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India after the 1857 Revolt

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After the Revolt of 1857, The British East India Company rule ceased, and India came under the control of the British Crown. The government of Bombay was administered by a governor-in-council, consisting of the Governor as president and two ordinary members. The Governor was appointed from Britain; the council was appointed by the crown, and selected from the Indian Civil Service. These were the executive members of government. For making laws there was a legislative council, consisting of the Governor and his executive council, with certain other persons, not fewer than eight or more than twenty, at least half of them being non-officials. Each of the members of the executive council had in his charge one or two departments of the government; and each department had a secretary, an under-secretary, and an assistant secretary, with a numerous staff of clerks. The political administration of the native states was under the superintendence of British agents placed at the principal native capitals; their position varied in different states according to the relations in which the principalities stood with the paramount power. The administration of justice throughout the Presidency was conducted by a high court at Bombay, consisting of a chief justice and seven puisne judges, along with district and assistant judges throughout the districts of the Presidency. The administration of the districts was carried on by collectors, assistant collectors, and a varying number of supernumerary assistants.

In 1932, Aden was separated from Bombay and made a separate province, and Sind became a separate province on April 1, 1936.

After the Government of India Act 1935, elections were held in 1937 to form provincial governments. The Indian National Congress won the elections in Bombay and formed the first elected government of Bombay under B.G. Kher as Chief Minister. In 1939, all Congress ministries in British Indian provinces resigned and Bombay was placed under Governor’s rule. The 1946 elections were again won by the Congress and formed the government under Kher who continued as the Chief Minister even after India’s independence till 1952. [2]

The University of Bombay was established in 1857, and had an administration consisting of a chancellor, vice-chancellor and fellows. The governor of Bombay was ex-officio chancellor. The education department was under a director of public instruction, who was responsible for the administration of the department in accordance with the general educational policy of the state. The native states generally adopted the government system. Baroda and the Kathiawar states employed their own inspectors. In 1905 the total number of educational institutions was 10,194 with 593,431 pupils. There were ten art colleges, of which two were managed by government, three by native states, and five were under private management. It was in the year 1913 that the first college of commerce in Asia “Sydenham College” was established. According to the census of 1901, out of a population of 25.5 million nearly 24 million were illiterate.

Madras Presidency in Victorian Era

Following the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Queen Victoria issued a Proclamation by which Company rule over India came to an end and the British Raj was established. The Victorian era was a period of peace and prosperity. The Indian Councils Act 1861 and the Government of India Act 1909 admitted Indians in the provincial administration. There was a rapid increase in the number of educated classes who qualified for the Indian and Provincial Civil Service. The profession of law was especially prized by the newly-emerging class of educated Indians. In 1877, T. Muthuswamy Iyer became the first Indian judge of the Madras High Court despite serious opposition.[28][29][30] A number of roads, railways, dams and canals were constructed during this time.[29]

During this period, Madras was devastated by two great famines: Great Famine of 1876–78 and the Indian famine of 1896–97.[31] The population of the Presidency fell from 31.2 million in 1871 to 30.8 million in 1881 as a result of the 1876-78 famine.

The British government encouraged the setting up of railways by private investors under a scheme that would guarantee an annual return of 5% during the initial years of operation. Once completed, the company would be passed under government ownership, but would be operated by the company that built them.

The East Indian Railway Company’s Chief Engineer George Turnbull built the first railway from Calcutta (the then commercial capital of India). It opened for passenger traffic from Howrah station to Hooghly on 15 August 1854. The 541 miles (871 kilometres) to Benares opened to passenger traffic in December 1862. [2][3]

Robert Maitland Brereton, a British engineer was responsible for the expansion of the railways from 1857 onwards. In March 1870, he was responsible for the linking of both the rail systems, which by then had a network of 6,400 km (4,000 miles). By 1875, about £95 million were invested by British companies in Indian guaranteed railways.[4]

By 1880 the network had a route mileage of about 14,500 km (9,000 miles), mostly radiating inward from the three major port cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. By 1895, India had started building its own locomotives, and in 1896 sent engineers and locomotives to help build the Ugandan Railways.

In 1900, the GIPR became a government owned company. The network spread to modern day states of Assam, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh and soon various independent kingdoms began to have their own rail systems. In 1901, an early Railway Board was constituted, but the powers were formally invested under Lord Curzon. It served under the Department of Commerce and Industry and had a government railway official serving as chairman, and a railway manager from England and an agent of one of the company railways as the other two members. For the first time in its history, the Railways began to make a profit.

In 1907 almost all the rail companies were taken over by the government. The following year, the first electric locomotive makes its appearance. With the arrival of World War I, the railways were used to meet the needs of the British outside India. With the end of the war, the state of the railways was in disrepair and collapse.

In 1920, with the network having expanded to 61,220 km, a need for central management was mooted by Sir William Acworth. Based on the East India Railway Committee chaired by Acworth, the government takes over the management of the Railways and detaches the finances of the Railways from other governmental revenues.

The period between 1920 to 1929 was a period of economic boom. Following the Great Depression, the company suffered economically for the next eight years. The Second World War severely crippled the railways. Trains were diverted to the Middle East and the railways workshops were converted to munitions workshops. By 1946 all rail systems were taken over by the government.

The Lord Metcalfe  1835-1836 Acting Governor General 

In 1827 he obtained a seat in the supreme council, and in March 1835, after he had acted as the first governor of the proposed new presidency of Agra, he provisionally succeeded Lord William Bentinck as the Governor General of Bengal (1835-36). During his brief tenure of office (it lasted only for one year) he carried out several important measures, including that for the liberation of the press, which, while almost universally popular, complicated his relations with the directors at home to such an extent that he resigned the service of the Company in 1838.

Queen Victoria 1837-1901

Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837, and the first Empress of India of the British Raj from 1 May 1876, until her death. Her reign as the Queen lasted 63 years and 7 months, longer than that of any other British monarch before or since. She is to date the longest reigned female monarch in history. The period centered on her reign is known as the Victorian era, a time of industrial, political, scientific and military progress within the United Kingdom.

Though Victoria ascended the throne at a time when the United Kingdom was already an established constitutional monarchy in which the king or queen held few political powers and exercised influence by the prime minister’s advice, she still served as a very important symbolic figure of her time. Victoria’s reign was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire; during this period it reached its zenith, becoming the foremost global power of the time.

Victoria, who was of almost entirely German descent, was the daughter of Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and granddaughter of George III and the niece of her predecessor William IV. She arranged marriages for her nine children and forty-two grandchildren across the continent, tying Europe together and earning her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe”.[1] She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son King Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Affairs in India

Vivekananda 1863-1902

Swami Vivekananda (Bengali: স্বামী বিবেকানন্দ, Shami Bibekānondo; Hindi: स्वामी विवेकानन्द, Svāmi Vivekānanda) (January 12, 1863–July 4, 1902), born Narendranath Dutta[2] is the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna and the founder of Ramakrishna Mission.[3] He is considered a key figure in the introduction of Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America[3] and is also credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a world religion during the end of the 19th Century.[4] Vivekananda is considered to be a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India.[5] He is best known for his inspiring speech beginning with "sisters and brothers of America",[6][7] through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions at Chicago in 1893.[2]


Swami Vivekananda was born in an aristocratic Kayastha family of Calcutta in 1863. His parents influenced the Swami's thinking—the father by his rational mind and the mother by her religious temperament. From his childhood, he showed inclination towards spirituality and God realization. While searching for a man who could directly demonstrate the reality of God, he came to Ramakrishna and became his disciple. As a guru Ramakrishna taught him Advaita Vedanta and that all religions are true, and service to man was the most effective worship of God. After the death of his Guru, he became a wandering monk touring the Indian subcontinent and getting a first hand account of India's condition. He later sailed to Chicago and represented India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. An eloquent speaker, Vivekananda was invited to several forums in United States and spoke at universities and clubs. He conducted several public and private lectures, disseminating Vedanta, Yoga and Hinduism in America, England and few other countries in Europe. He also established Vedanta societies in America and England. He later sailed back to India and in 1897 he founded the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, a philanthropic and spiritual organization. Swami Vivekananda is regarded as one of India's foremost nation-builders. His teachings influenced the thinking of other national leaders and philosophers, like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Ghosh, Radhakrishnan.[2][5][8]

George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland 1836-1842

In 1836 Lord Auckland was appointed of Governor-General of India. As a legislator he dedicated himself especially to the improvement of native schools and the expansion of the commercial industry of India. But complications in Afghanistan interrupted this work in 1838. Lord Auckland decided on war, and on 1 October 1838 in Simla published a manifesto dethroning Dost Mahommed Khan. After successful early operations he was created Baron Eden, of Norwood in the County of Surrey, and Earl of Auckland. However the Afghan campaign ultimately ended in disaster (see Dost Mohammad and the British in Afghanistan for details of the first Anglo-Afghan war). He handed over the governor-generalship to Lord Ellenborough and returned to England the following year.

Edward Law, 1st Earl of Ellenborough 1842-1844

His Indian administration of two and a half years, or half the usual term of service, was from first to last a subject of hostile criticism. His own letters sent monthly to the Queen, and his correspondence with the Duke of Wellington, published in 1874, afford material for an intelligent and impartial judgment of his meteoric career. The events chiefly in dispute are his policy towards Afghanistan and the army and captives there, his conquest of Sind, and his campaign in Gwalior.

Ellenborough went to India in order “to restore peace to Asia” but the whole term of his office was occupied in war. On his arrival there the news that greeted him was that of the massacre of Kabul, and the sieges of Ghazni and Jalalabad, while the sepoys of Madras (now known as Chennai) were on the verge of open mutiny. In his proclamation of 15 March 1842, as in his memorandum for the queen, dated the 18th, he stated with characteristic clearness and eloquence the duty of first inflicting some signal and decisive blow on the Afghans, and then leaving them to govern themselves under the sovereign of their own choice. Unhappily, when he left for upper India, and learned of the failure of General England, he instructed George Pollock and William Nott, who were advancing triumphantly with their avenging columns to rescue the British captives, to fall back. The army proved true to the governor-general’s earlier proclamation rather than to his later fears; the hostages were rescued, the scene of Sir Alexander Burnes’s murder in the heart of Kabul was burned down.

Dost Mahommed Khan was quietly dismissed from a prison in Calcutta to the throne in the Bala Hissar, and Ellenborough presided over the painting of the elephants for an unprecedented military spectacle at Ferozepur, on the south bank of the Sutlej. When Mahmud of Ghazni, in 1024, sacked the Hindu temple of Somnath on the north-west coast of India, he carried off the richly-studded sandalwood gates of the fanes and set them up in his capital of Ghazni. The Muslim puppet of the English, Shah Shuja, had been asked, when ruler of Afghanistan, to restore them to India; and what he had failed to do the Christian ruler of opposing Muslim and Hindus resolved to effect in the most solemn and public manner. In vain had Major (afterwards Sir Henry) Rawlinson proved that they were only reproductions of the original gates, to which the Ghazni moulvies clung merely as a source of offerings from the faithful who visited the old conqueror’s tomb. In vain did the Hindu sepoys show the most chilling indifference to the belauded restoration. Ellenborough could not resist the temptation to copy Napoleon’s magniloquent proclamation under the pyramids. The fraudulent folding doors were conveyed on a triumphal car to the fort of Agra, where they were found to be made not of sandalwood but of deal. That Somnath proclamation (immortalized in a speech by Macaulay) was the first step towards its author’s recall.

Hardly had Ellenborough issued his medal with the legend “Pax Asiae Restituta” when he was at war with the amirs of Sind. The tributary amirs had on the whole been faithful, for Major James Outram controlled them. He reported some opposition, and Ellenborough ordered an inquiry, but entrusted the duty to Sir Charles Napier, with full political as well as military powers. Mir Au Morad intrigued with both sides so effectually that he betrayed the amirs on the one hand, while he deluded Napier on the other. Ellenborough was led on till events were beyond his control, and his own instructions were forgotten. Sir Charles Napier made more than one confession like this: “We have no right to seize Sind, yet we shall do so, and a very advantageous, useful and humane piece of rascality it will be.” The battles of Meeanee and Hyderabad followed; and the Indus became a British river from Karachi to Multan.

Sind had hardly been disposed of when troubles arose on both sides of the governor-general, who was then at Agra. On the north the disordered kingdom of the Sikhs was threatening the frontier. In Gwalior to the south, the feudatory Mahratta state, there were a large mutinous army, a Ranee only twelve years of age, an adopted chief of eight, and factions in the council of ministers. These conditions brought Gwalior to the verge of civil war. Ellenborough reviewed the danger in the minute of 1 November 1845, and told Sir Hugh Cough to advance. Further treachery and military licence rendered the battles of Maharajpur and Punniar (fought on the same day), inevitable though they were, a surprise to the combatants. The treaty that followed was as merciful as it was wise. The pacification of Gwalior also had its effect beyond the Sutlej, where anarchy was restrained for yet another year, and the work of civilisation was left to Ellenburough’s two successors. But by this time the patience of the directors was exhausted. They had no control over Ellenborough’s policy; his despatches to them were haughty and disrespectful; and in June 1844 they exercised their power of recalling him.

Succeeded by William Wilberforce Bird acting Gov. General in 1844.

Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge 1844-1848

In 1844 he succeeded Lord Ellenborough as governor-general of India. During his term of office the first Sikh War broke out; and Hardinge, waiving his right to the supreme command, offered to serve as second in command under Sir Hugh Gough; but disagreeing with Gough’s plan of campaign at Ferozeshah, he temporarily reasserted his authority as governor-general. After the successful termination of the campaign at Sobraon he was created Viscount Hardinge of Lahore and of King’s Newton in Derbyshire, with a pension of £3000 for three lives; while the East India Company voted him an annuity of £5000, which he declined to accept. Hardinge’s term of office in India was marked by many social and educational reforms.

Indian Railways

A rail system in India was first proposed in 1832 in Madras but it never materialised. In the 1840s, other proposals were forwarded to the British East India Company who governed India. The Governor-General of India at that time, Lord Hardinge deliberated on the proposal from the commercial, military and political viewpoints. He came to the conclusion that the East India Company should assist private capitalists who sought to setup a rail system in India, regardless of the commercial viability of their project.

In 1832 a proposal was made to build a railroad between Madras and Bangalore, and in 1836 a survey was conducted for this line.[1]

On September 22, 1842, British civil engineer Charles Blacker Vignoles, submitted a Report on a Proposed Railway in India to the East India Company.[1] By 1845, two companies, the East Indian Railway Company operating from Calcutta, and the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) operating from Bombay, were formed. The first train in India was operational on December 22, 1851, used for the hauling of construction material in Roorkee. A few months later, on April 16, 1853, the first passenger train between Bori Bunder, Bombay and Thana covering a distance of 34 km (21 miles) was inaugurated, formally heralding the birth of railways in India.

