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No part of the achievement of the British race is more deserving of study than the process by which, in the course of a single century, the Indian Empire was established, and its system of government developed. Yet this story is curiously little studied, either in Britain or in India. Indian social usages, and even Indian names, are bewildering to the Englishman; while it is natural that the Indian student should find a difficulty in understanding and in justly appreciating the motives by which British statesmen in India have been actuated.
The only way in which these difficulties can be satisfactorily overcome is that the student should be enabled to realise how Indian conditions and the problems of Indian government appeared at each stage to the men who had to deal with them : thus alone can a fair judgment on the character and value of their work be attained. There is no lack of material for such a judgment. The greatest difficulty, indeed, is presented, not by any deficiency, but by the extraordinary voluminousness, of the available material. Having to report upon and explain all their actions to the Directors at home, and often to defend
their policy against attacks, all the Anglo-Indian statesmen t from Clive downwards have left behind them immense masses
of narrative and commentary upon the events in which they
Much of this material has been already printed, in biographies, pamphlets, Parliamentary Papers, and Reports of Commissions. But vast masses still remain unprinted, both in India and in England, and the number of students at work on these materials is discreditably small. One may name Mr. William Foster, Sir George Forrest, and Mr. S. C. Hill, of whom the two latter have both done invaluable work on the period covered by this volume. I owe to them not only the gratitude due to them from all students of Anglo-Indian history, but also thanks for special kindnesses, and particularly for their permission to use some of the documents which their labours have made available to the student.
The object of this book is to provide a selection of these contemporary materials ample enough to enable the student to see the main events of Anglo-Indian history through the eyes of the principal actors, and yet not so full as to be overwhelming. The book is primarily designed for the use of students, and can be used to best advantage in conjunction with a good narrative history. But I have tried, by means of a series of introductions, prefatory notes to individual documents, and footnotes, to weave the whole into a fairly connected narrative, which can be read without confusion by the ordinary citizen who knows nothing of Indian history. I have also excised unnecessary minutiae from the documents, and avoided as far as possible technical terminology and unfamiliar names.
As it was obviously impossible in the space at my disposal to deal with every aspect of the period, I have in effect confined myself to documents which illustrate two main themes : (a) the reasons for the successive extensions of British territory, and (6) the stages in the development of the British system of government and the introduction of Western methods and ideas into India. Events of a purely military character are therefore omitted-at the cost, I fear, of some picturesqueness. Whole blocks of the subject, which seemed to lie somewhat apart from the main theme, have been cut out; and these omissions include some of the most famous episodes of AngloIndian history, such as the struggle with the French in the Carnatic, and the Mutiny of 1857. These themes are very fully dealt with in the narrative histories. They could not have been adequately illustrated here without a lavish expenditure of space, which would have altered the scale of the work; and, important as they were, they do not specially illustrate either the methods of territorial growth or the development of government.
In the spelling of Indian words I have followed generally the modern official usage, except in the case of such familiar words as sepoy, Mahratta, Mahomedan, Khyber, Nuncomar.
In all historical study, but perhaps especially in the study of Indian history, the constant use of maps is an essential aid to understanding; and the student is urged, in reading this book, to have a map dealing with the period always open before him. Perhaps I may note that the most readily accessible historical maps of India are contained in Philip's Atlas of Modern History, the Student's Edition of which contains a set of five maps, and the School Edition three
maps. I have to thank my friend and former pupil, Miss Monckton Jones, for reading a large part of the manuscript, for making valuable criticisms, and for placing at my disposal her transcripts from India Office Records, some of which I have used in Chapter III. Professor Tout has been good enough to read the proofs for me. Miss D. K. Royle, M.A., and Miss M. Plummer have helped me much by the care with which they have transcribed documents for me, and Miss J. M. Potter,
M.A., by undertaking the laborious task of preparing the index, I should be ungrateful if I did not recognise the help I have received from Mr. H. M. McKechnie, Secretary of the Manchester University Press. I am under a deep obligation to Mr. Henry Guppy, Librarian of the John Rylands Library, who, by generous purchases, has enabled me to carry out almost the whole of the work in Manchester, and, in so doing, has created the nucleus of an excellent library of Anglo-Indian history, which will, I hope, render good work possible in the future. Mr. Sutton, of the Manchester City Library, has given me similar help.
Introduction, p. 34; Documents : 4 Siraj-uddaula's Attitude