Warren hasting 1732-1818

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Warren hasting 1732-1818

In this article, we will share details about Warren Hastings the first Governor-General of Bengal and measures taken by him during his tenure for example revenue reforms, abolition of the dual system, judicial reforms etc. This topic is a part of modern history that is very important for the civil service exam.

Don’t get confused between the first Governor-General of Bengal and the Governor-General of India and Lord William Bentinck was the first Governor-General of India.

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Warren Hastings

  • In 1772, Warren Hastings became the first governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal) and the first Governor-General of Bengal in 1774
  • In 1750, he started his career as a clerk in an East India Company at Calcutta. Later he became a British resident at Murshidabad, the capital of Bengal in 1758.
  • Mir Jafar was appointed as the nawab after the Battle of Plassey.
  • The First Anglo-Maratha war and the Second Anglo Mysore War were fought during the term of Warren Hastings.
  • Also, the Regulating act of 1773 was enacted during his term.
  • In 1785, Warren Hastings supported Sur William Jones in the formation of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

Reforms

  • A board of revenue was set up at Calcutta for revenue collection and the treasury was moved from Murshidabad to Calcutta. Therefore, Calcutta became Bengal’s capital in 1972.
  • For each district, British collectors were appointed and the Accountant General was also appointed.
  • Unreasonable fines were dismissed and restrictions were placed on the raising of rent.
  • He abolished the Dual system established by Robert Clive. The company had Diwani rights and the Nizam or Indian chiefs had the administrative authority. In this dual system, the annual tribute paid to the Mughal emperor was stopped and the annual allowance of nawab was reduced from Rs. 32 to 16 lakh.
  • The judicial powers of the Zamindars were put to an end.
  • Civil and criminal courts were set up. Two appellate courts were set up at Calcutta one for Civil and one for criminal cases. Also, the Criminal court was to have an Indian judge.
  • Hindus were to be tried according to Hindu laws and Muslims according to their law in the Quran. A code of Hindu law prepared by Hindu Pandit was translated into English.
  • Also, Warren Hastings came down deliberately on the dacoits in Bengal.
  • He eliminated the system of dastaks which were misused by company officials and traders.
  • Private trade by company officials was restricted and he enforced a uniform tariff of 2.5% for Indian and foreign goods.
  • Between 1787 and 1795, Warren Hastings’s impeachment was attempted over his misconduct during his time in Calcutta.
  • He was charged with personal corruption and mismanagement and MP of Great Britain Parliament, Edmund Burke led Warren Hastings’s impeachment. He was acquitted by the end of a 7 years long impeachment trial.
  • He was the representative of the East India Company at the Bengal Nawab Courts from 1758 to 1761 and represented the company’s Council, the controlling body for its affairs in Bengal from 1761 to 1764. In 1765, he returned to England.

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