History Notes Part XVII – Viceroys of India and Land Revenue Reforms(Static GK Material for Competitive Exams)

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Lord Chelmsfod, Lord Reading, Lord Irwin, Lord Willingdon, Lord Linlithgow, Lord Wavell, Lord Mountbatten, Permanent Settlement, Ryotwari System, mahalwari System, Rowlett Act, Lucent G.K. material for History, Pearson Study Material, History Notes, History Notes for Competitive Exams,Subsidiary Alliance, One Liners for History.

Viceroys of India and Land Revenue Reforms

Lord Chelmsford (1916-1922)

  • Important Events took place during the tenure of Lord Chelmsford.
  • August Declaration of 1917, whereby the control over the Indian Government would be gradually transferred to Indian people.
  • The Government of India Act 1919 or Montague Chelmsford Reforms were passed.
  • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place in 1919.
  • Non-Cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi and Khilafat Movement took place.
  • Rowlett Act 1919 was passed.
  • Women’s University was founded at Poona in 1919.

Lord Reading (1922-1926)

  • Lord Chelmsford resigned and was succeeded by Lord Reading in 1922.
  • Lord Reading suppressed the non-cooperation movement.
  • Chauri-Chaura incident took place during his term.
  • Ahmedabad session of Indian National Congress was held in 1921.
  • Swaraj Party was formed in 1923.
  • Communal riots of 1922.

Lord Irwin (1926-1931)

  • During the term of Lord Irwin Simon Commission was appointed.
  • Simon Commission visited India in 1928.Gandhi Irwin pact was signed in 1921 and political prisoners were released.
  • Dandi March was held in 1930.
  • The Congress passed the Independence Revolution in 1929.
  • In 1930 Civil Disobedience movement was launched. The First Round Table Conference was held in England in 1930 and was attended by B.R. Ambedkar.

Lord Willingdon (1931-1936)

  • Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned and remained in prison until 1933.
  • In total he imprisoned 80,000 Indian Activists. Without most of their leaders, protests were uneven and disorganized.
  • Second and Third Round Table Conference were held during his term.
  • In 1932, Communal Award started by British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald assigned seats to different religious communities. 
  • Government of India Act was passed in 1935.

Lord Linlithgow (1936-1943)

  • During his term Government of India Act was enforced in provinces.
  • Provincial autonomy and Congress ministries were established. Muslim League leader, Jinnah, demanded the state of Pakistan for the Muslims.
  • Cripps Mission visited India in 1942 but it was a failure. In 1942 Quit India Movement was started.
  • The second World War broke out in 1939.

Lord Wavell (1944-1947)

  • The Cabinet Mission Plan was launched in 1946 to provide an interim government, it laid down the procedure for the framing of Indian Constitution.
  • Direct Action Day was observed by Muslim League which led to riots and bloodshed.
  • On 20 February 1947, the Prime Minister of England, Clement Atlee, announced that transfer of power would take place before June 1948.
  • On 09 December 1946, first meeting of Constituent Assembly was held.

Lord Mountbatten (1947-1948)

  • Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy and the first Governor General of Free India.
  • Partition of India was decided by the June 3rd Plan and Indian Independence Act was passed on July 4, 1947 by British Parliament.
  • Indian Independence Act made India an Independent country on 15 August 1947 and Pakistan a free nation on 14 August 1947.
  • Lord Mountbatten retired in June 1948 and was succeeded by C. Rajagopalachari, who became the first Indian Governor-General of Independent India.

Land Revenue Systems

Permanent Settlement/Istamarari (Sthayi) Bandobast

  • Permanent Settlement was introduced in Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and districts of Benaras and Northern districts of Madras by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.
  • Cornwallis followed the old Mughal System.
  • He granted the ownership of the land to the Zamindars.
  • In return, Zamindars could keep 1/11th of the revenue collected and the British got a fixed share of 10/11th of the revenue collected. The Zamindars were free to fix the rents.
  • The results of Permanent Settlement were adverse.
  • Due to a great famine in Bengal in 1769 a large rural people fled from Bengal or died of starvation.
  • As a result Zamindars were unable to collect the revenue.
  • The real owners of the land became homeless in their own homes by this Land Revenue System.

Ryotwari System

  • Ryotwari System was introduced in Bombay and Madras presidencies.
  • Ryotwari System was introduced by Munro and Charles Reed recommend it. In this system a direct settlement was made between the Government and the cultivators.
  • The settlement under Ryotwari was not permanent as it was revised periodically after 20 to 30 years when the revenue demand was usually raised.
  • It was based on the scientific rent theory of Ricardo.
  • The revenue depended on the quality of soil and nature of the crop.
  • The position of cultivator became secure but the revenue collection was rigid

Mahalwari System

  • Mahalwari System was introduced in Gangetic Valley, the North-West provinces, parts of Central India, and the Punjab.
  • Revenue System was to be made by village or estate with landlords. In Punjab a modified Mahalwari System as the village system was introduced.
  • In Western Uttar Pradesh, a settlement was made with the village communities, which maintained a form of common ownership known as Bhaichare, or with Mahals, which were group of villages.
  • The revenue system was periodically revised.

Effects of Land Revenue System

  • The revenue was so high that it became difficult for Zamindars and cultivation to pay revenue to the company.
  • To pay the high land revenue they had to they have to take loans from moneylenders at high interest.
  • Most of the peasants were forced to grow commercial crops. They had to buy food grains at high prices and sell their cash crops at low prices.
  • This worsened the economic condition of the peasants and cultivators.

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