The British government encouraged the setting up of railways by private investors under a scheme that would guarantee an annual return of 5% during the initial years of operation. Once completed, the company would be passed under government ownership, but would be operated by the company that built them.

The East Indian Railway Company’s Chief Engineer George Turnbull built the first railway from Calcutta (the then commercial capital of India). It opened for passenger traffic from Howrah station to Hooghly on 15 August 1854. The 541 miles (871 kilometres) to Benares opened to passenger traffic in December 1862. [2][3]

Robert Maitland Brereton, a British engineer was responsible for the expansion of the railways from 1857 onwards. In March 1870, he was responsible for the linking of both the rail systems, which by then had a network of 6,400 km (4,000 miles). By 1875, about £95 million were invested by British companies in Indian guaranteed railways.[4]

By 1880 the network had a route mileage of about 14,500 km (9,000 miles), mostly radiating inward from the three major port cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. By 1895, India had started building its own locomotives, and in 1896 sent engineers and locomotives to help build the Ugandan Railways.

In 1900, the GIPR became a government owned company. The network spread to modern day states of Assam, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh and soon various independent kingdoms began to have their own rail systems. In 1901, an early Railway Board was constituted, but the powers were formally invested under Lord Curzon. It served under the Department of Commerce and Industry and had a government railway official serving as chairman, and a railway manager from England and an agent of one of the company railways as the other two members. For the first time in its history, the Railways began to make a profit.

In 1907 almost all the rail companies were taken over by the government. The following year, the first electric locomotive makes its appearance. With the arrival of World War I, the railways were used to meet the needs of the British outside India. With the end of the war, the state of the railways was in disrepair and collapse.

In 1920, with the network having expanded to 61,220 km, a need for central management was mooted by Sir William Acworth. Based on the East India Railway Committee chaired by Acworth, the government takes over the management of the Railways and detaches the finances of the Railways from other governmental revenues.

The period between 1920 to 1929 was a period of economic boom. Following the Great Depression, the company suffered economically for the next eight years. The Second World War severely crippled the railways. Trains were diverted to the Middle East and the railways workshops were converted to munitions workshops. By 1946 all rail systems were taken over by the government.

Dalhousie 1848-1856

Dalhousie assumed charge of his dual duties as Governor-General of India and Governor of Bengal on 12 January 1848, and shortly afterwards he was honoured with the green ribbon of the Order of the Thistle.During this period, he was an extremely hard worker, often working sixteen to eighteen hours a day. The shortest workday Dalhousie would take began at half-past eight and would continue until half-past five, remaining at his desk even during lunch.[2] During this period, he sought to expand the reach of the empire and ride long distances on horseback, in spite of having a bad back. [3]

At length, after seven years of strenuous labour, Dalhousie, on the 6 March 1856, set sail for England on board the Company’s Firoze, an object of general sympathy and not less general respect. At Alexandria he was carried by H.M.S. Caradoc to Malta, and thence by the Tribune to Spithead, which he reached on 11 May. His return had been eagerly looked for by statesmen who hoped that he would resume his public career, by the Company which voted him an annual pension of £5,000, by public bodies which showered upon him every mark of respect, and by the queen who earnestly prayed for the blessing of restored health and strength. That blessing was not to be his. He lingered on, seeking sunshine in Malta and medical treatment at Malvern, Edinburgh and other places in vain obedience to his doctors. The outbreak of the mutiny led to bitter attacks at home upon his policy, and to strange misrepresentation of his public acts, while on the other hand John Lawrence invoked his counsel and influence, and those who really knew his work in India cried out, “Oh, for a dictator, and his return for one hour!” To all these cries he turned a deaf ear, refusing to embarrass those who were responsible by any expressions of opinion, declining to undertake his own defence or to assist in his vindication through the public press, and by his last directions sealing up his private journal and papers of personal interest against publication until fifty years after his death. On 9 August 1859 his youngest daughter, Edith, was married at Dalhousie Castle to Sir James Fergusson, Bart. In the same castle Dalhousie died on 19 December 1860; he was buried in the old churchyard of Cockpen.

Dalhousie’s family consisted of two daughters, and the marquessate became extinct at his death.

Dalhousie is a beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh, India. Established in 1854 by the British Empire in India as a summer retreat for its troops and bureaucrats, the town was named after Lord Dalhousie who was the British viceroy in India at that time.

India comes under the Queen

Madras Presidency and Indian National Congress

There was a strong sense of national awakening in Madras Presidency starting from the later half of the 19th century. Of the 72 delegates who participated in the first session of the Indian National Congress at Bombay in December 1885, 22 were from Madras Presidency.[32][33] The third session of the Indian National Congress was held in Madras in December 1887[34] and was a huge success attended by 362 delegates from the Province.[35] Subsequent sessions of the Indian National Congresswere held in Madras in 1894, 1898, 1903, 1908, 1914 and 1927.[36]

The headquarters of the Theosophical Society were moved to Adyar by Madam Blavatsky and Colonel H. S. Olcott in 1882.[37] The most prominent figure associated with the Theosophical Society was Annie Besant who founded the Home Rule League in 1916.[38] The Home Rule Movement was organized from Madras and found extensive support in the Province. The freedom struggle was actively endorsed by nationalistic newspapers such as The Hindu[39][40] and Swadesamitran[41] and Mathrubhumi. Subramanya Bharathy, Tiruppur Kumaran, V. V. S. Aiyar, Subramanya Siva, V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, Vanchinathan, V. Kalyanasundaram, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, K. Kamaraj, U. Muthuramalingam Thevar, Sir S. Subramania Iyer, G. Subramania Iyer, S. Srinivasa Iyengar, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, Tanguturi Prakasam, Sir P. S. Sivaswami Iyer, C. Sankaran Nair, C. Karunakara Menon and Kalki Sadasivam were some prominent freedom-fighters of the period. India’s first trade union was established in Madras in 1918 by V. Kalyanasundaram and B. P. Wadia.[42]

[edit] Implementation of the Dyarchy

The non-Brahmin movement was started by Sir P. Theagaroya Chetty (left) who founded the Justice Party in 1916. After his death, the movement was spearheaded by E. V. Ramaswamy Naicker (right), affectionately called Periyar, who gave it the much-needed impetus through his social and political work

A dyarchy was created in Madras Presidency in the year 1920 as per the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms and provisions were made for elections in the Presidency.[43] Democratically elected governments would henceforth share powers with the Governor’s autocratic establishment. In the first elections held in November 1920, the Justice Party,an organization that was established in 1916 to campaign for increased representation of non-Brahmins in the administration, was elected to power.[44] A. Subbarayalu Reddiar became the first Chief Minister of Madras Presidency. However, he resigned soon after a short period due to declining health and was replaced with Sir P. Ramarayaningar, the Minister of Local Self-Government and Public Health.[45] The party split in late 1923 when C. R. Reddy resigned from primary membership and formed a splinter group which allied with Swarajists who were in opposition. A no-confidence motion was passed against Ramarayaningar’s government on November 27, 1923, which was however defeated 65-44. Ramarayaningar, popularly known as the Raja of Panagal, remained in power till November 1926. The passing of the First communal Government Order (G.O. No.613[46]) which introduced reservations to government jobs, in August 1921, remains one of the highpoints of his rule.[46][47] In the next elections held in 1926, the Justice Party lost. However, as no party was able to attain clear majority, the Governor set up an independent government under the leadership of P. Subbarayan and nominated members to support it.[48] In 1930, the Justice Party was victorious and P. Munuswamy Naidu became the Chief Minister.[49] However, the exclusion of Zamindars from the Ministry split the Justice Party once again. Fearing a no-confidence motion against him, Munuswamy Naidu resigned in November 1932 and the Raja of Bobbili was appointed Chief Minister.[50] The Justice Party eventually lost in the 1937 elections to the Indian National Congress and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari became Chief Minister of Madras Presidency.[51]

During the 1920s and 1930s, the Anti-Brahmin movement evolved in the Madras Presidency. This movement was launched by a Congressman E. V. Ramaswamy Naicker, who, unhappy with the principles and policies of the Brahmin leadership of the provincial Congress, moved to the Justice Party in 1925. E. V. R., or Periyar, as he was affectionately called, launched venomous attacks on Brahmins, Hinduism and Hindu superstitions in periodicals and newspapers such as Viduthalai and Justice.[52] He also participated in the Vaikom satyagraha which campaigned for the rights of untouchables in Travancore to enter temples.

[edit] Last days of British rule

The Indian National Congress came to power for the first time in 1937 with Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (pictured at a rally) as its Chief Minister

The Indian National Congress was elected to power in 1937 [51] for the first time in Madras Presidency and barring the six years when Madras was in a state of Emergency, ruled the Presidency till India got independence on August 15, 1947. Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was the first Chief Minister of Madras Presidency from the Congress party. He issued the Temple Entry Authorization and Indemnity Act[53] and introduced prohibition[54] and sales tax in Madras Presidency.[55] However, his rule is largely remembered for compulsory introduction of Hindi in educational institutions which made him highly unpopular as a politician.[56] This measure sparked off widespread Anti-Hindi agitations even leading to violence in some places. Over 1,200 men, women and children were jailed for participating in these Anti-Hindi agitations.[57] Two agitators Thalamuthu and Natarasan lost their lives.[57] In 1940, the Congress ministers resigned protesting the declaration of war on Germany without their consent and the Governor took over the reins of the administration. The unpopular law was eventually repealed by the Governor on February 21, 1940.[57]

Most of the Congress leadership and erstwhile ministers were arrested in 1942 following their participation in the Quit India movement. In 1944, Periyar renamed the Justice Party as Dravidar Kazhagam and withdrew from politics. When the Second World War came to an end, the Indian National Congress re-entered politics and without the presence of any serious opposition, was elected to power in the Presidency. However, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari resigned from the party leadership in 1946 facing strong opposition in the party ranks. Tanguturi Prakasam was elected Chief Minister with the support of Kamaraj. He served for 11 months and was succeeded by O. P. Ramaswamy Reddiyar. India became independent on August 15, 1947 with Ramaswamy Reddiyar as the first Chief Minister of Madras state.

The Madras presidency was administered by a governor and a council, consisting of two members of the civil service, which number may be increased to four. There was also a board of revenue of three members. For legislative purposes the council of the governor was augmented by additional members, numbering 45 in all, of whom not more than 17 may be nominated officials, while 19 were elected by various representative constituencies. Members of the legislative council enjoyed the right of interpolation, of proposing resolutions on matters of public interest, and of discussing the annual financial statement.

In 1911 the province was divided into 24 districts: Ganjam, Vizagapatam (Visakhapatnam), Godavari, Krishna, Kurnool, Nellore, Cuddapah, Anantapur, Bellary, North Arcot, South Arcot, Chingleput, Madras, Salem, South Canara, Malabar, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Tanjore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, The Nilgiris, and Guntur. Each district was under the charge of a collector, with sub-collectors and assistants. The districts were not grouped into divisions or commissionerships, as in other provinces.

The principle of local devolution was carried somewhat further in Madras than in other Raj provinces. At the bottom are union panchayats or village committees, whose chief duty is to attend to sanitation. Above them came taluk or subdivisional boards. At the head of all were district boards, a portion of whose members are elected by the taluk boards.

Five princely states fell under the political authority of Madras Presidency: Banganapalle, Cochin, Pudukkottai, Sandur, and Travancore.

Company rule in India, which effectively began in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey, lasted until 1858, when, following the events of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and under the Government of India Act 1858, the British Crown assumed direct administration of India in the new British Raj. The Company itself was finally dissolved on 1 January 1874, as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act.

Charles Canning 1856-1862

In the year following his accession to office the deep-seated discontent of the people broke out in the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Fears were entertained, and even the friends of the Governor-General to some extent shared them, that he was not equal to the crisis. But the fears proved groundless. He had a clear eye for the gravity of the situation, a calm judgment, and a prompt, swift hand to do what was really necessary. By the union of great moral qualities with high, though not the highest, intellectual faculties, he carried the Indian empire safely through the stress of the storm, and, what was perhaps a harder task still, he dealt wisely with the enormous difficulties arising at the close of such a war, established a more liberal policy and a sounder financial system, and left the people more contented than they were before. The name of Clemency Canning, which was applied to him during the heated animosities of the moment, has since become a title of honor.

While rebellion was raging in Oudh he issued a proclamation declaring the lands of the province forfeited; and this step gave rise to much angry controversy. A secret despatch, couched in arrogant and offensive terms, was addressed to the viceroy by Lord Ellenborough, then a member of the Derby administration, which would have justified the Governor-General in immediately resigning. But from a strong sense of duty he continued at his post; and ere long the general condemnation of the despatch was so strong that the writer felt it necessary to retire from office. Lord Canning replied to the despatch, calmly and in a statesman-like manner explaining and vindicating his censured policy, and in 1858 he was rewarded by being made the first Viceroy of India. In April 1859 he received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament for his great services during the rebellion. He was also made an extra civil grand cross of the Order of the Bath, and in May of the same year he was raised to the dignity of an Earl, as Earl Canning. By the strain of anxiety and hard work his health and strength were seriously impaired, while the death of his wife was also a great shock to him; in the hope that rest in his native land might restore him, he left India, reaching England in April 1862. But it was too late. He died in London on 17 June. About a month before his death he was created a Knight of the Garter. As he died without issue the titles became extinct.

Indian Rebellion 1857

The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company’s army on 10 May, 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to present-day Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, northern Madhya Pradesh, and the Delhi region.[3] The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region,[4] and it was contained only with the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858.[3] The rebellion is also known as India’s First War of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, the Revolt of 1857, the Uprising of 1857 and the Sepoy Mutiny

James Bruce 1862-1863

James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine KT, GCB, PC (20 July 1811 – 20 November 1863) was a British colonial administrator and diplomat, he was the Governor General of the Province of Canada, a High Commissioner in charge of opening trades with China and Japan, and Viceroy of India.

Most notably he had helped prevent Canada from becoming unified with United States and ordered the complete destruction of the Old Summer Palace in China.

Robert Napier 1866-1872

Indian Mutiny

Napier was appointed military secretary and adjutant-general to Sir James Outram, whose forces took part in the actions leading to the first relief of Lucknow on 25 September 1857. He then took charge of Lucknow’s defence until the second relief, when he was badly wounded while crossing an exposed space with Outram and Sir Henry Havelock to meet with Sir Colin Campbell.

After the fall of Lucknow, Napier was mentioned in despatches and made CB. He then joined Sir Hugh Rose as second-in-command in the march on Gwalior, and commanded the 2nd Brigade at the battle of Morar on 16 June 1858. After Gwalior fell, he and his 700 men pursued, caught and completely defeated Tantia Topi and 12,000 men on the plains of Jaora Alipur.

