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The Charter Act Of 1813 - A Complete Overview

The Charter Act of 1813 - Minto I/ Hastings

Background of The Charter Act of 1813

  1. There was a Committee into the House of Commons to probe into Indian Affairs.
  2. The Home Government had specifically directed the GoI not to follow the policy of conquestsBut Lord Wellesley and Marquis of Hastings followed an imperialistic policy. This created financial difficulties for the Company.
  3. The Company's power had spread to the whole of India except Punjab, Nepal, and Sind. The EIC's territories increased so much that it was difficult to continue as a commercial and political body.
  4. Company requested financial help from the Parliament due to overspending in wars and setback in trade. 
  5. Plus, this was the time when Napoleon had imposed the Continental System on Europe. Hence, British Merchants had to divert their focus towards the East esp India.
  6. There was also a lot of agitation against the continuance of commercial monopoly by the EIC. Influence of Adam Smith, Benthamite Reformists, the Evangelicals, and Traditionalists. Their foremost interest was to safeguard the stability of the Empire.

Provisions of the Charter Act of 1813 

  1. The Charter Act of 1813 asserted expressly for the 1st time an 'undoubted sovereignty' of the crown over the Indian territories and thus this was another act of £ parliament removing the mask.
  2. The 1813 Charter Actended the company's monopoly over all Indian trade except trade in tea and trade with China
  3. The Indian trade was thrown open to all British merchants with certain restrictions.
  4. The Charter Act 1813 also allowed for the operations of the Christian missionaries in India.
  5. The 1813 Charter act provided Rs. 1 lakh per annum for education. Financial assistance to promote the revival of literature and sciences.
  6. The power of Provincial govt and courts in India over British subjects was strengthened.



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