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Thanks are due to the following publishers for their kind permission to reprint
Messrs. Chatto and Windus (Mr. R. C. Dutt's England and India).
The Delegates of the Clarendon Press (Sir Courtenay Ilbert's The Government
Messrs. Longmans, Green and Co. (Sir G. O. Trevelyan's Life and Letters
Messrs. Macmillan and Co., Ltd. (M. Chailley's Administrative Problems
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INDIAN POLICY
THE FOUNDATIONS OF AN INDIAN POLICY
It was not until the long struggle between the Mahratta and the British powers came to an end in 1818 that there was \any real opportunity of evolving an Indian policy. Hitherto, the British in India had been employed for the most part in defending their territory against attacks from outside and in establishing the rule of law and order without which progress of any kind was impossible. after the battle of Kirkee, a long period of peace ensued such as had not been known in India for centuries, and which was not seriously interrupted until the outbreak of the first Sikh war in 1845. There were wars at that time, it is true, in Afghanistan, in Sind, and in Burma, but these scarcely affected the life of the country. It was during this period that the British rulers in India applied themselves to the formulation of an Indian policy, which was remarkable not only for its insight but also as being the work of a number of men who combined the gifts of statecraft and scholarship. They had both the power to act and the capacity to write. The records of the period therefore are replete with incident and wisdom. And it happened that there were also in England statesmen who were anxious to bring forward measures of reform which had long been delayed by years of warfare. The similarity between the
history of the two countries has been emphasised by Mr. Romesh Chander Dutt in the following words :--
An Age of Peaceful Progress
Source." England and India." Romesh Chander Dutt.
Never was there any period when Europe and India made more real progress within the lifetime of one generation than during the twenty years which succeeded the Napoleonic wars and the last Mahratta wars.
Castlereagh1 destroyed himself in 1822. He was succeeded as leader in the House of Commons by the noble-minded Canning, a great statesman, a gifted orator, a true Liberal at heart. His appointment as leader of the House of Commons, under Lord Liverpool, who was still Prime Minister, marks a turning-point in English history, and is the first official recognition of that Liberalism which was growing in England. Reforms which had been delayed so long came trooping in. The barbarous criminal laws of England, which inflicted the punishment of death on slight offences, were being slowly modified. equally barbarous laws which kept the working classes bound as serfs to the British soil, and in convenient subordination to their employers, were repealed, and combinations of workmen to obtain better wages were no longer forbidden. Last, though not least, was the subject of the emancipation of the Catholics, who were still debarred from sitting in the House of Commons or holding important offices under the Crown. Canning fought nobly for the complete emancipation of Catholics from all disabilities.
The years which followed the Reform Bill of 1832 were years of activity in the direction of reforms and of Liberal legislation. Education was in a backward state in England, and in 1833 there was one person in eleven of the population attending school. A small grant was now made to promote national education. The employment of children in factories was restricted in the same year. The laws which encouraged lazy pauperism and discouraged honest industry were reformed in 1834. The heavy and prohibitive tax of fourpence on each copy of a newspaper was reduced to a penny, and the fetters
1 Lord Liverpool was Prime Minister from 1812 to 1827; but, in reality, power was vested in the hands of Lord Castlereagh, the leader of the party in the House of Commons until the time of his death.