After Sir Hugh Rose’s departure, Napier assumed command of the Gwalior division. He captured Paori in August, routed Prince Ferozeshah at Ranode in December, and in January 1859 succeeded in securing the surrender of Man Singh and Tantia Topi, ending the war. For his services Napier received the thanks of parliament and of the Indian government, and was made KCB.

Thomas Baring 1872-1876

Thomas George Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook PC, GCSI, FRS (22 January 1826 – 15 November 1904), was a British Liberal politician and statesman. He was Viceroy of India between 1872 and 1876 and First Lord of the Admiralty between 1880 and 1885.

Robert Lytton 1876-1880

Edward Robert Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton GCB GCSI GCIE PC (8 November 1831 – 24 November 1891) was an English statesman and poet. He served as Viceroy of India during the Great Famine of 1876–78. His uncompromising implementation of Britain’s trading policy is blamed for the severity of the famine, which killed up to 10 million people.[1] He worked as a poet under the pen name of Owen Meredith.

Lord Ripon 1880-1884

When Gladstone returned to power in 1880 he appointed Ripon Viceroy of India, an office he held until 1884. During his time in India, Ripon introduced legislation (the “Ilbert Bill,” named for his secretary Courtenay Ilbert) that would have granted native Indians more legal rights, including the right of Indian judges to judge Europeans in court. Though progressive in its intent, this legislation was gutted by the British Parliament who did not want to lose their legal superiority. In Gladstone’s 1886 government he was First Lord of the Admiralty, and in that of 1892–95 he was Secretary of State for the Colonies. When the Liberals again returned to power in 1905 he took office, aged 78, as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords. He resigned in 1908.

Lord Ripon was Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1904 until his death in 1909. A devout Catholic in his later years, Ripon was generous in educational and charitable works. He was president of the Society of St Vincent de Paul from 1899 until his death and a great supporter of St. Joseph’s Catholic Missionary Society. Lord Ripon is very much revered in Chennai (formerly Madras), India. The Corporation of Chennai’s Ripon Building was named after Lord Ripon and is a landmark and very much in the daily lingo of Chennai people. A town Riponpet in Shimoga district of Karnataka state in India is named after him.

Lord Dufferin 1884-1888

His experiences in Russia and Turkey had further increased Dufferin’s awareness of the British Empire’s place in international affairs, and his time in Russia had provided great insight into the Russian threat to British rule in India. In 1884, he finally achieved his last great diplomatic ambition with his appointment as Viceroy of India.

Just as in Canada, he presided over some great changes in India. His predecessor as Viceroy, Lord Ripon, while popular with the Indians, was very unpopular with the Anglo-Indians, who objected to the rapid pace of his extensive reforms. To rule with any measure of success, Dufferin would need to gain the support of both communities. By all accounts he was highly successful in this regard, and gained substantial support from all communities in India. He advanced the cause of the Indian Nationalists greatly during his term, without antagonising the conservative whites. Among other things, the Indian National Congress was founded during his term in 1885, and he laid the foundations for the modern Indian Army by establishing the Imperial Service Corps, officered by Indians.

He was frequently occupied with external affairs during his tenure. He successfully dealt with the Panjdeh Incident of 1885 in Afghanistan, in which Russian forces encroached into Afghan territory around the Panjdeh oasis. Britain and Russia had for decades been engaged in a virtual cold war in Central and South Asia known as the Great Game, and the Panjdeh incident threatened to precipitate a full-blown conflict. Lord Dufferin negotiated a settlement in which Russia kept Panjdeh but relinquished the furthest territories it had taken in its advance. His tenure also saw the annexation of Upper Burma in 1886, after many years of simmering warfare and British interventions in Burmese politics.

In 1888, he published the Report on the Conditions of the Lower Classes of Population in Bengal (known as the Dufferin Report). The report highlighted the plight of the poor in Bengal, and was used by nationalists to counter the Anglo-Indian claim that British rule had been beneficial to the poorest members of Indian society. Following publication of the report, Dufferin recommended the establishment of provincial and central councils with Indian membership, a key demand of Congress at that time. The Indian Councils Act of 1892, which inaugurated electoral politics in the country, was the outcome of his recommendations.[citation needed]

His time as Viceroy of India was featured in the Rudyard Kipling poem ‘One Viceroy Resigns’, which was written from Dufferin’s point-of-view, giving advice to his successor, Lord Lansdowne.

Indian National Congress

From its foundation on 28 December 1885 till the time of independence of India on August 15, 1947, the Indian National Congress was the largest and most prominent Indian public organization, and central and defining influence of the Indian Independence Movement.

First session of Indian National Congress, Bombay, 28-31, December, 1885.

Although initially and primarily a political body, the Congress transformed itself into a national vehicle for social reform and human upliftment. And the Congress’s foundations in democracy and multiculturalism helped make India a consistently democratic and free nation. The Congress was the strongest foundation and defining influence of modern Indian nationalism.

Founded upon the suggestion of British civil servant Allan Octavian Hume, the Congress was created to form a platform for civic and political dialogue of educated Indians with the British Raj. After the First War of Indian Independence and the transfer of India from the East India Company to the British Empire, it was the goal of the Raj to support and justify its governance of India with the aid of English-educated Indians, who would be familiar and friendly to British culture and political thinking. Ironically, a few of the reasons the Congress grew and survived in the era of undisputed British hegemony, was through the patronage of British authorities, Anglo-Indians and a rising Indian educated class.

Hume embarked on an endeavor to get an organization started by reaching-out to selected alumni of the University of Calcutta, writing in his 1883 letter that, “Every nation secures precisely as good a Government as it merits. If you the picked men, the most highly educated of the nation, cannot, scorning personal ease and selfish objects, make a resolute struggle to secure greater freedom for yourselves and your country, a more impartial administration, a larger share in the management of your own affairs, then we, your friends, are wrong and our adversaries right, then are Lord Ripon’s noble aspirations for your good fruitless and visionary, then, at present at any rate all hopes of progress are at an end and India truly neither desires nor deserves any better Government than she enjoys.”[1]

In May 1885, Hume secured the Viceroy’s approval to create an “Indian National Union”, which would be affiliated with the government and act as a platform to voice Indian public opinion. On 12 October 1885, Hume and a group of educated Indians also published “An Appeal from the People of India to the Electors of Great Britain and Ireland” to ask British voters in 1885 British general election to help support candidates sympathetic to Indian public opinion, which included opposition to the levying of taxes on India to finance the British Indian campaigns in Afghanistan and support for legislative reform in India.[2] The appeal was a failure, and was interpreted by many Indians as “a rude shock, but a true realization that they had to fight their battles alone.”[3] On 28 December 1885, the Indian National Congress was founded at Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay, with 72 delegates in attendance. Hume assumed office as the General Secretary, and Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee of Calcutta was elected President.[2] Besides Hume, two additional British members (both Scottish civil servants) were members of the founding group, William Wedderburn and Justice (later, Sir) John Jardine. The other members were mostly Hindus from the Bombay and Madras Presidencies.[2]


Many Muslim community leaders, like the prominent educationalist Syed Ahmed Khan viewed the Congress negatively, owing to its membership being dominated by Hindus. The Orthodox Hindu community and religious leaders were also averse, seeing the Congress as supportive of Western cultural invasion.

Sir Syed pioneered modern education for the Muslim community in India by founding the Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental College, which later developed into the Aligarh Muslim University. His work gave rise to a new generation of Muslim intellectuals and politicians who composed the Aligarh movement to secure the political future of Muslims in India. He is widely considered as a ‘traitor’ in leftist and patriotic circles of India.

The ordinary people of India were not informed or concerned of its existence on the whole, for the Congress never attempted to address the issues of poverty, lack of health care, social oppression and the prejudiced negligence of the people’s concerns by British authorities. The perception of bodies like the Congress was that of an elitist, educated and wealthy people’s institution.

Henry Lansdowne 1888-1894

Lord Lansdowne was appointed Viceroy of India in the same year he left Canada, finally returning to England in 1894.

Victor Bruce 1894-1899

Following in his father’s footsteps, Elgin was made Viceroy of India in 1894. His viceroyalty was not a particularly notable one. Elgin himself did not enjoy the pomp and ceremony associated with the viceroyalty, and his conservative instincts were not well suited to a time of economic and social unrest. During his time as viceroy, famine broke out in India, in which Elgin admitted up to 4. 5 million people died. Other estimates put the death toll at 11 million.[1]

Main article: Indian famine of 1896–97

Birth of Zionism

Theodore Herzl  was born in 1860.  Herzl was born in Pest (today the eastern half of Budapest, Hungary) to a Jewish family originally from Zemun, the Kingdom of Hungary (today in Serbia). When Theodor was 18, his family moved to Vienna, Austria-Hungary. There, he studied Law. After a brief legal career in Vienna and Salzburg,[1] he devoted himself almost exclusively to journalism and literature, working as a correspondent for the Neue Freie Presse in Paris, occasionally making special trips to London and Constantinople. Later, he became literary editor of Neue Freie Presse, and wrote several comedies and dramas for the Viennese stage.

As the Paris correspondent for Neue Freie Presse, Herzl followed the Dreyfus Affair, a notorious anti-Semitic incident in France in which a French Jewish army captain was falsely convicted of spying for Germany. He witnessed mass rallies in Paris following the Dreyfus trial where many chanted “Death to the Jews!” Herzl came to reject his early ideas regarding Jewish emancipation and assimilation, and to believe that the Jews must remove themselves from Europe and create their own state.[2]

Around this time Herzl grew to believe that anti-Semitism could not be defeated or cured, only avoided, and that the only way to avoid it was the establishment of a Jewish state.[3] In Der Judenstaat he writes:

    The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilised countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.[4]         


From April, 1896, when the English translation of his Der Judenstaat (The State of the Jews) appeared, Herzl became the leading spokesman for Zionism.

A plaque marking the birthplace of Theodor Herzl, Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest.


Herzl complemented his writing with practical work to promote Zionism on the international stage. He visited Istanbul in April, 1896, and was hailed at Sofia, Bulgaria, by a Jewish delegation. In London, the Maccabees group received him coldly, but he was granted the mandate of leadership from the Zionists of the East End of London. Within six months this mandate had been approved throughout Zionist Jewry, and Herzl traveled constantly to draw attention to his cause. His supporters, at first few in number, worked night and day, inspired by Herzl’s example.


In June 1896, with the help of the sympathetic Polish emigre aristocrat Count Philip Michael Nevlenski, he met for the first time with the Sultan of Turkey to put forward his proposal for a Jewish state in Palestine. However the Sultan refused to cede Palestine to Zionists, saying, “if one day the Islamic State falls apart then you can have Palestine for free, but as long as I am alive I would rather have my flesh be cut up than cut out Palestine from the Muslim land.”


In 1897, at considerable personal expense, he founded Die Welt of Vienna, Austria-Hungary and planned the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. He was elected president (a position he held until his death in 1904), and in 1898 he began a series of diplomatic initiatives intended to build support for a Jewish country. He was received by the German emperor on several occasions, was again granted an audience by the Ottoman emperor in Jerusalem, and attended The Hague Peace Conference, enjoying a warm reception by many other statesmen.


In 1902–03 Herzl was invited to give evidence before the British Royal Commission on Alien Immigration. The appearance brought him into close contact with members of the British government, particularly with Joseph Chamberlain, then secretary of state for the colonies, through whom he negotiated with the Egyptian government for a charter for the settlement of the Jews in Al ‘Arish, in the Sinai Peninsula, adjoining southern Palestine.


In 1903, Herzl attempted to obtain support for the Jewish homeland from Pope Pius X. Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val explained to him the Church’s policy of non possumus on such matters, saying that as long as the Jews deny the divinity of Christ, the Church certainly could not make a declaration in their favor. [5]


On the failure of that scheme, which took him to Cairo, he received, through L. J. Greenberg, an offer (August 1903) on the part of the British government to facilitate a large Jewish settlement, with autonomous government and under British suzerainty, in British East Africa. At the same time, the Zionist movement being threatened by the Russian government, he visited St. Petersburg and was received by Sergei Witte, then finance minister, and Viacheslav Plehve, minister of the interior, the latter of whom placed on record the attitude of his government toward the Zionist movement. On that occasion Herzl submitted proposals for the amelioration of the Jewish position in Russia. He published the Russian statement, and brought the British offer, commonly known as the “Uganda Project,” before the Sixth Zionist Congress (Basel, August 1903), carrying the majority (295:178, 98 abstentions) with him on the question of investigating this offer, after the Russian delegation stormed out.

In 1905, after investigation, the Congress decided to decline the British offer and firmly committed itself to a Jewish homeland in the historic Land of Israel.


Death and burial


Herzl did not live to see the rejection of the Uganda plan; he died in Edlach, Lower Austria in 1904 of heart failure at age 44. His will stipulated that he should have the poorest-class funeral without speeches or flowers and he added, “I wish to be buried in the vault beside my father, and to lie there till the Jewish people shall take my remains to Palestine”.[6] In 1949 his remains were moved from Vienna to be reburied on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.


Foundational Zionism - In this period, Zionism became an organized political movement inspired and initially led by Theodor Herzl and then by Chaim Weizmann. It includes the development of Zionism from the first Zionist congress to the British Mandate, including Political Zionism, Cultural Zionism, Practical Zionism,Religious Zionism  and Territorial Zionism. The latter movements were stimulated as a reaction to Political Zionism. This period also saw the emergence of Labor Zionism or Socialist Zionism. The principle concern of Zionism in this period was obtaining a charter for a Jewish national home. The Zionist movement was led by middle and upper class Jews.


George Curzon 1899-1905

January 1899 he was appointed Viceroy of India. He was created a Peer of Ireland as Baron Curzon of Kedleston, in the County of Derby, on his appointment. This peerage was created in the Peerage of Ireland (the last so created) so that he would be free, until his father’s death, to re-enter the House of Commons on his return to Britain.

Reaching India shortly after the suppression of the frontier risings of 1897–1898, he paid special attention to the independent tribes of the north-west frontier, inaugurated a new province called the North West Frontier Province, and pursued a policy of forceful control mingled with conciliation. The only major armed outbreak on this frontier during the period of his administration was the Mahsud-Waziri campaign of 1901.

His deep mistrust of Russian intentions led him to encourage British trade in Persia, paying a visit to the Persian Gulf in 1903. At the end of that year, he sent a military expedition into Tibet led by Francis Younghusband, ostensibly to forestall a Russian advance. After bloody conflicts with Tibet’s poorly-armed defenders, the mission penetrated to Lhasa, where a treaty was signed in September 1904. No Russian presence was found in Lhasa.

Within India, Curzon appointed a number of commissions to inquire into Indian education, irrigation, police and other branches of administration, on whose reports legislation was based during his second term of office as viceroy. Reappointed Governor-General in August 1904, he presided over the partition of Bengal (July 1905), which roused such bitter opposition among the people of the province that it was later revoked (1911).

