- Set the context of the question first by discussing the coming of the East India Company and establishment of its monopoly in India.
- In the body explain how different charter acts diluted the trade monopoly of EIC. Discuss the overall impact.
- Conclude on how the British policies ultimately diluted the monopoly of the Company.
East India Company’s powers were gradually weakened from 1773 by the introduction of Regulating act of 1773, which finally culminated in Government of India Act 1858.
Regulating Act of 1773
1. The first step was taken by the British Parliament to control and regulate the affairs of the East India Company in India.
2. It subordinated the Governors of Bombay and Madras to the Governor-General of Bengal.
3. Governor General had to decisions based on advice given by executive council.
4. Court of Directors (the governing body of the company) were made accountable of their revenues.
Pitt’s India Act of 1784
1. Distinguished between commercial and political functions of the company.
2. Court of Directors for Commercial functions and Board of Control for political affairs.
3. Reduced the strength of the Governor General’s council to three members.
4. Placed the Indian affairs under the direct control of the British Government.
Charter Act of 1813
1. The Company’s monopoly over Indian trade terminated except for trade with China and trade in Tea
2. Trade with India open to all British subjects.
Charter Act of 1833
1. This was the final step towards centralization in British India.
2. Beginning of a Central legislature for India as the act also took away legislative powers of Bombay and Madras provinces.
3. The Act ended the activities of the East India Company as a commercial body and it became a purely administrative body.
Charter Act of 1853
1. The legislative and executive functions of the Governor-General’s Council were separated.
2. It introduced a system of open competition as the basis for the recruitment of civil servants of the Company (Indian Civil Service opened for all), which earlier was enjoyed only British subjects.
Government of India Act of 1858
1. The rule of Company was replaced by the rule of the Crown in India.
2. The powers of the British Crown were to be exercised by the Secretary of State for India.
Thus process of regulation and facilitation of East India Company’s trade and administration which started in 1773 led to their complete replacement in 1858.