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Charter Act of 1833

This Act was the final step towards centralization in British India.

The features of this Act were as follows:
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, the 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 entire British India. The laws made under the previous
acts were called as Regulations, while laws made under this act were called 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. The Charter Act of 1833 attempted to introduce a system of open competition for the 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.

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