A difference of opinion with the British military Commander-in-Chief in India, Lord Kitchener, regarding the position of the military member of council in India, led to a controversy in which Curzon failed to obtain support from the home government. He resigned in August 1905 and returned to England.

During his tenure, Curzon undertook the restoration of the Taj Mahal, and expressed satisfaction that he had done so.

Earl of Minto 1905-1910

In 1905, on the resignation of Lord Curzon of Kedleston, Lord Minto was appointed Viceroy and Governor-General of India, retiring in 1910. In this, he followed in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, the first Lord Minto. When John Morley as Secretary of State for India wrote to Minto arguing that “Reforms may not save the Raj, but if they don’t, nothing else will”,

Minto replied:    ...when you say that “if reforms do not save the Raj nothing else will” I am afraid I must utterly disagree. The Raj will not disappear in India as long as the British race remains what it is, because we shall fight for the Raj as hard as we have ever fought, if it comes to fighting, and we shall win as we have always won.[1]

For his lifetime of service, was made a Knight of the Garter.

Edward VII 1901-1910

Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death on 6 May 1910. He was the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which was renamed the House of Windsor by his son, George V.

Before his accession to the throne, Edward held the title of Prince of Wales and was heir apparent to the throne for longer than anyone else in history.[1] During the long widowhood of his mother, Queen Victoria, he was largely excluded from political power and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite.

The Edwardian period, which covered Edward’s reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including powered flight and the rise of socialism and the Labour movement. Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet, the reform of the Army Medical Services,[2] and the reorganisation of the British army after the Second Boer War. He fostered good relations between Great Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called “Peacemaker”, but his work was unable to prevent the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

George V 1910-1936

Charles Hardinge,  1910-1916

Hardinge entered the diplomatic service in 1880, was appointed first secretary at Tehran in 1896 and first secretary at Saint Petersburg in 1898 when he was promoted over the heads of seventeen of his seniors. After a brief stint as Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs he became Ambassador to Russia in 1904. In 1906 he was promoted to the position of Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, and despite his own conservatism, worked closely with Liberal Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey. In 1907 he declined the post of Ambassador to the United States. In 1910 Hardinge was raised to the peerage as Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, in the County of Kent, and appointed by the Asquith government as Viceroy of India.

His tenure was a memorable one, seeing the visit of King George V and the Delhi Durbar of 1911, as well as the move of the capital from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1912. Although Hardinge was the target of assassination attempts by Indian nationalists, his tenure generally saw better relations between the British administration and the nationalists, thanks to the implementation of the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909, Hardinge’s own admiration for Mohandas Gandhi, and criticism of the South African government’s anti-Indian immigration policies.

Hardinge’s efforts paid off in 1914 during the First World War. Due to improved colonial relationships, Britain was able to deploy nearly all of the British troops in India as well as many native Indian troops to areas outside of India. In particular the British Indian Army was able to play a significant role in the Mesopotamian campaign[2]

In 1916, Hardinge returned to his former post in England as Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, serving with Arthur Balfour. In 1920 he became ambassador to France before his retirement in 1922.

Indian National Congress in action

Rise of Indian nationalism

Lokmanya Tilak  1856-1920  was the first to embrace Swaraj as the national goal. The first spurts of nationalistic sentiment that rose amongst Congress members were when the desire to be represented in the bodies of government, to have a say, a vote in the lawmaking and issues of administration of India. Congressmen saw themselves as loyalists, but wanted an active role in governing their own country, albeit as part of the Empire.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak  23 July 1856(1856-07-23)–1 August 1920 (aged 64), was an Indian nationalist, teacher, social reformer and independence fighter who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities derogatorily called him the “Father of the Indian unrest”. He was also conferred upon the honorary title of “Lokmanya”, which literally means “Accepted by the people (as their leader)”. Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of “Swaraj” (self rule) in Indian consciousness. His famous quote, “Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it !” is well-remembered in India even today.

This trend was personified by Dadabhai Naoroji, 1825-1917  considered by many as the eldest Indian statesman. Naoroji went as far as contesting, successfully, an election to the British House of Commons, becoming its first Indian member. That he was aided in his campaign by young, aspiring Indian student activists like Muhammad Ali Jinnah, describes where the imagination of the new Indian generation lay.

Dadabhai Naoroji (September 4, 1825 – June 30, 1917) was a Parsi intellectual, educator, cotton trader, and an early Indian political leader. His book, Poverty and Un-British Rule in India, brought into the limelight the drain of India’s wealth into Britain. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) in the British House of Commons between 1892 and 1895, and the first Asian to be a British MP.[1] He is also credited with the founding of the Indian National Congress, along with A.O. Hume and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first Indian nationalist to embrace Swaraj as the destiny of the nation. Tilak deeply opposed the British education system that ignored and defamed India’s culture, history and values. He resented the denial of freedom of expression for nationalists, and the lack of any voice or role for ordinary Indians in the affairs of their nation. For these reasons, he considered Swaraj as the natural and only solution.

In 1906, the Congress was split into two. Tilak advocated what was deemed as extremism. He wanted a direct assault by the people upon the British Raj, and the abandonment of all things British. He was backed by rising public leaders like Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, who held the same point of view. Under them, India’s three great states - Maharashtra, Bengal and Punjab region shaped the demand of the people and India’s nationalism.

The moderates, led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Pherozeshah Mehta and Dadabhai Naoroji held firm to calls for negotiations and political dialogue. Gokhale criticized Tilak for encouraging acts of violence and disorder. But the Congress of 1906 did not have public membership, and thus Tilak and his supporters were forced to leave the party.

But with Tilak’s arrest, all hopes for an Indian offensive were stalled. The Congress lost credit with the people, while Muslims were alarmed with the rise of Tilak’s Hindu nationalism, and formed the All India Muslim League in 1907, considered the Congress as completely unsuitable for Indian Muslims.

When the British entered the British Indian Army into World War I, it provoked the first definitive, nationwide political debate of its kind in India. Voices calling for political independence grew in number.

Compulsions of the British Empire

One has to bear in mind the compulsions of the British Empire and their goals in Europe and the Anglo Saxon countries.  The War will open up the British Mandate, by which they will gain access to oil in the Ottoman Territories.   These were controlled from Delhi by the Vice Roy, and the importance of India as their base was strategically important to them, and they would devise ways to get hold of that asset, even if they had to forgo the Raj.   One should read carefully, their strategies in defeating the great powers of those times, and what diplomatic jugglery they were capable of in getting their goals fulfilled.   Thus we Indians should be not so simplistic in assessing the events leading to our Independence and Partition of our Country.   Creating Pakistan, has given them a foothold on this sub continent, and after the eclipse of the UK, it is the US who is holding the baton.   That is why, CIA and ISI are partners, and we will be looking for a needle in a haystack, when we do not take this into consideration.   All the leaders of the Independence movement were pawns in the hands of the Master Strategist British politicians.   No one seems to look over there, but they are trying to pin responsibilities on Indians who ventured to gain our independence.   Whether Jinnah, or Gandhi, or Nehru, they had less power than the British, who had to part away their precious possession.  

Note how after the First World War, monarchies were eliminated and replaced by democracies.  England and America had partial democracy of the wealthy.  The peasants and women were excluded until 1920, but when it came to Germany, it was one man one vote, and this forced these two countires to grant full voting rights to all their citizens.   In these days, the Jewish bankers had power to lend and demand their pound of flesh.  They got it as Balcour Declaration.   Ever since, the German bankers shifted their base from Germany to UK and USA, and you got your Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and others, who brought the economies of the world to the brink in 2009.   All were sleeping.   Hitler came to power as they started blaming their bankers and back stabbing them.  Who is right and who is wrong is a dicy game.  In life and death situations, people take a gamble.  The Jews were fed up with anti semitism in Eurpope.

The British with their divide and rule policies, found it good to use the Jews as their policeman in the midst of Arabs, who were sitting on top of crude oil, which they needed badly in the first and second world wars, to fuel their war plans and tanks.   Thus began the game.   But Indians were adamant, and wanted independence.  Britain had almost gone bankrupt, and Clement Atlee had empty coffers.  In this situation, it looked magnanimous to give India their crown jewel independence.  But to hold on to the oil in the Middle East, they needed bases, and Pakistan was persuaded to join Cento.   Throughout its history is is intriguing that they were most of the time under Military Rulers, who became rich due to the munificence of USA.  Why?   When civilian rule came about under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, he was eliminated ruthlessly.  His daughter too ended up tragically.   What is the game.  Why does it not end.   Why are the US and UK always in the back yard, meddling and interfering !    Can any resolution be achieved as long as the oil wells of Arabia are needed by the Anglo Saxons?    Can Israel be dismantled because that will give strength to the Arabs.   Thus history should show us that geo-politics is not a game of emotions, but of holding on to assets, which one gains through war and intrigue.

Back to India.

The divided Congress re-united in the pivotal Lucknow session in 1916, with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gopal Krishna Gokhale adorning the stage together once again. Tilak had considerably moderated his views, and now favored political dialogue with the British. He, along with the young Muhammad Ali Jinnah  (1876-1948) and Mrs. Annie Besant launched the Home Rule Movement to put forth Indian demands for Home Rule - Indian participation in the affairs of their own country - a precursor to Swaraj. The All India Home Rule League was formed to demand dominion status within the Empire.

But another Indian man with another way was destined to lead the Congress and the Indian struggle. Mohandas Gandhi  (1869-1948) was a lawyer who had successfully led the struggle of Indians in South Africa against British discriminatory laws. Returning to India in 1916, Gandhi looked to Indian culture and history, the values and lifestyle of its people to empower a new revolution, with the art of non-violent civil disobedience he coined Satyagraha.

Champaran and Kheda

Main article: Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha

Mahatma Gandhi’s success in defeating the British in Champaran and Kheda gave India its first victory in the struggle for freedom. Indians gained confidence that the British would be thwarted, and millions of young people from across the country flooded into Congress membership.

The Battle for the soul

A whole class of political leaders disagreed with Gandhi. Bipin Chandra Pal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Annie Besant, Bal Gangadhar Tilak all criticized the idea of civil disobedience. But Gandhi had the backing of the people and a whole new generation of Indian nationalists. In a series of sessions in 1918, 1919 and 1920, where the old and the new generations clashed in famous and important debates, Gandhi and his young supporters imbued the Congress rank-and-file with passion and energy to combat British rule directly. With the tragedy of the 1919 Amritsar Massacre and the riots in Punjab, Indian anger and passions were palpable and radical. With the election of Mohandas Gandhi to the presidency of the Indian National Congress, the battle of the party’s soul was won, and a new path to India’s destiny forged.

Motilal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai and some other stalwarts backed Gandhi. Lokmanya Tilak, whom Gandhi had called The Father of Modern India passed on in 1920, and Gopal Krishna Gokhale had passed on four years earlier. Thus it was now entirely up to Gandhi’s Congress to show the way for the nation.

The Gandhi era

Mohandas Gandhi gave rise to a whole new generation of nationalists, and a whole new form of revolution.

Mahatma Gandhi, Satyagraha, Gandhism

He was the pioneer of satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon ahimsa or total non-violence—which led India to independence and has inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi (Sanskrit: mahātmā or ‘Great Soul’, an honorific first applied to him by Rabindranath Tagore),[1] and in India also as Bapu (Gujarati:  bāpu or ‘Father’). He is officially honoured in India as the Father of the Nation; his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience while an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, during the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he organized protests by peasants, farmers, and urban labourers concerning excessive land-tax and discrimination. After assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women’s rights, build religious and ethnic amity, end untouchability, and increase economic self-reliance. Above all, he aimed to achieve Swaraj or the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led his followers in the Non-cooperation movement that protested the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (249 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930. Later he campaigned against the British to Quit India. Gandhi spent a number of years in jail in both South Africa and India.

As a practitioner of ahimsa, he swore to speak the truth and advocated that others do the same. Gandhi lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn he had hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as a means of both self-purification and social protest.

In the years after the World War, the membership of the Congress expanded considerably, owing to public excitement after Gandhi’s in Champaran and Kheda. A whole new generation of leaders arose from different parts of India, who were committed Gandhians - Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Narhari Parikh, Mahadev Desai - as well as hot-blooded nationalists aroused by Gandhi’s active leadership - Chittaranjan Das, Subhas Chandra Bose, Srinivasa Iyengar.

Gandhi transformed the Congress from an elitist party based in the cities, to an organization of the people:

World War I

Allies of World War I

The Allied Powers (from Triple Entente) were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The main allies were the United Kingdom, France, the Russian Empire, Belgium, Serbia, Canada, Australia, Italy, Romania and the United States. France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, including the British Empire, entered World War I in 1914, as a result of their Triple Entente alliance. Many other countries later joined the Allied side in the war (see below).

The United States declared war on Germany on the grounds that Germany violated American neutrality by attacking international shipping and because of the Zimmermann Telegram that was sent to Mexico.[1] The U.S. entered the war as an “associated power”, rather than a formal ally of France and Great Britain, because it had not declared war on the Ottoman Empire like those two countries. Although Turkey severed relations with the United States, it did not declare war. The U.S. was not at war with some of the other Central Powers, such as the Kingdom of Bulgaria.[2] Although the Dominions and Crown Colonies of the British Empire made significant contributions to the Allied war effort, they did not have independent foreign policies during World War I. Operational control of British Empire forces was in the hands of the five-member British War Cabinet (BWC). However, the Dominion governments controlled recruiting, and did remove personnel from front-line duties as they saw fit. From early 1917 the BWC was superseded by the Imperial War Cabinet, which had Dominion representation. The Australian Corps and Canadian Corps were placed for the first time under the command of Australian and Canadian Lieutenants General John Monash and Arthur Currie, who reported in turn to British generals.

In April 1918, operational control of all Allied forces on the Western Front passed to the new supreme commander, Ferdinand Foch.

Triple Alliance (1882)

The Triple Alliance was the military alliance among Germany, Austria–Hungary, and Italy that lasted from 1882[1] until the start of World War I in 1914[2]. Each member promised mutual support in the event of an attack by any two other great powers, or for Germany and Italy, an attack by France alone. In a supplementary declaration, Italy specified that its undertakings could not be regarded as being directed against the United Kingdom. Shortly after renewing the Alliance in June 1902, Italy secretly extended a similar guarantee to France[1].

When Germany and Austria–Hungary found themselves at war in August 1914 with the rival Triple Entente of Britain, France, and the latter’s ally, Russia, Italy pledged its support to the Central Powers, but subsequently entered the conflict on the side of the Entente against Austria–Hungary in May 1915[2] and Germany in August 1916.

Austria–Hungary’s resulting demands against the Kingdom of Serbia activated a sequence of alliances. Within weeks the major European powers were at war; their global empires meant that the conflict soon spread worldwide.

