India Act

  • Post-WWI Conservative gov. 
  • Establishes Dyarchy 
  • The Viceroy still has ultimate power
  • Promises a review in 10 years
  • Further embeds the principle of electorates
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1927 The Simon Commission

  • Conservative government 
  • The review of the 1919 Gov of India Act 
  • No Indians on the council 
  • Outraged the nationalists - boycotted by Congress and the League
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1930-32 Round Table Conferences

  • Representatives from all aspects of Indian life travelled to London to participate
  • Congress didnt send any representatives for the 1st RTC and the British realised that they would need the cooperation of Congress to get anywhere 
  • 2nd RTC failed because Gandhi was mandated by Congress and he offended the minorities by claiming he represented them 
  • Short-lived Labour government 
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1935 Government of India Act

  • Abolishes Dyarchy, establishes India in 11 provinces each with its own government in charge of everything but foreign affairs and defence 
  • Viceroy still has ultimate control 
  • "too little too late"
  • Coalition government 
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1942 Cripps Mission March

  • Stafford Cripps was appointed by Churchill to lead a delegation too India
  • He offered India full dominion status after the war, the Indian people would elect an assembly to design a new constitution, and if any province or princely state wanted to leave the new India it was free
  • Congress didnt accept this and Gandhi told Cripps to go home 
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1945 The Simla Conference

  • Offered the same as Cripps except the executive council would be exclusively Indian 
  • Main reason it fails:they couldnt decide which Muslims should be put on the executive council 
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