By the war’s end, four major imperial powers—the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires—had been militarily and politically defeated, with the last two ceasing to exist as autonomous entities.[5]

The defeat of the Ottoman empire, enabled the British Empire to fulfil its commitment to Jews, in the Balfour Declaration in 1917.    The Germans have suggested that the Jews were complicit in the defeat of Germany in the “Stab in the Back” theory     In this connection one may read the development of the Zionist movement, and what were the compulsions of the Jews to rid themselves of the prevalent anti Semitism in Europe.   .

The revolutionized Soviet Union emerged from the Russian Empire, while the map of central Europe was completely redrawn into numerous smaller states.[6] The League of Nations was formed ostensibly in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The European nationalism spawned by the war, the repercussions of Germany’s defeat, and the Treaty of Versailles would eventually lead to the beginning of World War II in 1939.[7]


By the late 1860s, Austrian ambitions in both Italy and Germany had been choked off by the rise of new national powers. With the decline and failed reforms of the Ottoman Empire, slav opposition in the occupied Balkans grew and both Russia and Austria–Hungary saw an opportunity to expand in this region. In 1876, Russia offered to partition the Balkans, but Andrássy declined for Austria–Hungary was already a “saturated” state and it could not cope with addiditonal territories.[3]. The whole Empire was thus drawn into a new style of diplomatic brinkmanship, first conceived of by Andrássy, centering on the province of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a predominantly Slav area still under the control of the Ottoman Empire.

On the heels of the Great Balkan Crisis, Austro-Hungarian forces occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina in August 1878 and the empire eventually annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 1908 as a common holding under the control of the finance ministry, rather than attaching it to either territorial government. The occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina was a step taken in return to Russian advances into Bessarabia. Unable to mediate between Turkey and Russia over the control of Serbia, Austria–Hungary declared neutrality when the conflict between the two powers escalated into the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878).[3] In order to counter Russian and French interests in Europe, an alliance was concluded with Germany in October 1879 and with Italy in May 1882.


Like Germany, Italy had been formed from a collection of former states. At first, its main concerns were to get its government established, but by 1914 Italy was settled and was looking to ‘flex its muscles’. Like some of the other European powers, it wanted to set up colonies and build up an overseas empire. With this aim in mind, Italy joined the German-Austrian Alliance to form the Triple Alliance, partly in anger at the French seizure of Tunisia in 1881, which many Italians had seen as a potential colony.

However, Italian public opinion remained unenthusiastic about their country’s alignment with Austria–Hungary, a past enemy of Italian unification, and whose Italian-majority districts in the Trentino and Istria were seen as Italia irredenta (“unredeemed Italy”). In the years before World War I, many distinguished military analysts predicted that Italy would change sides. This prediction was strengthened by Italy’s invasion and annexation of Tripoli, bringing it into conflict with the German-backed Ottoman Empire. There is some evidence that Germany and Austria–Hungary did not entirely trust their ally. In any case, Italy was not a strong individual or military power.

Italy’s ideas for maintaining the balance of power in Europe clearly gravitated towards major alliances, even if they were a passive member. Italy’s reasoning for not siding with the Central Powers was that the Triple Alliance was a defensive alliance, but Germany and Austria–Hungary had taken the offensive. It is also thought that Britain and Italy had an agreement about the Mediterranean. Britain needed access to the Mediterranean, so that she could access her African and Indian colonies easily. Because Italy is surrounded by the Mediterranean, it could not afford to fall out with Britain. This is thought to be another reason that Italy changed sides.

Emperor Wilhelm

October 1918 telegrams

The telegrams that were exchanged between the General Headquarters of the Imperial High Command, Berlin, and President Woodrow Wilson are discussed in Ferdinand Czernin's Versailles, 1919 (New York: G. P. Putnam's & Sons, 1964).

The following telegram was sent through the Swiss government and arrived in Washington, D.C., on 5 October 1918 [p. 6]:

The German Government requests the President of the United States of America to take steps for the restoration of peace, to notify all belligerents of this request, and to invite them to delegate positions for the purpose of taking up negotiations. The German Government accepts, as a basis of peace negotiations, the Program laid down by the President of the United States in his message to Congress of 8 January 1918, and his subsequent pronouncements, particularly in his address of 27 September 1918.

In order to avoid further bloodshed the German Government requests to bring about the immediate conclusion of an armistice on land, on water, and in the air.

—Max, Prince of Baden, Imperial Chancellor

In the subsequent two exchanges, Wilson's allusions "failed to convey the idea that the Kaiser's abdication was an essential condition for peace. The leading statesmen of the Reich were not yet ready to contemplate such a monstrous possibility." [p. 7]

The third German telegram was sent on 20 October. Wilson's reply on 23 October contained the following:

If the Government of the United States must deal with the military masters and the monarchical autocrats of Germany now, or if it is likely to have to deal with them later in regard to the international obligations of the German Empire, it must demand not peace negotiations but surrender. Nothing can be gained by leaving this essential thing unsaid.
—[Emil Ludwig, Wilhelm Hohenzollern (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1927), p. 489]

According to Czernin [p. 9]:

... Prince Hohenlohe, serving as councilor in the German Legation in Berne, Switzerland, cabled the German Foreign Office that 'a confidential informant has informed me that the conclusion of the Wilson note of 23 October refers to nothing less than the abdication of the Kaiser as the only way to a peace which is more or less tolerable.

Wilhelm's abdication was necessitated by the popular perceptions that had been created by the Entente propaganda against him, which had been picked and further refined when the U.S. declared war in April 1917.

A much bigger obstacle, which contributed to the five-week delay in the signing of the armistice and to the resulting social deterioration in Europe, was the fact that the Entente Powers had no desire to accept the Fourteen Points and Wilson's subsequent promises. As Czernin points out [p. 23]:

The Allied statesmen were faced with a problem: so far they had considered the 'fourteen commandments' as a piece of clever and effective American propaganda, designed primarily to undermine the fighting spirit of the Central Powers, and to bolster the morale of the lesser Allies. Now, suddenly, the whole peace structure was supposed to be built up on that set of 'vague principles,' most of which seemed to them thoroughly unrealistic, and some of which, if they were to be seriously applied, were simply unacceptable.

The Kaiser himself wrote:

Nevertheless, it must be noted that John Kenneth Turner, in his [. . .] book, Shall it Be Again? gives extensive proof that all Wilson’s reasons for America's entry into the war were fictitious; that it was far more a cause of acting solely in the interest of Wall Street high finance.[30]

1.            The British-American-French agreement of 1897


On pp. 69-70, the Kaiser wrote the following.

Professor Usher, in his book published in 1913, made known for the first time the existence and contents of an ‘agreement’ or ‘secret treaty’ between England, America and France, dating from the spring of 1897. In this it was agreed that, in case Germany or Austria, or both of them, should begin a war for the sake of ‘Pan-Germanism,’ the United States should at once declare in favour of England and France and go to the support of these Powers with all its resources. Professor Usher cites at length all the reasons, including those of a colonial character [conquest of the Spanish dependencies, control over Mexico and Central America, the opening up of China and the annexation of coaling stations], which inevitably imposed upon the United States the necessity of taking part, on the side of England and France, in a war against Germany, which Professor Usher, in 1913, prophesied as imminent!

Roland Greene Usher was a professor of political science at Washington University, in St. Louis. His book Pan-Germanism was published in February 1913. The various scanned chapters are at

Chapter X discusses the secret agreement of 1897.

2.            The Russo-French proposal for war against England in 1900


On pages 79-84, the Kaiser discusses how the Kruger telegram was composed by Marshall and the controversy that it created. The Kaiser also makes the following revelation.

In February, 1900, [...] I received news by telegraph [...] that Russia and France had proposed to Germany to make a joint attack on England, now that she was involved elsewhere [in the Boer War], and to cripple her sea traffic. I objected and ordered that the proposal should be declined.

Since I assumed that Paris and St. Petersburg would present the matter at London in such a way as to make it appear that Berlin had made this proposal to both of them, I immediately telegraphed from Heligoland to Queen Victoria and to the Prince of Wales (Edward) the facts of the Russo-French proposal, and its refusal by me. The Queen answered expressing her hearty thanks, the Prince of Wales with an expression of astonishment.

3.            Joseph Chamberlain’s proposal for war against Russia in 1901


On pp. 101-103, the Kaiser makes some startling revelations about Joseph Chamberlain’s proposal, made in the spring of 1901, for an alliance between Britain and Germany. According to the Kaiser:

I immediately asked: ‘Against whom?’—for it was evident that if England so suddenly offered to make an alliance in the midst of peace, she needed the German army, which made it worth while to find out against whom the army was needed and for what reason German troops were to fight, at England’s behest, by her side. Thereupon the answer came from London that they were needed against Russia, for Russia was a menace both to India and to Constantinople.

The first thing I did was to call London’s attention to the old traditional brotherhood-in-arms between the German and Russian armies, and the close family ties between the reigning dynasties of the two countries; in addition I pointed out the dangers of a war on two fronts, in the event of France coming in on the side of Russia, [. . .] and that there was no reason to unloose a conflict with Russia at this time, when we were in the midst of peace;

The Kaiser also realized that:

in case of our making common cause against Russia, Germany would be the only one who would be in great danger [. . .] and Chamberlain’s ‘plan’ therefore came to nothing. Soon afterwards England concluded her alliance with Japan (Hayashi). The Russo-Japanese War broke out, in which Japan—owing to the fact that it fitted in with her schemes—played the role of pawn in England’s interests, which role had originally been reserved for Germany. By this war, Russia was thrown from the East back to the West, where she might concern herself again with the Balkans, Constantinople and India—a result clearly to Japan’s advantage—leaving Japan with a free hand in Korea and China.

4.            The role of the “Grand Orient Lodge” in the outbreak of the war


Chapter 10 is entitled “The Outbreak of War.” In pp. 245-252, the Kaiser lists 12 “proofs,” from the more extensive “Comparative Historical Tables” that he had compiled, which demonstrate the preparations for war by the Entente Powers made in the spring and summer of 1914. Page 246 contains the following.

(5) According to the memoirs of the then French Ambassador at St. Petersburg, M. Paléologue, published in 1921 in the Revue des Deux Mondes, The Grand Duchesses Anastasia and Militza told him, on July 22, 1914, at Tsarskoe Selo, that their father, the King of Montenegro, had informed them in a cipher telegram, “we shall have war before the end of the month [that is, before the 13th of August, Russian style] . . . nothing will be left of Austria. . . . You will take Alsace-Lorraine. . . . Our armies will meet at Berlin. . . . Germany will be annihilated.”

On pp. 253-54, the Kaiser makes the following startling revelation concerning the information given to the Kaiser by a German Freemason about the role played in the preparation of the war by the “Grand Orient Lodge.”

He said that, in 1917, an international meeting of the “Grand Orient” was held, after which there was a subsequent conference in Switzerland. There the following programme was adopted: dismemberment of Austria-Hungary, elimination of the House of Habsburg, abdication of the German Emperor, . . . restitution of Alsace-Lorraine to France, union of Galicia with Poland, elimination of the Pope and the Catholic Church, elimination of every State Church in Europe. Italus (talk) 02:15, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Retrieved from

Causes of War

Some of the most important long term or structural causes are:

·         The growth of nationalism across Europe

·         Unresolved territorial disputes

·         Intricate system of alliances

·         The perceived breakdown of the balance of power in Europe

·         Misperceptions of intent – e.g., the German belief Great Britain would remain neutral[17][18]

·         Convoluted and fragmented governance

·         Delays and misunderstandings in diplomatic communications

·         Arms races of the previous decades

·         Previous military planning[19]

·         Imperial and colonial rivalry for wealth, power and prestige

·         Economic and military rivalry in industry and trade


Ottoman Connection

As one of the victors in the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, Serbia expanded its territory at the expense of the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria[5] under the terms of the Treaty of Bucharest. Regarding the expansion of Serbia as an unacceptable increase in the power of an unfriendly state and in order to weaken Serbia, the Austrian government threatened war in the autumn of 1912 if Serbs were to acquire a port from the Turks[5]. Austria appealed for German support, only to be rebutted at first[5].

At this point the Pan-Slavic and Pro-Serbian government of the Czar announced the ‘Russian Great Military Programme’ to greatly expand and modernise the Russian army and build a system of military railroads reaching to the German border - an aggressive move that could only be aimed at Germany and Austria-Hungary. Subsequently, the German government’s course waivered, and on November 21, 1912, the German Emperor Wilhelm II told the Archduke Franz Ferdinand that Germany was ready to support Austria in all circumstances - even at the risk of a world war[5]. However, Wilhelm II made this ‘commitment’ without the approval of his government. At the German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912, the emperor concurred that Germany could not fight a general war at the time.

The racial nature of the coming conflict between German and Slav in eastern Europe was clear. Shortly after the War Council meeting on December 8, 1912 Wilhelm II told the Swiss Ambassador that the “German race” and the “Slavic race” would engage in an apocalyptic race war that “will probably take place in one or two years” [5].

On November 28, 1912, in partial reaction to the Russian move, the German Foreign Secretary Gottlieb von Jagow told the Reichstag, the German parliament, that “If Austria is forced, for whatever reason, to fight for its position as a Great Power, then we must stand by her” [5]. As a result, the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey warned Prince Karl Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador in London that if Germany gave Austria a “blank cheque” for war in the Balkans, then “the consequences of such a policy would be incalculable” [5]. To reinforce this point, R. B. Haldane, the Germanophile Lord Chancellor, met with Prince Lichnowsky to offer a explicit warning that if Germany were to upset the balance of power in Europe by trying to destroy either France or Russia as powers, Britain would have no other choice, but to fight the Reich[5].

As a result of the Russian moves and the British communications, the possibility of war was a prime topic at the German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912 in Berlin. This was an informal meeting called on short notice by the Kaiser of some of Germany’s top military leadership.[5]. Attending the conference were Wilhelm II, Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz - the Naval State Secretary, Admiral Georg Alexander von Müller, the Chief of the The German Imperial Naval Cabinet (Marinekabinett) , General von Moltke - the Army’s Chief of Staff, Admiral August von Heeringen - the Chief of the Naval General Staff and (probably) the Chief of the German Imperial Military Cabinet, General Moriz von Lyncker[5]. The importance of this War Council can be seen in that the leaders of both the German Army and Navy attended. On the other hand, Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg and General Josias von Heeringen, the Prussian Minister of War, were not invited.[6]

Wilhelm II called British balance of power principles “idiocy”, but agreed that Haldane’s statement was a “desirable clarification” of British policy[5]. His opinion was that Austria should attack Serbia that December, and if “Russia supports the Serbs, which she evidently does…then war would be unavoidable for us, too,” [5] and that would be better than a war later after completion the just begun massive modernization and expansion of the Russian army. Moltke agreed. In his professional military opinion “a war is unavoidable and the sooner the better” [5]. Moltke “wanted to launch an immediate attack”[7]

Both Wilhelm II and the Army leadership agreed that if a war were necessary it were best launched soon. Admiral Tirpitz, however, asked for a “postponement of the great fight for one and a half years” [5] because the Navy was not ready for a general war that included Britain as an opponent. He insisted that the completion of the construction of the U-boat base at Heligoland and the widening of the Kiel Canal were the Navy’s prerequisites for war[5]. As the British historian John Röhl has commented, the date for completion of the widening of the Kiel Canal was the summer of 1914”[7] Through Moltke objected to the postponement of the war as unacceptable, Wilhelm sided with Tipitz[5]. Moltke “agreed to a postponement only reluctantly.”[7]

Historians more sympathetic to the government of Wilhelm II often reject the importance of this War Council as only showing the thinking, and recommendations of those present, with no decisions taken. They often cite the passage from Admiral Muller’s diary, which states: “That was the end of the conference. The result amounted to nothing.”[7] Certainly the only decision taken was to do nothing.

Historians more sympathetic to the Entente, such as British historian John Röhl, sometimes rather ambitiously interpret these words of Admiral Mueller (an advocate of launching a war soon) as saying that “nothing” was decided for 1912-13, but that war was decided on for the Summer of 1914.[7] Röhl is on safer ground when he argues that even if this War Council did not reach a binding decision - which it clearly was not - it does nonetheless offer a clear view of their intentions[7], or at least their thoughts. It was clearly established that, if there was going to be a war, the German Army wanted it before the new Russian armaments program began to bear fruit.[7] Entente sympathetic historians such as Röhl see this conference in which “The result amounted to nothing.”[7] as setting a clear deadline when a war was to begin, namely the summer of 1914[7]

When the Russian Great Military Programme was announced in November 1912, the leadership of the German Army began clamoring even more strongly for a “preventive war” against Russia[3][5]. Moltke announced that Germany could not win the arms race with France, Britain and Russia, which she herself had began in 1911, because the financial structure of the German state, which gave the Reich government little in the ways of taxation powers meant Germany would bankrupt herself in the arms race[5]. As such, Moltke from late 1912 onwards was the leading advocate for a general war, and the sooner the better[5].

The new French President Raymond Poincaré, who taken office in 1913 was favourable to improving relations with Germany’]][8] Poincare became in January 1914 the first French President to dine at the German Embassy in Paris[8]. Poincaré was more interested in the idea of French expansion in the Middle East than a war of revenge to regain Alsace-Lorraine [8]. Had the Reich been interested in improved relations with France before August 1914, the opportunity was available, but the leadership of the Reich lacked such interests, and preferred a policy of war to destroy France. Because of France’s smaller economy and population, by 1913, French leaders had largely accepted that France could never defeat Germany[9]

Throughout May and June 1914, Moltke had engaged in an “almost ultimative” demand for a German “preventive war” against Russia in 1914[7] The German Foreign Secretary, Gottlieb von Jagow reported that at the end of May 1914, Moltke had told him:

“Moltke described to me his opinion of our military situation. The prospects of the future oppressed him heavily. In two or three years Russia would have completed her armaments. The military superiority of our enemies would then be so great that he did not know how he could overcome them. Today we would still be a match for them. In his opinion there was no alternative to making preventive war in order to defeat the enemy while we still had a chance of victory. The Chief of the General Staff therefore proposed that I should conduct a policy with the aim of provoking a war in the near-future” [7]

In May 1914, Serbian politics were polarized between two factions, one head by the Prime Minister Nikola Pašić, and the other by the radical nationalist chief of Military Intelligence, Colonal Dragutin Dimitrijević, known by his codename Apis[10]. In that month, due to Colonel Dimitrigjevic’s intrigues, King Peter dismissed Pašić’s government [10]. The Russian Minister in Belgrade intervened to have Pašić’s government restored[10]. Pašić, through he often talked tough in public knew that Serbia was near-bankrupt and had suffered heavy causalities in the Balkan Wars and in putting down an Albanian revolt which taken place in the Kosovo in December 1913 needed peace[10]. Since Russia also favoured peace in the Balkans, through the Russian viewpoint, it was desirable to keep Pašić in power[10]. It was in the midst of this political crisis that politically powerful members of the Serbian military armed and trained three Bosnian students as assassins and sent them into Austria-Hungary.[11]



League of Nations

The League of Nations (LoN) was an inter-governmental organization founded as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919–1920. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members. The League’s goals included upholding the new found Rights of Man such as right of non whites, rights of women, rights of soldiers, disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation, diplomacy and improving global quality of life. The diplomatic philosophy behind the League represented a fundamental shift in thought from the preceding hundred years. The League lacked its own armed force and so depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions, keep to economic sanctions which the League ordered, or provide an army, when needed, for the League to use. However, they were often reluctant to do so. Sanctions could also hurt the League members, so they were reluctant to comply with them. When during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, the League accused Benito Mussolini’s soldiers of targeting Red Cross medical tents, Mussolini responded that Ethiopians were not fully human, therefore the human rights laws did not apply. Benito Mussolini stated that “The League is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out.” [1]

After a number of notable successes and some early failures in the 1920s, the League ultimately proved incapable of preventing aggression by the Axis powers in the 1930s. In May 1933 the League was powerless to convince Hitler that Franz Bernheim, a Jew, was protected under the minority clauses established by the League in 1919 (that all minorities were fully human and held equal rights among all men). Hitler claimed these clauses violated Germany’s sovereignty. Germany withdrew from the League soon to be followed by many other totalitarian and militaristic nations. The onset of World War II showed that the League had failed its primary purpose, which was to avoid any future world war. The United Nations replaced it after the end of the war and inherited a number of agencies and organizations founded by the League.

Treaty of Versailles

It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of World War I were dealt with in separate treaties. Although the armistice signed on 11 November 1918 ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty.

Of the many provisions in the treaty, one of the most important and controversial required Germany to accept sole responsibility for causing the war and, under the terms of articles 231-248 (later known as the War Guilt clauses), to disarm, make substantial territorial concessions and pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers. The total cost of these reparations was assessed at 132 billion marks ($31.5 billion) [1] in 1921. The Treaty was undermined by subsequent events starting as early as 1932 and was widely flouted by the mid-1930s.[2]

The result of these competing and sometimes conflicting goals among the victors was compromise that left none contented: Germany was not pacified, conciliated nor permanently weakened. This would prove to be a factor leading to later conflicts, notably and directly the Second World War.[3]

Influenced by the opposition of Henry Cabot Lodge, the United States Senate voted against ratifying the treaty. Despite considerable debate, Wilson refused to support the treaty with any of the reservations imposed by the Senate. [19] As a result, the United States did not join the League of Nations, despite Wilson’s claims that he could “predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it.”[20]

Wilson’s friend Edward Mandell House, present at the negotiations, wrote in his diary on 29 June 1919:

“I am leaving Paris, after eight fateful months, with conflicting emotions. Looking at the conference in retrospect, there is much to approve and yet much to regret. It is easy to say what should have been done, but more difficult to have found a way of doing it. To those who are saying that the treaty is bad and should never have been made and that it will involve Europe in infinite difficulties in its enforcement, I feel like admitting it. But I would also say in reply that empires cannot be shattered, and new states raised upon their ruins without disturbance. To create new boundaries is to create new troubles. The one follows the other. While I should have preferred a different peace, I doubt very much whether it could have been made, for the ingredients required for such a peace as I would have were lacking at Paris.”[21]

After Wilson’s successor Warren G. Harding continued American opposition to the League of Nations, Congress passed the Knox-Porter Resolution bringing a formal end to hostilities between the United States and the Central Powers. It was signed into law by Harding on 21 July 1921.[22]

In Germany

Stab-in-the-back legend

German delegates in Versailles: Professor Dr. Walther Schücking, Reichspostminister Johannes Giesberts, Justice Minister Dr. Otto Landsberg, Foreign Minister-Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau, Prussian State President Robert Leinert, and financial advisor Dr. Carl Melchior.

On 29 April the German delegation under the leadership of the Foreign Minister Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau arrived in Versailles. On 7 May when faced with the conditions dictated by the victors, including the so-called “War Guilt Clause”, von Brockdorff-Rantzau replied to Clemenceau, Wilson and Lloyd George: We know the full brunt of hate that confronts us here. You demand from us to confess we were the only guilty party of war; such a confession in my mouth would be a lie.[23] Because Germany was not allowed to take part in the negotiations, the German government issued a protest against what it considered to be unfair demands, and a “violation of honour”[24] and soon afterwards, withdrew from the proceedings of the Treaty of Versailles.

Germans of all political shades denounced the treaty—particularly the provision that blamed Germany for starting the war—as an insult to the nation’s honour. They referred to the treaty as “the Diktat” since its terms were presented to Germany on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Germany’s first democratically elected Chancellor, Philipp Scheidemann refused to sign the treaty and resigned. In a passionate speech before the National Assembly on 12 March 1919, he called the treaty a “murderous plan” and exclaimed,

Which hand, trying to put us in chains like these, would not wither? The treaty is unacceptable.[25]

After Scheidemann’s resignation, a new coalition government was formed under Gustav Bauer. After being informed that the army was not capable of any meaningful resistance, the new government recommended signing the treaty. The National Assembly voted in favour of signing the treaty by 237 to 138, with 5 abstentions. The foreign minister Hermann Müller and Johannes Bell travelled to Versailles to sign the treaty on behalf of Germany. The treaty was signed on 28 June 1919 and ratified by the National Assembly on 9 July 1919 by a vote of 209 to 116.[26]

Stab in the Back

De-Dolchstoßlegende.ogg Dolchstoßlegende (help·info), literally “Dagger stab legend”) refers to a social theory popular in Germany in the period after World War I and before World War II, which attributed Germany’s losing the war not to its aggressive and excessive designs, nor to its military defeats, but to the public’s failure to respond to its “patriotic calling” at the most crucial of times, and to intentional sabotaging of the war effort, particularly by Jews, Socialists and Bolsheviks. The legend echoes the epic poem Nibelungenlied in which the dragon-slaying hero Siegfried is stabbed in the back by Hagen von Tronje.

Der Dolchstoß is cited as an important factor in Adolf Hitler’s later rise to power, as the Nazi Party grew its original political base largely from embittered World War I veterans, and those who were sympathetic to the Dolchstoß interpretation of Germany’s then-recent history. Hence in Der Dolchstoß is an encapsulation of most of what would become Nazi Germany’s ideology regarding the persecution and murder of Jews, Communists, Socialists, intellectuals, and German dissidents.

Mandate for Palestine

The Palestine Mandate,[1] or Mandate for Palestine,[2] or British Mandate of Palestine was a legal instrument for the administration of Palestine formally approved by the League of Nations in June 1922, based on a draft by the principal Allied and associated powers after the First World War. The mandate formalized British rule in Palestine from 1917-1948.

The preamble of the mandate declared:

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[3]

The formal objective of the League of Nations Mandate system was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, “until such time as they are able to stand alone.”[4]

The San Remo conference[44] assigned the mandate for Palestine to Great Britain under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. The Allies also decided to make Great Britain responsible for putting into effect its own Balfour Declaration of 1917. In June 1922, the League of Nations approved the terms of the mandate, with the stipulation that they would not come into effect until a dispute between France and Italy over the Syria Mandate was settled. That issue was resolved in September 1923.

Frederic Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford 1916 to 1921

Thesiger was the son of the 2nd Baron Chelmsford. Educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, Thesiger was elected to a Fellowship at All Souls College. He served on the London County Council. Succeeding his father in 1905 to become 3rd Baron, Chelmsford was appointed Governor of Queensland (1905-09), and then became Governor of New South Wales (1909-13). He left Australia that year to command a regiment in India. Rising quickly, he became Viceroy in 1916, succeeding Lord Hardinge.

His viceregency was a time of unrest in India, seeing the implementation of the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms (named for the Viceroy and Edwin Samuel Montagu, the Secretary of State for India), which gave greater authority to local Indian representative bodies, but also violent resistance, culminating in the implementation of martial law and the Amritsar Massacre of 1919. This led the Indian National Congress to boycott the first regional elections in 1920, and Chelmsford returned home under a cloud, generally accused of incompetence, which did not prevent him from being raised to the dignity of Viscount.

In 1924, despite being a life-long Conservative, Chelmsford was persuaded to join the Labour government of Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 as First Lord of the Admiralty, though this was a technical post and he never joined the Party. After the fall of the government he retired from political life, devoting his later years to work on the Miners’ Welfare Committee and to educational projects.

He was a Freemason and in 1910 he was elected the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of NSW and held the position until 1913. In 1909 Freemason Lodge Chelmsford 261 was established in New South Wales in his honour. The Lodge still exists to this day see website [1] for confirmation.

Rufus Isaacs 1921-1926

. In 1921, he resigned the chief justiceship to become Viceroy of India. Although he preferred a conciliatory policy, he ended up using force on several occasions, and imprisoned Mahatma Gandhi in 1922. In MacDonald’s National Government in August 1931, he briefly served as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, but stood down after the first major reshuffle in November due to ill-health.

Edward Frederick Lindley Wood,1926-1929  known as The Baron Irwin.

Wood was Viceroy of India from 1926 to 1931. In 1925 he had been proposed at the suggestion of King George V, no doubt mindful of his immediate family background (his grandfather had been Secretary of State for India) and immaculate pedigree. Created Baron Irwin, he arrived in Bombay on 1 April 1926 hoping to improve Anglo-Indian relations and calm interfaith tensions in the country.

Irwin’s rule was marked by a period of great political turmoil. The exclusion of Indians from the Simon Commission examining the country’s readiness for self-government provoked serious violence, and Irwin was forced into concessions which were poorly received—in London as excessive, and in India as half-hearted. Incidents included: the protests against the Simon Commission Report; the Nehru Report; the All-Parties Conference; the Muslim League leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s 14 points; the Civil Disobedience Movement launched by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi; and the Round Table Conferences.

Irwin had all the Congress leaders put behind bars; and then had opened negotiations with Gandhi. Criticism of Irwin was largely unfair, but he had made an error and the consequences were serious and unrest grew. Irwin’s attempts to mediate with Indian leaders were stymied by London’s refusal to make concessions, or clarify the position on dominion status.

With little room for manoeuvre, Irwin resorted to repression using his emergency powers to arrest Gandhi, ban public gatherings and crush rebellious opposition. Gandhi’s detention, however, only made matters worse. Irwin ultimately opted to negotiate, signing the Delhi Pact in January 1931 which ended civil disobedience and the boycott of British goods in exchange for a Round Table Conference which represented all interests. The fortnight-long discussions resulted in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, after which the Civil Disobedience Movement was suspended.

The agreement between Gandhi and Irwin was signed on March 5, 1931. The salient points were:

·         The Congress would discontinue the Civil Disobedience Movement.

·         The Congress would participate in the Round Table Conference.

·         The Government would withdraw all ordinances issued to curb the Congress.

·         The Government would withdraw all prosecutions relating to offences not involving violence.

·         The Government would release all persons serving sentences of imprisonment for their activities in the civil disobedience movement.


It was also agreed that Gandhi would join the Second Round Table Conference as the sole representative of the Congress.

On March 20, 1931, Lord Irwin paid tribute to Gandhi’s honesty, sincerity and patriotism at a dinner given by ruling princes. A month following the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, Lord Irwin retired and left India. On Irwin’s return to England in April 1931, the situation was calm, but within a year the conference collapsed and Gandhi was again arrested.

Despite the mixed outcomes Halifax was overall a successful Viceroy; he had charted a clear and balanced course, and had not lost the confidence of his home government. He had demonstrated toughness and independence. His successful term as Viceroy ensured that he returned to British politics with significant prestige.

Lord Goshen 1929-1931

George Joachim Goschen, 2nd Viscount Goschen GCSI GCIE CBE VD PC (15 October 1866 – 24 July 1952) was a British politician who served as Member of Parliament for East Grinstead from 1895 to 1906 and as Governor of Madras from 1924 to 1929.

George Joachim Goschen, 2nd Viscount was the son of prominent Conservative politician and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Joachim Goschen, 1st Viscount Goschen. He had his early education in the United Kingdom and served as Secretary to Victor Child Villiers, 7th Earl of Jersey, the Governor of New South Wales in Australia from 1890 to 1892. In 1895 and 1900, he was elected to the House of Commons from East Grinstead and served as a Member of Parliament from 1895 to 1906 and as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries from March to June 1918. In 1924, he was appointed Governor of Madras, India and served as the Governor of Madras from 1924 to 1929 and acted as the Viceroy of India from 1929 to 1931. George Goschen died in 1952 at the age of 85.

Goschen was knighted in 1921 and made a GCSI in March 1924. He was also a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon 1931-1936

Freeman-Thomas was on 17 February 1913 appointed as the Crown Governor of Bombay, replacing George Clarke, Baron Sydenham of Combe,[8] and to mark this event, Freeman-Thomas was on 12 March 1913 honoured with induction into the Order of the Indian Empire, as a knight grand commander (additional).[9] Within a year, however, the First World War had erupted, and India, as a part of the British Empire, was immediately drawn into the conflict, and the Baron Willingdon strove to serve the Allied cause, taking responsibility for treating the wounded from the Mesopotamian campaign. In the midst of those dark times, Mahatma Gandhi returned to Bombay from South Africa, and Freeman-Thomas, a governor, was one of the first persons to meet him and invite him to Government House for a formal meeting. This tête-à-tête was the first meeting Freeman-Thomas had with Gandhi, and he later described the Indian spiritual leader as “honest, but a Bolshevik and for that reason very dangerous.”

Mahatma Gandhi, whose return to India and subsequent nationalistic activities would cause problems for Freeman-Thomas as Crown Governor of Bombay and Madras.

In 1917, the year before Freeman-Thomas’ quitting of the governorship, a severe famine broke out in the Kheda region of the Bombay Presidency, which had far reaching effects on the economy, and left farmers in no position to pay their taxes. Still, the government insisted that tax not only be paid, but also implemented a 23% increase to the levies to take effect that year. Kheda thus became the setting for Gandhi’s first satyagraha in India, and, with support from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Narhari Parikh, Mohanlal Pandya, and Ravi Shankar Vyas, organised a gujarat sabha. The people under Gandhi’s influence then rallied together and sent a petition to Freeman-Thomas, asking that he cancel the taxes for that year. However, the Cabinet refused and advised the Governor to begin confiscating property by force, leading Gandhi to thereafter employ non-violent resistance to the government, which eventually succeeded and made Gandhi famous throughout India after Freeman-Thomas’ departure from the colony. For his actions there, in relation to governance and the war effort, the Baron Willingdon was on 3 June 1918 appointed by the King as a knight grand commander of the Order of the Star of India,[10] which, along with his place in the Order of the Indian Empire, entitled Freeman-Thomas to the honorific style of sir.

George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 1910 through World War I (1914–1918) until his death in 1936. He was the first British monarch of the House of Windsor, which he created from the British branch of the German House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

From the age of twelve George served in the Royal Navy, but upon the unexpected death of his elder brother, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, he became heir to the throne and married his brother’s fiancée, Mary of Teck (known as “May” to her family after her birth month). Although they occasionally toured the British Empire, George preferred to stay at home with his stamp collection and lived what later biographers would consider a dull life because of its conventionality.

George became King-Emperor in 1910 on the death of his father, King Edward VII. George was the only Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar, where he appeared before his Indian subjects crowned with the Imperial Crown of India, created specially for the occasion. During World War I he relinquished all German titles and styles on behalf of his relatives who were British subjects; and changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor. During his reign, the Statute of Westminster separated the crown so that George ruled the dominions as separate kingdoms, preparing the way for the future development of the Commonwealth. His reign also witnessed the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the first Labour ministry, all of which radically changed the political spectrum.

George was plagued by illness throughout much of his later reign; he was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward.

Indian Ascendance to power (1937-1942)

When under the Government of India Act 1935, the Congress first tasted political power, its internal organization bloomed in the diversity of political attitudes and ideologies. The focus would change slightly from the single-minded devotion to complete independence, to also entertaining excitement and theorizing about the future governance of India.

[edit] The Socialists

The Congress Socialist Party was formed by young Congressmen like Asoka Mehta, Jaya Prakash Narayan, Narendra Dev and others, with the support of Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1936, the Congress would adopt socialism as its goal for the future free Government of India.

The radical followers of Subhash Chandra Bose, believers in socialism and active revolution would ascend in the hierarchy with Bose’s 1938 election to the Congress presidency.

[edit] The “Traditionalists”

According to one approach, the traditionalist point of view, though not in a political sense, was represented in Congressmen like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, C.Rajagopalachari, Purushottam Das Tandon, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Maulana Azad, who were also associates and followers of Gandhi. Their organizational strength, achieved through leading the clashes with the government, was undisputed and proven when despite winning the 1939 election, Bose resigned the Congress presidency because of the lack of confidence he enjoyed amongst national leaders. A year earlier, in the 1938 election, however, Bose had been elected with the support of Gandhi. Differences arose in 1939 on whether Bose should have a second term. Jawaharlal Nehru, who Gandhi had always preferred to Bose, had had a second term earlier. Bose’s own differences centred on the place to be accorded to non-violent as against revolutionary methods. When he set up his Indian National Army in South-east Asia during the Second World War, he invoked Gandhi’s name and hailed him as the Father of The Nation. It would be wrong to suggest that the so-called traditionalist leaders looked merely to the ancient heritage of Indian, Asian or, in the case of Maulana Azad and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Islamic civilization for inspiration. They believed, along with educationists like Zakir Husain and E W Aryanayakam, that education should be imparted in a manner that enables the learners also to be able to make things with their own hands and learn skills that would make them self-supporting. This method of education was also adopted in some areas in Egypt. (See Reginald Reynolds, Beware of Africans). Zakir Husain was inspired by some European educationists and was able, with Gandhi’s support, to dovetail this approach to the one favoured by the Basic Education method introduced by the Indian freedom movement. They believed that the education system, economy and social justice model for a future nation should be designed to suit the specific local requirements. While most were open to the benefits of Western influences and the socio-economic egalitarianism of socialism, they were opposed to being defined by either model.

Edward VIII 1894-1972

Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; later The Duke of Windsor; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the British dominions, and Emperor of India from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December 1936, after which he was immediately succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. After his father, George V, Edward was the second monarch of the House of Windsor, his father having changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1917.

Before his accession to the throne, Edward held successively the titles of Prince Edward of York, Prince Edward of Cornwall and York, Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, and Prince of Wales. As a young man, he served in World War I, undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father, and was associated with a succession of older, married women.

Only months into his reign, Edward caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. Although legally Edward could have married Mrs. Simpson and remained king, the prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that the people would never accept her as queen. Edward knew that the ministry of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have dragged the King into a general election and ruined irreparably his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. Rather than give up Mrs. Simpson, Edward chose to abdicate, making him the only monarch of the Commonwealth realms to voluntarily relinquish the throne.[1] With a reign of 325 days, he is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British and Commonwealth history, and was never crowned.

After his abdication, he reverted to the style of a son of the Sovereign, The Prince Edward, and was created Duke of Windsor on 8 March 1937. During World War II, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he held pro-Nazi sympathies, was moved to The Bahamas as Governor and Commander-in-Chief. After the war, he was never given another official appointment, and spent the remainder of his life in retirement.

George VI   1936-1952

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India (until 1947), the last King of Ireland (until 1949), and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

Victor Hope, Marquess of Linlithgow 1936-1943

Having previously declined both the governorship of Madras and the governor-generalship of Australia (his father was the first Governor-General of Australia)[3], he became the Viceroy of India[4] on 18 April 1936, succeeding Lord Willingdon. Linlithgow implemented the plans for local self-government embodied in the Government of India Act of 1935, which led to government led by the Congress Party in five of the 11 provinces, but the recalcitrance of the princes prevented the full establishment of Indian self government.[citation needed]

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Linlithgow’s appeal for unity led to the resignation of the Congress ministries. Disputes between the British administration and Congress ultimately led to massive Indian civil disobedience in the Quit India Movement in 1942. Linlithgow suppressed the disturbances and arrested the Congress leaders.[citation needed]

He is partly blamed for the Bengal famine of 1943.[5]

Quit India Movement

The Quit India Movement (Bharat Chhodo Andolan or the August Movement) was a civil disobedience movement launched in India in August 1942 in response to Mohandas Gandhi’s call for immediate independence. Gandhi hoped to bring the British government to the negotiating table.[1] Almost the entire Congress leadership, and not merely at the national level, was put into confinement less than twenty-four hours after Gandhi’s speech, and the greater number of the Congress leaders were to spend the rest of the war in jail.

Cripps’ Mission

In March 1942, faced with an increasingly dissatisfied sub-continent only reluctantly participating in the war, and deterioration in the war situation in Europe and South East Asia, and with growing dissatisfaction among Indian troops- especially in Europe- and among the civilian population in the sub-continent, the British government sent a delegation to India under Stafford Cripps, in what came to be known as the Cripps’ Mission. The purpose of the mission was to negotiate with the Indian National Congress a deal to obtain total co-operation during the war, in return of progressive devolution and distribution of power from the crown and the Viceroy to elected Indian legislature. However, the talks failed, having failed to address the key demand of a timeframe towards self-government, and of definition of the powers to be relinquished, essentially portraying an offer of limited dominion-status that was wholly unacceptable to the Indian movement.[3]

[edit] Resolution for immediate independence

On July 14, 1942, the Indian National Congress passed a resolution demanding complete independence from the UK. The draft proposed that if the British did not accede to the demands, massive civil disobedience would be launched.

However, it proved to be controversial within the party. A prominent Congress national leader Chakravarti Rajgopalachari quit the Congress over this decision, and so did some local and regional level organizers. Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Azad were apprehensive and critical of the call, but backed it and stuck with Gandhi’s leadership till the end. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Dr. Rajendra Prasad were openly and enthusiastically in favor of such a disobedience movement, as were many veteran Gandhians and socialists like Asoka Mehta and Jaya Prakash Narayan.

The Congress had lesser success in rallying other political forces under a single flag and mast. Smaller parties like the Communist Party of India and the Hindu Mahasabha opposed the call. Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s opposition to the call led to large numbers of Muslims cooperating with the British, and the Muslim League obtaining power in the Imperial provincial governments.

Allama Mashriqi (head of the Khaksar Tehrik) was called to join the Quit India Movement. Mashriqi was apprehensive of its outcome and did not agree with the Congress Working Committee’s resolution and on July 28, 1942, Allama Mashriqi sent the following telegram to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Mahatma Gandhi, Rajagopalachariar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad and Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramiyya. He also sent a copy to Sambamurty (former Speaker of the Madras Assembly). The telegram was published in the press, and it stated:

“I am in receipt of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s letter of July 8th. My honest opinion is that Civil Disobedience Movement is a little pre-mature. The Congress should first concede openheartedly and with handshake to Muslim League the theoretical Pakistan, and thereafter all parties unitedly make demand of Quit India. If the British refuse, start total disobedience...”[4]

On August 8, 1942 the Quit India Resolution was passed at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). At Gowalia Tank, Bombay, Gandhi told Indians to follow non-violent civil disobedience. He told the masses to act as an independent nation. His call found support among a large number of Indians.(made by Amardeep-nadiad)

[edit] Suppression of the movement

Picketing in front of Medical School at Bangalore

The British, already alarmed by the advance of the Japanese army to the India/Burma border, responded the next day by imprisoning Gandhi at the Aga Khan Palace in Pune. All the members Party’s Working Committee (national leadership) were arrested and imprisoned at the Ahmednagar Fort. Due to the arrest of major leaders, a young and till then relatively unknown Aruna Asaf Ali presided over the AICC session on August 9 and hoisted the flag. Later, the Congress party was banned. These actions only created sympathy for the cause among the population. Despite lack of direct leadership, large scale protests and demonstrations were held all over the country. Workers remained absent en masse and strikes were called. However, not all the demonstrations were peaceful. At some places bombs exploded, government buildings were set on fire, electricity was cut, and transport and communication lines were severed.

A minor uprising took place in Ballia[1], now the eastern most district of Uttar Pradesh. People overthrew the district administration, broke open the jail, released the arrested Congress leaders, and established their own independent rule. It took weeks before the British could reestablish their writ in the district.

The British swiftly responded by mass detentions. A total over 100,000 arrests were made nationwide, mass fines were levied, and demonstrators were subjected to public flogging.[5] Hundreds of resisters and innocent people were killed in police and army firings. From the British point of view, the new movement was considered as highly treasonous attempt to stab them in the back in a midst of a fight for survival as a nation, which may explain their response. Nevertheless, many national leaders went underground and continued their struggle by broadcasting messages over clandestine radio stations, distributing pamphlets, and establishing parallel governments. The British sense of crisis was strong enough that a battleship was specifically set aside to take Gandhi and the Congress leaders out of India, possibly to South Africa or Yemen, but such a step was ultimately not taken out of fear of intensifying the revolt.[6]

The entire Congress leadership was cut off from the rest of the world for over three years. Gandhi’s wife Kasturbai Gandhi and his personal secretary Mahadev Desai died in a short space of months, and Gandhi’s own health was failing. Despite this, Gandhi went on a 21-day fast and maintained a superhuman resolve to continuous resistance. Although the British released Gandhi on account of his failing health in 1944, Gandhi kept up the resistance, demanding the complete release of the Congress leadership.

By early 1944, India was mostly peaceful again, while the entire Congress leadership was incarcerated. A sense that the movement had failed depressed many nationalists, while Jinnah and the Muslim League, as well as Congress opponents like the Communists sought to gain political mileage, criticizing Gandhi and the Congress Party.

[edit] Contributions towards Indian independence

The successes and failures of the Movement are debated. Some historians claim it failed.[7] By March 1943, the movement had petered out.[8] Even the Congress, at the time saw it as failure.[9] Analysis of the campaign obtained by Military Intelligence in 1943 came to the conclusion that it had failed in the aim of paralysing the government. It did however cause enough trouble and panic among the War administration for General Lockhart to describe India as an “Occupied and hostile country.”[10] However, much as it might have disconcerted the Raj, the movement may be deemed to have ultimately failed to bring the Raj to its knees and the negotiating table for immediate transfer of power, as it aimed to. It came to all but a close within five months of its inception, and was nowhere near its grandiose aim of toppling the Raj. The primary underlying reason, it seems, was the loyalty of the army, even where the local and native police came out in sympathy.[11] This certainly, was also the view of the British Prime Minister at the time of transfer of power, Clement Atlee. Atlee deemed the contribution of Quit India as minimal, ascribing stupendous importance to the revolts and growing dissatisfaction among Royal Indian Armed Forces during and after the war as the driving force behind Britain’s decision to leave India.[12][13]

Some Indian historians, however, argue that, in fact, the movement had succeeded[citation needed]. In support of the latter view, without doubt, the war had sapped a lot of the economic, political and military life-blood of the Empire. Also, although at the national level the ability to galvanize rebellion was limited, the movement is notable for regional success especially at Satara, Talcher, and Midnapore.[14] In Tamluk and Contai subdivisions of Midnapore, the local populace were successful in establishing parallel governments, which continued to function, until Gandhi personally requested the leaders to disband in 1944.[14] At the time, from intelligence reports, the Azad Hind Government under Netaji Subhash Bose in Berlin deemed these an early indication of success of their strategy of fomenting public rebellion.[15]

It is certain is that a population of millions had been motivated as it never had before to claim independence as a non-negotiable goal, and every act of defiance and rebellion only reinforced the nationalist sentiment. In addition, the British people and the British Army seemed unwilling to back a policy of repression in India and other parts of the Empire even as their own country lay shattered by the war’s ravages.[citation needed] The INA trials in 1945, the resulting militant movements, and the Bombay mutiny had already shaken the confidence of British rule in India.[16] By early 1946, all political prisoners had been released and Britain adopted a political dialogue with the Indian National Congress for the eventual transfer of power. On August 15, 1947, this transfer was complete, and the states of India and Pakistan came into being.

A young, new generation responded to Gandhi’s call. Indians who lived through Quit India came to form the first generation of independent Indians-whose trials and tribulations may be accepted to have sown the seeds of establishment of the strongest enduring tradition of democracy and freedom in post-colonial Africa and Asia- which, when seen in the light of the torrid times of Partition of India, can be termed one of the greatest examples of prudence of humanity.

Lord Archibald Wavell 1943-1947

In January 1943 Wavell had been promoted to field marshal[56] and when Linlinthgow retired as viceroy in the summer of 1943 he was surprisingly, given his poor relationship with Churchill, chosen to replace him.[52] He himself was again replaced in his military post in June by Auchinleck, who by this point had also experienced setbacks in North Africa. In 1943, Wavell was created a viscount (taking the style Viscount Wavell of Cyrenaica and of Winchester in the county of Southampton)[57] and in September was formally named Governor-General[58] and Viceroy of India. He was also appointed as a Privy Counsellor.

One of his first actions in office was to address the Bengal famine of 1943 by feeding the starving rural Bengalis. He attempted with mixed success to increase the supplies of rice to reduce the prices and make it more affordable.

Although initially popular with Indian politicians, pressure mounted concerning the likely structure and timing of an independent India. Although Wavell attempted to move the debate along, he received little support from Churchill (who was against Indian independence) nor from Clement Attlee Churchill’s successor as Prime Minister. He was also hampered by the differences between the various Indian political factions. At the end of the war rising Indian expectations continued unfulfilled and inter-communal violence became an increasing feature. Eventually, in 1947, Attlee lost confidence in Wavell and replaced him with Lord Mountbatten of Burma.

Louis Mountbatten 1947

Last Viceroy

His experience in the region and in particular his perceived Labour sympathies at that time led to Clement Attlee appointing him Viceroy of India after the war. In his position as Viceroy, Mountbatten oversaw the granting of independence to the Partitioned India as India and Pakistan (In subsequent years, pre-Independence India has often been referred to as “British India.” Prior to Partition and Independence, “British India” referred to those parts of India which were directly administered by the British, as opposed to those portions of pre-Independence India which were under the control of the Indian princes.)

He developed a strong relationship with the Indian princes who were said to have considerable confidence in him, and on the basis of his relationship with the British monarchy persuaded most of them to accede to the new states of India and Pakistan. This was vitally important in the lead-up to Indian independence, though ultimately post-Independence India and Pakistan abolished their prerogatives. It has never been made clear, and no Mountbatten biographies mention the issue, whether Mountbatten was deliberately or inadvertently enticing the Indian princes into acceding to their soon-oblivion.

Mountbatten quickly realised that a unified India was an unachievable goal and he resigned himself to accept a plan that called for the partitioning of an independent India and Pakistan[3].The general atmosphere surrounding the presence of Mountbatten in India was one of pressing urgency. Even the British government felt the need for the process of independence for India had to be quickly advanced[9]. With such feelings surrounding the situation, the mind frame of Mountbatten being determined to provide a rapid independence for India is understandable. Mountbatten was steadfast and insistent on the swift and efficient action of transferring power from the British to the Indians. However such narrowly, focused determination did provide the impression the British were serious about actually giving India independence. Mountbatten was adamant about creating a set date for the transference of power from the British to the Indians. He felt if a date or timeline was not set, there would be a higher level of distrust towards him and the British government because the lack of such a plan would cause the Indians to think the British wanted to draw out the process so they could stay and impose their authority for longer[10] . Such a thought process demonstrates either the British awareness of Indian desires or lack of the capacity to sustain colony as large and populous as India thus the urgency to give independence.

Gandhi in his struggle for freedom for India was emphatic in his message of gaining and maintaining a united India. The sentiment was successful for a while to rally people around the cause for freedom. However when the prospect of actually having freedom and independence within reach, sentiments took a different turn. When Mountbatten was sent to India, he was sent with the instructions of providing independence to a united India however if the situation changes just do what it takes to get Britain out promptly with minimal reputational damage[11] . Although there was emphasis on having a united India as a result of the transference of power, the weighted importance given to Britain escaping with their noses clean deemed to be a higher priority which in turn affected the way negotiations took place when independence was discussed, especially between divided parties of Hindus and Muslims. Mountbatten was fond of Nehru and his liberal outlook for the country[12] . However it was a different emotion expressed when he dealt with Jinnah, “…Mountbatten used strong language in describing Jinnah”[13] Mountbatten did try to advocate for a united India and was almost successful at persuading Jinnah to maintain a united India because of the inconvenience of segregated portioned of Bengal and Punjab amongst those specific states[14]. But Jinnah was unyielding at the insistence of a separate state being Pakistan even if it does have an uneven population and geographical shape due to the partitioning of Bengal and Punjab[14]. Jinnah had the similar focused determination as Mountbatten in terms of the goals they wanted to achieve both being very different, yet Mountbatten was aware of the power which Jinnah possessed “ “If it could be said that any single man held the future of India in the palm of his hand in 1947,” said the viceroy, “that man was Mohammed Ali Jinnah,”[15] . Slowly the other Indian party leaders were coming to accept the stance of Jinnah; Gandhi was more or less the only one fighting for a united India close to the official independence of India[16]. With the submitting to the idea of partition by other Indian leaders, this made the process of Indian independence gather speed in the proceedings which made life simpler for Mountbatten at the time. The levels of simplicity provided by the Indian leaders lowered the need for Mountbatten to fight for and gain a united India.

After Independence (midnight of 14 August/15 August 1947, celebrated on the 14th in Pakistan and the 15th in India) he remained in New Delhi for ten months, serving as the first of independent India’s two governors general until June 1948 (the monarchy being abolished in 1950 and the office of governor general of India replaced with a non-executive presidency.) Notwithstanding extremely effective self-promotion during his lifetime as to his own part in Indian independence — notably in the television series “The Life and Times of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Mountbatten of Burma”, produced by his son-in-law Lord Brabourne, and Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins’s rather sensationalised Freedom at Midnight (as to which he was the main informant) — his record is seen as mixed; one view is that he hastened the independence process unduly, foreseeing vast disruption and loss of life and not wanting this to occur on the British watch, but thereby actually causing it to occur, especially during the partition of the Punjab, but also to a lesser extent, in Bengal.[17]

John Kenneth Galbraith, the Canadian-American Harvard University economist, who advised governments of India during the 1950s, became an intimate of Nehru and served as the American ambassador from 1961–63, was a particularly harsh critic of Mountbatten in this regard. The horrific casualties of the partition of the Punjab are luridly described in Collins’ and LaPierre’s Freedom at Midnight, as to which Mountbatten was the principal informant, and more latterly in Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel Ice Candy Man (published in the USA as Cracking India), made into the film Earth.

Cyril Radcliffe

Radcliffe joined the Ministry of Information becoming its Director-General by 1941, where he worked closely with the Minister Brendan Bracken. After the war he resumed legal practice but this was again interrupted in 1947 when he was given the chairmanship of the two boundary committees set up with the passing of the Indian Independence Act: his sole Indian connection was the death of his eldest brother while on active service in the country. The Radcliffe Award was carried out in the greatest secrecy but there was still pressure to adjust the line between the two emergent nations of India and Pakistan for political reasons. The immediate consequences of partition were horrendous for both countries though it is doubtful that anything Radcliffe could have done would have made a great difference; even the most carefully crafted border would have provoked the massive population migrations which resulted. Radcliffe was at all turns harassed and hurried by outgoing Viceroy Mountbatten, who turned out to be ill prepared for the consequences of the Awards.

In fact, after seeing the mayhem occurring on both sides of the boundary that was created by him, Cyril Radcliffe did the only thing he could have done to protest against Mountbatten. He refused his salary of 40000 rupees that was given to him for doing the most important job of his life.

Being the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne, and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. He served in the Royal Navy during World War I, and after the war took on the usual round of public engagements. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, and they had two daughters, Elizabeth (who succeeded him as Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret.

George’s elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII on the death of their father in 1936. However, less than a year later Edward revealed his desire to marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. For political and religious reasons, the British Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, advised Edward that he could not marry Mrs. Simpson and remain king. So, Edward abdicated in order to marry. By reason of this abdication George VI ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.

Within twenty-four hours of his accession the Irish parliament, the Oireachtas, passed the External Relations Act, which essentially removed the power of the monarch in Ireland. Further events greatly altered the position of the monarchy during his reign: three years after his accession, his realms, except Ireland, were at war with Nazi Germany. In the next two years, war with Italy and the Empire of Japan followed. Though Britain and its allies were ultimately victorious, the United States and the Soviet Union rose as pre-eminent world powers and the British Empire declined. With the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, and the foundation of the Republic of Ireland in 1949, George’s reign saw the acceleration of the break-up of the Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations.

Start of Indian Railways

The Secunderabad Railway Station is one of the major stations in India

Following independence in 1947, India inherited a decrepit rail network. About 40 per cent of the railways then passed through the newly independent republic of Pakistan. A large number of lines had to be rerouted through Indian territory, and new construction had to be undertaken. Underinvestment and unproductive management and maintenance practices have sharply curtailed growth in route length[citation needed]. A total of forty-two separate railway systems, including thirty-two lines owned by the former Indian princely states existed at the time of independence spanning a total of 55,000 km. These were amalgamated into the Indian Railways.

In 1951, the rail networks were abandoned in favour of zones. A total of six zones came into being in 1952. As India developed its economy, almost all railway production units started to be built indigenously. Broad Gauge became the standard, and the Railways began to electrify most lines to AC.

In 1985, steam locomotives were phased out. Under Rajiv Gandhi, reforms in the railways were carried out. In 1987, computerisation of reservation first was carried out in Bombay and in 1989 the train numbers were standardised to four digits. In 1995 the entire railway reservation was computerised through the railways intranet. In 1998, the Konkan Railway was opened, spanning difficult terrain through the Western Ghats. A Calcutta Metro has been built.

[edit] See also

·         Agra-Delhi Chord Railway

·         Bankura Damodar Railway

·         Bengal Assam Railway (in 1947, renamed East Bengal Rly., and in 1961, renamed Pakistan Eastern Rly.)

·         Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway

·         Bengal Central Railway

·         Bengal Dooars Railway, also Bankura Damodar Railway

·         Bilaspur-Etawah State Railway

·         Barsi Light Railway

·         Burma Mines Railway

·         Bengal Nagpur Railway

·         Bengal North-Western Railway

·         Bengal Provincial Railway

·         Cooch Behar Railway

·         Calcutta and South-Eastern Railway

·         Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

·         Dhond-Manmad State Railway

·         Dehri Rohtas Light Railway

·         Drangdhara State Railway

·         East Bengal State Railway

·         East Coast Railway

·         East Indian Railway

·         Eastern Punjab Railway

·         Gaekwar’s Baroda State Railway

·         Great Indian Peninsular Railway

·         Gwalior Light Railway (later Scindia State Railway)

·         Gondal State Railway

·         Great South of India Railway

·         Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railways

·         Indian Government Railways

·         Indian Midland Railway

·         Indian State Railway

·         Indus Valley State Railway

·         Jamnagar and Dwarka Railway

·         Jodhpur Railway

·         Jaipur State Railway

·         Khanai-Hindubagh Railway

·         Kushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway

·         Kalka-Shimla Railway

·         Kangra Valley Railway

·         Larkana-Jacobabad Railway

·         Matheran Light Railway

·         Madras Railway

·         Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway

·         Mysore State Railway

·         North-East Frontier Railway

·         Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Elizabeth II 1952-

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is the queen regnant of sixteen independent states known informally as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. She holds each crown separately and equally in a shared monarchy, and carries out duties for each state of which she is sovereign, as well as acting as Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, and Paramount Chief of Fiji. In theory her powers are vast; however, in practice, and in accordance with convention, she rarely intervenes in political matters.

Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon upon the death of her father, George VI, on 6 February 1952. She is one of the longest-reigning British monarchs. Her reign of 57 years has seen sweeping changes, including the dissolution of the British Empire (a process that began before her accession) and the consequent evolution of the modern Commonwealth of Nations. As other British colonies gained independence from the United Kingdom, she became queen of several newly independent countries. She has been the sovereign of 32 individual nations, but half of them later became republics.

Elizabeth married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. The couple have four children and eight grandchildren.

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